Producer, Anant Singh and Twentieth Century Fox announced today the acquisition of the United States distribution rights by Fox to the award-winning film, Shepherds and Butchers.
The film will be released in the US on various formats, including Digital HD and DVD.
Produced by Singh and Brian Cox (who also wrote the screenplay), Shepherds and Butchers is helmed by multiple award-winning director, Oliver Schmitz (Mapantsula; Life, Above All).
The film sees Academy Award nominee, Steve Coogan (Philomena) as defence attorney, John Weber, while Andrea Riseborough (Birdman) plays prosecutor, Kathleen Marais. Shining in his role as a 19-year-old death row prison warder is the rising star of the South African film industry, Garion Dowds.
Also in the film are an ensemble of well-known South African actors including Deon Lotz, Robert Hobbs, Eduan van Jaarsveldt, Marcel van Heerden and Sylvia Mdunyelwa.
Set in late 1980s South Africa, Shepherds and Butchers follows John Weber, a hotshot lawyer who faces his biggest test when he agrees to defend a prison guard who has killed seven men. What ensues is a compelling charge against the death penalty itself, in a case that changes history.
The film is based on the award-winning South African novel by Chris Marnewick, a former advocate of the Durban bar who filled the pages of his book with meticulously researched factual information amassed from his years as a defense attorney.
Commenting on the deal, Singh said: “Twentieth Century Fox has the expertise to handle films that transcend all genres and controversial issues. We believe that they are perfectly suited to distribute Shepherds and Butchers in the US. The film will no doubt generate debate and we look forward to a successful release.”
Shepherds and Butchers is available in South Africa on DStv’s Box Office platform and on DVD from February 20.