SEATTLE WINK VIR FLIEK OOR ELLEN PAKKIES SE LEWE

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 14:42

Die span agter die indrukwekkende rolprentverwerking van een van die mees opspraakwekkende moordsake in Suid-Afrika, het pas aangekondig dat hierdie misdaaddrama gekies is om deel te wees van die vier-en-veertigste jaarlikse Seattle Internasionale Rolprentfees (SIFF) in die VSA, wat vanaf 17 Mei 2018 tot 10 Junie 2018 plaasvind.  

ELLEN, DIE STORIE VAN ELLEN PAKKIES sal een van 400 films, uit 80 lande, wees wat gedurende hierdie gesogte geleentheid vertoon word oor ’n tydperk van vyf-en-twintig dae. Daar word meer as 145 000 mense verwag en dit is een van die grootste rolprentfeeste in Amerika. 

“Ons is ongelooflik opgewonde oor die feit dat ons fliek by die Seattle Internasionale Rolprentfees gaan wys. Ellen se storie is uniek. Sy is een van ’n handvol ma’s wat hulle eie kinders doodgemaak het. Maar in dieselfde asem, is haar storie ook die van miljoene ander, plaaslik en oorsee. Die hartseer ding is dat daar universele elemente in Ellen se storie is wat tot vandag toe nog gebeur. Dwelmmisbruik, armoede, die Vlaktes en familiegeweld. Ons probeer die kyker vat na  ʼn wêreld wat hy dink hy ken, maar glad nie verstaan nie,” sê vervaardiger, Schalk-Willem Burger, oor dié eer wat hulle te beurt geval het. “Ek sê al vir jare dat ons bedryf wêreldklas films en televisiereekse maak. Ons het die tegniese kennis en ons het ʼn werksetiek wat skrik vir niks. Die grootste probleem is klein begrotings, maar ons sien al hoe meer hoe Suid-Afrikaanse filmmakers dit keer-op-keer regkry om met dié klein begrotings, ongelooflike flieks te maak. Ons moet aanhou om sulke topgehalte produkte in die internasionale arena in te stoot, want dit is goed vir die plaaslike bedryf.”  

Die fliek, wat ook reeds op 27 Januarie 2018 by die Rotterdamse Internasionale Rolprentfees vertoon is, vertel die storie van Ellen Pakkies (Jill Levenberg) se spanningsvolle verhouding met haar twintigjarige seun, Abie (Jarrid Geduld), wat aan dwelms verslaaf is. In 2007, het sy dood opslae gemaak regoor die wêreld toe daar onthul is dat sy eie ma die moordenaar is. Dis die ontstellende verhaal van ’n vrou wat deur die strafproses geplaas word, teregstaan op ’n moordaanklag en gedryf is deur ’n onwrikbare liefde vir haar seun. Dit delf in die innerlike psige van ’n familie wat deur dwelms vernietig word, in een van die gevaarlikste plaaslike gemeenskappe. ’n Plaag, met gevolge wat verder strek as die Kaapse Vlaktes en wat die staat se onvermoë, om die armstes van die armes te beskerm, beklemtoon.

“Ek speel die rol van die dwelmverslaafde, Abie Pakkies, wat op die Kaapse Vlaktes grootgeword het. Dit is altyd ’n groot uitdaging om iemand se ware verhaal te vertel, veral een wat steeds relevant is. Ek het baie gewig verloor en probeer om myself in die karakter in te leef ter voorbereiding van die rol en hoop dat my vertolking vir kykers sal insae gee oor wat binne die kop van ’n verslaafde aangaan”, vertel Jarrid Geduld. “Dit is wonderlik om te hoor dat die fliek belangstelling prikkel, plaaslik en oorsee, en dat dit by die Seattle Rolprentfees vertoon gaan word. Ellen se storie verdien om regoor die wêreld gekyk te word, sodat dit gesprekke oor verslawing kan begin en daar verandering kan intree.” 

ELLEN, DIE STORIE VAN ELLEN PAKKIES is vervaardig onder leiding van die bekroonde regisseur, Daryne Joshua van Gambit Films, wat ook verantwoordelik is vir die lokettreffer, Noem My Skollie. Die draaiboek is deur geskep deur Amy Jephta, met insette deur die regte Ellen Pakkies wat ook haar huis oopgestel het vir die verfilmingsproses. “Ons hoop dat ’n invloedryke persoon die fliek sal sien en ’n betekenisvolle verskil in sulke gemeenskappe sal maak. Verfilming het in Lavender Hill in Ellen se huis, waar die moord gepleeg is, plaasgevind en ons het uit ons pad uit gegaan om vir die kyker die regte wêreld waarin hierdie vrou gewoon het en steeds woon te wys,” sê Burger. 

Jill Levenberg (Genadekans, Noem my Skollie, Leemte, While You Weren’t Looking, Abraham, Bekkies Gevind, As Ek Huistoe Kom, Fluit-Fluit, Atlas, Uitvlucht en Suidooster) speel die rol van Ellen Pakkies en het reeds baie positiewe terugvoer oor haar vertolking ontvang. Elton Landrew, Shimmy Isaacs en Kay Smith is ook in die fliek te sien. 

Hierdie ontstellende verhaal oor ’n stormagtige ma-en-seun-verhouding, dwelms en moord, is propvol intrige, emosie en spanning, wat kykers nie net vasgenael sal hou nie, maar ook kritici sal beïndruk. Die fliek is vervaardig in samewerking met M-Net, kykNET Films, die Departement van Handel en Nywerheid (DTI) en TMPBC (The Moving Billboard Picture Company). Dit word op 7 September 2018, landswyd, deur Ster-Kinekor Entertainment uitgereik.

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Local Real-life Crime Drama Heading For Seattle 

The team behind the impressive real-life movie adaptation of one of the most controversial murder cases in South African history, has just announced that the film was selected to be part of the 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) in the USA, which will be held from 17 May 2018 to 10 June 2018.  

ELLEN, DIE STORIE VAN ELLEN PAKKIES will be one of 400 films, from 80 countries, to be screened at this prestigious event that will be taking place over a period of twenty-five days. More than 145 000 are expected to attend and it is one of the biggest film festivals in America. 

“We are very excited about the film being included in the Seattle International Film Festival. Ellen’s story is unique. She is one of only a few mothers who murdered their own children. But, in a way, her story is also similar to many other mothers across the globe. The sad thing is that there are universal aspects in her story that are still a reality today. Drug abuse, poverty, the Flats and family violence. We wanted to take audiences into a world that they think they know, but really cannot begin to understand,” says producers, Schalk-Willem Burger, about this exciting news. “I have always believed that our country is producing top-notch films and television series. We have the technical knowhow and a strong work ethic. Our biggest challenge is the small budget we have to work with. But we have seen, time and again, how filmmakers are able to take these limited budgets and create awesome films. We have to continue to push these high quality productions into the international arena and continue to boost the local film industry.” 

The film, which has already been showcased at the Rotterdam International Film Festival on 27 January 2018, tells the story of Ellen’s (Jill Levenberg) troubled relationship with her twenty-year old drug-addict son, Abie (Jarrid Geduld). In 2007, his death caused a stir worldwide when it was revealed that his mother was the one who murdered him. It is the harrowing account of a woman put through the penal system, tried for murder and driven by an unflinching love for her son. It delves into the inner psyche of a family ravaged by drugs in one of the most dangerous communities in South Africa. A scourge that extends beyond the Cape Flats and highlights a systematic failure to protect the poorest of the poor.

“I play the role of the drug-addict son, Abie Pakkies, who grew up in the Cape Flats. It is always a big challenge to tell someone else’s story, especially when it is still so relevant today. In preparation for this role, I decided to lose weight and do a lot of internal transformation, allowing myself to think in a way that was pretty much unhealthy, but in a controlled and meticulous manner. I hope that my portrayal will educate and provide insight into the mind and internal destruction and deterioration of an addict,” shares Jarrid Geduld. “It is wonderful to hear that the film is creating a buzz, locally and abroad, and that it will be screened at the Seattle International Film Festival. Ellen’s story deserves to be shown all over the world, so we can revisit the conversation of drug abuse and begin to implement change.”  

ELLEN, DIE STORIE VAN ELLEN PAKKIES was produced under the watchful eye of acclaimed director, Daryne Joshua (Gambit Films), who is also the man behind the local blockbuster, Noem My Skollie. The script was created by Amy Jephta with the help and input of the real Ellen Pakkies. “We hope that someone with influence sees this film and hopefully make a meaningful change in these communities. We filmed on location in Lavender Hill, in Ellen’s house, where the murder took place and went out of our way to ensure we show the viewer the real world that this woman lived and still lives in,” says Burger. 

Jill Levenberg (Genadekans, Noem my Skollie, Leemte, While You Weren’t Looking, Abraham, Bekkies Gevind, As Ek Huistoe Kom, Fluit-Fluit, Atlas, Uitvlucht and Suidooster) stars as Ellen Pakkies and has already received positive feedback on her outstanding performance. The film also showcases the talent of actors like Elton Landrew, Shimmy Isaacs and Kay Smith.
This captivating tale of a stormy relationship between mother and son, drug abuse and murder, is an intriguing film that will not only captivate audiences of all ages, but will also impress movie critics across the globe. It was produced in association with M-Net, kykNET Films, the DTI and The Moving Billboard Picture Company (TMPBC) and will be released and distributed, nationwide, on 7 September 2018, by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment.  

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