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THE SUNFLOWER (article first published : 2003-09-26)

DuMarc in Association with Movieworld recently completed The Sunflower, produced and directed by Movieworld’s Lance Samuels and DuMarc’s Marc Wells.

Described as a “fantasy musical in the traditional of Moulin Rouge and Little Shop of Horrors, the film has been adapted from a children’s story originally written by Marc Wells in the 90’s.

As there is no sun in the story, the film is shot at night working against a black palette and is saturated with lots of colours. The Sunflower has a Durban cast headed by Wells himself, Hakeem Kae-Azim and Bill Flynn and will be released in America and Europe in early 2004.

The cast includes many well-known names in the Durban theatre industry: T Bone Hlahane, Bhekani Shabalala, Themi Venturas, Quincy Flynn, Darren King, Adhir Kalyan, Nothando Ngubane, Arnie Field, Callie Denton Major, Pinkie Mtshali, Catherine Mace, Rowan Bartlett and Tiki Nxumalo.

The story deals with down-and-out writer George Drimmy who sits in a downtown diner trying to pitch yet another story to a barely interested producer. As he awaits the producer’s reaction, his mind starts to wander, slowly assimilating the characters around him into the imaginary world of The Sunflower

Morning breaks in the township but this one is unlike any other. The sun has been stolen, leaving the world in perpetual darkness. It falls on a local thug, Makabos, to find the missing sun. He is desperate to solve the mystery. He sleeps during the day and, without the sun, he cannot rest.

The story unfolds as a magical midnight journey where Makabos, accompanied by an old wily sangoma, ventures through a world of colourful characters and wild mythical imaginings. Will his quest consume him and lead him to madness, or will Makabos succeed in returning the balance of dark and light to the world?

Costumer Designer Darion Hing has created costumes that are of no particular setting but should be recognisable. The setting for the filming is unrecognizable as far as country or period, so the costumes had to follow suit taking all the different nationalities of South Africa into account.




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