Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - Thieves a Blow to US Filmmaker

What began as an earnest attempt to celebrate 10 years of freedom in South Africa ended in a serious setback for an American independent filmmaker last week when burglars made off with a haul of expensive equipment.

Los Angeles-based filmmaker Jesse Stagg, who grew up in Cape Town, recently returned to South Africa to shoot a dramatic short film celebrating post-apartheid youth culture.

The film, tentatively entitled Freedom Kids, was co-written by Stagg and his father - the writer and co-producer of Stander - and featured an all-South African cast. It will be entered into both the Cannes and Sundance film festivals next year. "We will finish the film no matter what," said Jesse. "But there's no doubt this is a huge setback."


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