FIELA se Kind, the film adaptation of the bestselling novel by Dalene Matthee, will be screened for the first time in Namibia on Friday, 6 September.
Stage actress Zenobia Kloppers, who hails from Khomasdal, and plays the leading role, will fly to Windhoek especially to attend the première and to meet local film lovers.
The film will then starting 13 September be screened in Namibia.
The novel was released in 1985 and is set in Southern Africa in the nineteenth century. It tells the story of Fiela Komoetie, a hardworking coloured woman living in the arid Karoo, who takes in a lost white child, Benjamin, and raises him as her own.
Nine years later, Benjamin is removed from her care and forced to live in the Knysna Forest with a family of woodcutters who claim that he is their son. Separated by law and geography, Fiela and Benjamin spend the next decade trying to find each other while simultaneously coming to terms with their individual identities.
Written and directed by Brett Michael Innes (Sink, The Story Of Racheltjie De Beer), the movie was shot on location in the Knysna Forest and the Karoo with cinematography by Tom Marais (Ballade Vir ‘n Enkeling, Hunter Killer).
Produced by Danie Bester from The Film Factory and Brett Michael Innes from Nostalgia Productions.
The film will be distributed by Filmfinity (Pty) Ltd and be in cinemas nationwide.
“The story of Fiela is both heart-breaking and profound,” says producer Bester, adding “The novel carries a special place in the hearts of many South Africans and Namibians and, even though it was written in 1985, we believe that it has themes that still speak to us today.”
The novel was adapted into a film in 1988 by director Katinka Heyns and starred Shaleen Surtie-Richards in a performance that was as iconic as the character who inspired it.
“There will naturally be comparisons to the first adaptation,” says Innes, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. “We know that we cannot replace it and we’re not trying to. Classic literature has a way of inspiring different artists to tell it in different ways and we believe that ‘Fiela se Kind’ falls into this category. It is truly a timeless story.”
Fiela Komoetie will be brought to life by Kloppers with the role of Benjamin Komoetie played by newcomers Luca Bornman and Wayne Smith. Drikus Volschenk and Cindy Swanepoel will appear in the roles of Elias and Barta van Rooyen with Melissa Willering, Andre Stoltz, Wayne van Rooyenand Stefan Erasmus also attached to the project.
“It is a great honour to play this character on screen,” said Kloppers, who played the role in the 2007 stage production. “Fiela has a way of melting even the hardest of hearts and her journey is one that reminds us all to be better people.”
The première will be screened at the Grove Mall Ster Kinekor at 19:00 for 20:00 on 6 September. Tickets cost N$150 and are obtainable from Jonathan Sam (081 128 0599) and Clement Kloppers (081 635 271). The proceeds of the première will be donated to the Grace Welfare Project which cares for a large number of poor persons in the community through the provision of, inter alia, food and medical services. Kloppers’ flight to Windhoek is sponsored by Air Namibia.