Local Afrikaans film scores Cannes first

AFRIKAANS feature film Skoonheid has been invited to compete at the 64th Cannes Film Festival that starts tomorrow in France

Skoonheid will compete in the Uncertain Regard Category against movies such as Milk, Good Will Hunting and Elephant, 29 Palms, Humanite and The Isle.

The official selection serves to highlight the diversity of cinematic creation through its two sections: the Competition and Uncertain Regard.

Skoonheid has become the fifth local film to be selected for the festival and the first in the Afrikaans language.

The Uncertain Regard section this year comprises new works by well-established filmmakers such as Gus Van Sant, Bruno Dumont and the famous South Korean director Kim Ki-Duk.

Skoonheid tells the story of Francois van Heerden, a white, Afrikaans-speaking family man in his mid-40s who lives in Bloemfontein.

Van Heerden does not care for his own happiness. He is very convinced of his ill-fated existence.

The film is directed by 27-year-old Oliver Hermanus, pictured.

Born in Cape Town, Van Heerden has a bachelor of arts degree in film, media and visual studies from Cape Town University.

He began his career as a press photographer for a national news agency and received a scholarship to attend the London Film School in 2006.

His graduation film, Shirley Adams, premiered in the Competition at The Locarno International Film Festival In 2009.

Hermanus was then selected to attend the 19th session of the Cannes Film Festival's Cinefoundation in Paris, where he wrote Skoonheid.

The festival ends on May 22.