One of this year’s most ambitious CineMart projects, and one that has persuaded the Binger to shift its entire 2008 spring director programme to South Africa, is The Commandments, produced by the South-African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
The project consists of five feature-length and five one-hour films, inspired by Krzysztof Kieslowski’s epic Decalogue. ‘This inspiration is not so much to do with scripts or narrative, more the idea that you can create drama around the rules that govern society,’ stressed Binger’s artistic director Marten Rabarts yesterday.
‘We didn’t want to want to base it on the Christian ten commandments,’ Rabarts continued. ‘South Africa is a pantheistic, multicultural society with eleven official languages, and we’re saying let’s see what South African filmmakers can give us back if we inspire them with the kind of intense human drama Kieslowski achieved in his work. For us, that was the leaping-off point. Instead of the almost monochrome world that Kieslowski created we have the most diverse, dynamic and vital world. There is an incredible vitality and difference in all the stories.’
Nirvana Singh, SABC commissioning editor drama, is looking to go into production on the films in January 2009 with a proposed broadcast/release date around summer 2010. ‘We feel very honoured that the Binger has elected to bring its whole programme to South Africa. This will take the local industry and our filmmakers to the next level,’ she stressed. ‘We strongly believe that this initiative will change the face of the local film and television industry. The most important thing is that we are using the best of the best of South African talent who will now be able to reach another level of recognition, both in the local and international markets.’
‘We are working with these filmmakers as precisely as we work with filmmakers who come to the Binger in Amsterdam,’ agreed Rabarts. ‘They are established. They are very talented. They have won awards.’
On January 28th the SABC, Binger and the South African Film Fund will introduce the project, its producers and filmmakers to the international guests of IFFR. NC