NEW South African film, Twee Grade van Moord (Two Degrees of Murder), won the best film award at the Indie Karoo Festival, held from July 1 to 3 in Prince Albert in the Karoo. The movie stars two of South Africa’s most loved and respected actors, Sandra Prinsloo and Marius Weyers.
The Indie Karoo Film Festival is a platform for independent filmmakers and enables local audiences to discover some of South Africa’s most exciting emerging talent. This year’s film selection included more than 40 films from South Africa and across the continent and beyond.
Set in Cape Town and directed by Gerrit Schoonhoven, Twee Grade van Moord looks at homicide from two very different points of view: one reflects the ultimate act of self-centredness, the other a selfless act of mercy. The film releases nationwide on Friday, July 22.
“I would like to thank the organisers and the judges of the festival for this honour,” said producer Barry Strick. “We are exceptionally proud of the award, as it speaks to the quality of the film and to the excellence of its well-loved cast. I am especially grateful to Sandra, Marius, Gerrit, Anita le Roux who wrote the script, and the film’s editor, Ronelle Loots, for their unwavering support.”
The Afrikaans feature film (with English subtitles), which had its premiere at the festival, was screened at the flagship venue, The Showroom Theatre. It is produced by Barry Strick of Inverse Films and Full Faculty Films, in collaboration with Waterfront Film Studios and the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). The film is distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution.
Twee Grade van Moord tells the story of Aleksa Cloete (Prinsloo), a well-known Cape Town psychologist, has authored a bestseller, Love Doesn’t Hurt, but despite her long and happy marriage to husband Ben (Weyers), she has an entirely intellectual view of love. Their only child Christiaan (Roelof Storm) was forced, while growing up, to find much needed nurturing from his ‘second mother’, loyal housekeeper Fy Abrahams (Shaleen Surtie-Richards).
As the story unfolds, Aleksa is forced to question her integrity and confront her ability to make sacrifices for the people she cares about. Ultimately, she has to confront the question: “What would love do?”.
Speaking about her role in the film, Prinsloo says: “I had to unlock the emotions in myself. As if I was the one that wanted to die. It was a terrible night when I thought about it that way. How do you say goodbye to everything? How do help someone so close to you to die?”
She and Weyers worked for a month on the emotionally draining film and it helped that they knew each other so well. “We just clicked from the first time we worked together. It is very important, especially for such an emotional role. You have to be able to trust the other person completely,” said Weyers.
Prinsloo’s stage and film career spans 30 years. During this time, she has performed leading roles in works by renowned international dramatists and South African playwrights, in more than 100 stage productions, eight feature films and numerous television productions.
She also has a reputation as an outstanding actress in many countries overseas, including England, France, Germany and the United States.
De Kat magazine named Prinsloo as one of the 100 most influential people in South Africa, and she was also the recipient of the Academy for Art and Sciences Award for her lifelong contribution to theatre in South Africa.
Most recently, she hosted her own chat show on kykNET, Sandra op ‘n Drafstap, where she interviewed prominent South Africans.
Weyers is one of South Africa’s most famous and loved leading men. His outstanding performances on stage and screen have endeared him to audiences locally and abroad, earning him a special place in the hearts and minds of the critics and audiences alike. He has appeared in more than 35 feature films and 100 theatrical productions.
His feature film credits include Warner Bros’ Blood Diamond (Edward Zwick), Catch a Fire (Phillip Noyce), Red Dust, Stander, and possibly his best known South African role in Katinka Heyns’ movie Paljas. He has won numerous awards and accolades, and is a recipient of The Medal of Honour from the SA Academy of Arts and Sciences for his contribution to theatre.
“Prinsloo and Weyers, both extremely accomplished and talented performers, shine in what is a complex, profound investigation into the nature of love,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution. “They have appeared in only four films together, including the world famous The Gods Must Be Crazy in 1981. They last appeared in a film together in 1989, making Twee Grade van Moord a long overdue cinematic reunion for them and marking a milestone in South Africa’s cinema history.”
You can watch the film’s official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9tnjgZWjbI