Free State, the locally produced period drama has been flying the South African flag at festivals around the world.
Following the film’s international premiere at the Kolhapur International Film Festival in December 2015, it has screened at the Chennai International Film Festival, Bangalore International Film Festival, the Sangli International Film Festival and the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.
This month the film will screen at the 5th Luxor African Film Festival then the Garden State Film Festival in the United States before screening in Vancouver, Canada and the Cameroon International Film Festival.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed taking this film to festival audiences and have been overwhelmed by the feedback we have received,” says director Sallas de Jager. “This is a small film, but has had an enormous impact on audiences at the diverse festivals and that is a great compliment for any filmmaker.”
Written and directed by multi-award winning filmmaker Sallas de Jager, Free State is a collaboration between de Jager’s Bosbok Ses Films and Utkarsh Entertainment in association with Indian production company, Parnam Entertainment.
Former supermodel Nicola Breytenbach and ex-Mr South Africa Andrew Govender head up a cast which includes some of the country’s most celebrated and well-loved actors including Leleti Khumalo (Sarafina, Yesterday), Deon Lotz (Roepman, Skoonheid) and Rolanda Marais (Wolwedans in die Skemer, Ballade vir ’n Enkeling). It marks the first international appearance for Marathi and Bollywood star, Mangesh Desai.
Free State is set in South Africa during the 1970s and tells the story of Jeanette (Breytenbach), a beautiful open minded law student. During a summer holiday spent with her father in the Free State, a random act of kindness by Ravi (Govender), an attractive Indian man, sparks an unexpected love affair.
Despite being warned not to act on her feelings, Jeanette decides to pursue a secret relationship with Ravi. When their relationship is exposed, it leads to a very tragic turn of events.
This film breaks new ground in terms of being released in South Africa and also in India through the involvement of production company Utkarsh Entertainment and producer Rajiv Terwadkar.
Free State is distributed by Times Media Films and will be released on April 27 in SA.