The award-winning and world-renowned French filmmaker Euzhan Palcy will showcase her most celebrated work, A DRY WHITE SEASON (1989), as part of the film’s 25th anniversary at this year’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). The film was adapted from a book by the acclaimed South African writer Andre Brink who died earlier this year. Palcy will be honoring Brink on Mandela Day (July 18).
Additionally, in a tribute to her contribution to the South African film industry, Palcy will be honoured at the Simon Sabela Awards on July 19. Karina Brink, Dame Janet Suzman and Thoko Ntshinga will attend both the screening and the awards.
At the time the film was produced, Ms. Palcy was distinguished for being the first black female director to be hired by a major Hollywood studio (MGM) and to direct an anti-apartheid film during Nelson Mandela’s prison sentence. She is also the only woman to have directed Marlon Brando and the first black person to win a French Oscar.
Andre Brink’s book, a narrative about the social movements of South Africa and the 1976 Soweto riots inspired Palcy’s impassioned response to illustrate an accurate account of the reality of apartheid. Palcy made the film in 1989 after doing extensive research undercover in Soweto. The film stars Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Marlon Brando, Zakes Mokae, Susan Sarandon, John Kani, Winston Ntshona, Jürgen Prochnow amongst others.
The South African event kicked off on 17 July with the opening of an exhibition of David James’ still photographs from A DRY WHITE SEASON at the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts. James is the 2011 Society of Cinematographer Lifetime achievement award winner in stills photography and was the official photographer of the 81st to the 84th Oscars ceremonies. The exhibition will run for the duration of the DIFF until the 26 July.