Thursday, October 21, 2004

SA surf film wins US prize

A romantic comedy about an East Indian girl who becomes a surfer in Durban, has won South African-born writer director Eubulus Timothy the Hartley-Merrill National Screenwriting Prize 2004, for his screenplay for the film.

'Surf and Bhoondi' tells how a young Indian girl has to overcome family pressure and fight racism at the hands of white surfers in order to ride the waves. Set in South Africa, the film deals with issues of change within the one-million-strong Indian community and their relationship with other communities.

It also looks at the bond between father and daughter and how that has also changed for modern Indian families. In public the father is puts on the face of a modern liberal man in the new South Africa, while at home he struggles to maintain his orthodox values.

Timothy, who wrote and directed 'Bridging The Gap', the first ever-live television broadcast from Robben Island, was the founding chairman of the Cape Film Commission and has directed for the stage, television and film.

The Hartley-Merrill Screenwriting Prize is celebrating its 15th year supporting screenwriters from around the world and fostering interaction between international writers. Ted Hartley, head of RKO Pictures and his actress wife, Dina Merrill, founded it. Other founding members include Lord Putham and Robert Redford.

The prize was presented at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood.