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Two SA women filmmakers to showcase their work at 2022 Cannes Film Festival

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‘The Valley of a Thousand Hills’ and ‘God’s Work’, which are helmed by two women film-makers, will be screened at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

God’s Work poster. Picture: Supplied

IN A BID to develop and promote South Africa’s growing film industry, the local films of two women film-makers will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival, the largest film festival in the world.

The festival takes place from May 17 to 26 in France, and the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission’s (KZNFC) participation will be located at the Pavilion Afriques, one of the coveted white tents at the festival, which creates a unique venue for movie and trade promotion while outlining the diversity of African cinema.

“The Valley of a Thousand Hills” and “God’s Work” by Bonita Sithebe and Sithabile Mkhize, respectively, will form part of the KZNFC delegation.

Jackie Motsepe, KZN Film Commission’s chief operations officer, said the goal was to empower youth and women in the industry to tell their stories.

“These two projects stood out, and we are confident that they will achieve the objectives they have set in attending the festival,” said Motsepe.

Written and directed by Sithebe, “The Valley of a Thousand Hills” tells the story of a young woman from a conservative village who must choose between living a lie to stay the perfect Zulu daughter or risk death for true love.

Produced by Philane Sithebe, the film stars Mandisa Vilakazi and Sbongokuhle Nkosi.

The Valley of a Thousand Hills is written and directed by Bonita Sithebe. Picture: Supplied

“God’s Work”, produced by rising star Mkhize, tells a story of four homeless friends who are caught between escaping their hardships and being swallowed up in the process.

The film is a profound and satirical exploration of the human beings that exist on the margins of society.

Written and directed by Michael James, “God’s Work” is produced by Mkhize, with Toni Monty as the executive producer.

God’s Work is produced by Sithabile Mkhize. Picture: Supplied

Apart from showcasing the local films, the KZN Film Commission will host the African Film Commission panel discussion, which will explore topics like “How networks and the current progressive trade landscape will grow the African film economy”.

The commission will also host a session titled “Country Presentation” by the acting CEO, Victor Senna, to highlight South Africa’s KZN film industry.

“We are excited to be part of Cannes. Our presentation will focus on transforming and growing the KZN film industry, profiling our locations and co-productions and our African agenda,” said Senna.

The commission will also participate in the “UK Global Screen Fund” panel which will explore the SA/UK co-production “Stolen”, which is co-produced by KZN film-maker, Uzanenkosi Mahlangu and UK film-maker, Shantelle Rochester.

Local actress Noxolo Dlamini, who is well known for her role in Netflix’s “Jiva!”, stars in “Stolen”, which is set to commence principal photography in London and resume production in Durban in July this year.

The story centres around Seline, whose life takes a tragic turn when her teenage daughter, Tenika, is involved in a fatal shooting on the streets of Durban while on holiday in South Africa.

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