SA film ‘Moffie’ to make international debut in Venice

Moffie, a local film based on the experiences of a conscript in the South African army during the early 1980s, will make its world debut at this year’s Venice International Film Festival. 

Based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by André-Carl van der Merwe, the movie is directed by Oliver Hermanus (Skoonheid, Shirley Adams) and stars Kai Luke Brummer alongside a cast of 16 young actors, many of who appear onscreen for the first time. 

The film is produced by South African born Eric Abraham, who was also responsible for producing the Academy award-winning films Ida in 2014 and Kolya in 1996. In addition, Abraham is the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town’s founder as well.

Only the fourth South African film to ever receive an official invitation to Venice, Moffie was shot in the Western Cape last year. The feature has a stellar creative team behind it that includes SAFTA-winning production designer Franz Lewis, costumier Reza Levy and director of photography Jamie D Ramsay.

This is the second film by Hermanus to premiere at the festival after 2015’s The Endless River became the first South African film ever to compete for the prestigious Golden Lion. 

“I am so honoured to return to Venice,” Hermanus is quoted by Cape Times in response to the good news, adding that “the head of the festival, Alberto Barbera, has been such a wonderful champion of my work and I, in turn, am extremely proud of the cast and crew that have been a part of this return to Venice. 

“We really became one big family making this film and it will be a crowning moment to present the film to them in the context of such a prestigious occasion like Venice, not to mention the audience of over a thousand people. What a trip!”