The film adaptation Shepherds and Butchers, based on the novel by Chris Marnewick, will be premiered in South Africa at the kykNET Silverskerm festival in Cape Town this week.
The film is directed by Oliver Schmitz and stars Andrea Riseborough, Steve Coogan, Deon Lotz and Eduan van Jaarsveldt.
It was awarded the third place Panorama Audience Award for Fiction Films at the Berlin Film Festival in February – a first for a South African film.
Press release from kykNET:
Earlier this year, veteran director Oliver Schmitz’s Shepherds and Butchers bowled audiences over at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it received the prestigious Panorama Audience Award.
Audiences will now get the chance to see the film at the kykNET Silverskerm festival in Cape Town, which starts on 24 August, 2016. Anant Singh, one of Shepherds and Butchers’ producers, will also be attending this year’s festival for the first time and will be present at the screening of the film on Friday, 26 August.
Shepherds and Butchers is part of a new selection of feature films that has seen the light due to the creative and financial support of M-Net. “We are proud of every single one of these films, which represents a bigger variety of genres. The films have suspenseful storylines and the production value is of the highest quality,” Jan du Plessis, Director: M-Net channels commented. “It is wonderful news that Shepherds and Butchers with its outstanding cast, including the brilliant Steve Coogan and an experienced production crew can screen at the festival with other up and coming new local filmmakers.”
Shepherds and Butchers is inspired by true events and is set against the background of the politically unsettled South Africa of 1987. When Leon Labuschangne (Garion Dowds), a 19-year-old prison warden, commits a cold blooded crime by shooting seven black men at point blank range, the outcome of the lingering court case is obvious for most – that he will get the death penalty.
The human rights activist, John Weber (played by the renowned Steve Coogan from Philomena fame), who stands against the death penalty, is the only defence attorney that is willing to take Labuschagne’s case. He discovers that this young man worked on the gallows where 164 executions took place in one year.
During the court case Weber reveals the traumatic working conditions Labuschagne was exposed to which ultimately lead to his break down.
Andrea Riseborough (the Oscar-winning Birdman), Deon Lotz, (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) Marcel van Heerden, Eduan van Jaarsveldt and Nicola Hanekom also form part of the star studded cast.
Shepherds and Butchers screens on Friday, 26 of August at 4:30 PM in the Rotunda at the kykNET Silwerskerm Festival.