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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Felix selected for top international film festival

Felix, a feel-good South African family film, has been selected for the 57th BFI London Film Festival, named one of the top 11 film festivals in the world by The Guardian last year.

Felix will screen alongside some of the most eagerly-anticipated films from around the globe, including Saving Mr Banks, with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney; Gravity, with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney; and new films from the likes of Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), Stephen Frears (Philomena), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Jason Reitman (Labor Day), and the Coen Brothers (Inside Llewyn Davis).

"The programmer saw Felix at the Durban International Film Festival, where we won the Audience Award for Best Film, and called me about the wonderful audience response," said director Roberta Durrant. "Being selected for Britain's premier film festival is a huge honour and, hopefully, we'll be able to announce a cinema release in London soon."

Going international

Felix has also been selected for three other major international film festivals: Vancouver International Film Festival in Canada, Lucas International Children's Film Festival, and The Hamburg FilmFest in Germany.

Durrant has been invited to all four festivals, which start with Lucas on 22 September and end with London on 20 October.

Durrant, a South African Film and Television Award Lifetime Achievement (SAFTA) winner, was the creative producer on the International Emmy-nominated TV series Home Affairs, Stokvel and Sokhulu & Partners, but Felix is the first feature film script she has chosen to direct.

Shirley Johnston's screenplay won Sithengi's Writer's Forum Award; was a finalist in the US Specscriptacular Competition; and reached the quarter-finals of both Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest and the Moondance Screenwriting Competition.

Fourteen-year-old Felix Xaba dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, but his mother Lindiwe thinks jazz is the devil's music.

When Felix leaves his township, friends to take up a scholarship for Grade 8 at an elitist private school, he defies his mother and turns to two ageing members of his father's old band to help him prepare for the school jazz concert.


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