Sunday, October 31, 2004

Boy called Twist

Boy called Twist is the entrepreneurial filmmaker Tim Greene’s first feature film. The film captures the seedy individuals that survive on the streets of Cape Town as it shadows the timeless Dickens classic Oliver Twist.

The movie traces Twist’s journey from rural Swartland to the city’s underbelly.

“This is a part of Cape Town wholly omitted from glossy postcards and coffee-table books. It’s under freeways, next to railroad yards, spilling out of the City Bowl into the slum sprawl of Woodstock,” Greene said.

The film will debut at the Cape Town World Cinema Festival next month.

“Boy called Twist is just such a lovely story. And Tim Greene’s determination and entrepreneurial skills to get the money for the film were amazing,” said film festival manager, Jacky Lourens.

Greene, who directed SABC1 drama series Tsha Tsha, put the script on the Internet in 2002 and asked for R1000 pledges from the public. He also brandished a cardboard poster on street corners “begging” for funding.

Film Afrika boss David Wicht, who produced soon-to-be released Country of My Skull, starring Samuel L Jackson and Juliette Binoche, reached into his pocket for the movie. “In the absence of traditional funding, we as filmmakers need to resort to guerilla tactics, and this is about as innovative as it gets,” he said. “Tim is an excellent filmmaker, so I have high hopes,” he said.

The movie’s SA cast include Isidingo’s Kim Engelbrecht (Lolly) and Leslie Fong (Slu), Moodphase 5ive lead singer Ernestine Deane, and veteran actress Trix Pienaar, with newcomer 14-year-old Jarrid Geduld starring as Twist.

Although the actors were paid a reduced fee – calling the project “a labour of love” – Geduld has bought a cellphone and a pair of boots, and is saving the rest of his earnings to study.

Greene was also supported by the Arts and Culture Trust, the Spier Arts Trust, the National Film and Video Foundation and winemaker Graham Beck.



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