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SINGH’S TRC MOVIE UNDERWAY (article first published : 2003-11-21)

Principle photography has started on Anant Singh’s latest production, Red Dust.

The film is an adaptation of Gillian Slovo's novel of the same title and will star Oscar winner, Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry) and BAFTA nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things). The film will be directed by Tom Hooper (Daniel Deronda) with the screenplay by Troy Kennedy-Martin (Italian Job, Bravo Two Zero).

Red Dust is a suspense-filled courtroom drama set in Smitsriver which explores the effects of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Anti apartheid activist Ben Hoffman realises that he is unable to handle this case before the TRC alone as he is ailing and his energy low and ebbing. He asks his former student, Sarah Barcant, now a New York City prosecutor to come home to help him with the amnesty hearing of former local police officer Dirk Hendricks.

Ben represents an interested party, Alex Mpondo who was a torture victim of Dirk. Ben also feels this forum will enable the law to get at Dirk's former boss Piet Muller, who the former believes killed the son of another client.

Anant Singh has announced that Red Dust will be co-produced with the BBC, with the support of the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.

"We are delighted to have put together a formidable team for the production of Red Dust," he said. "It is certainly a coup to have secured both Hilary and Chiwetel to star in the film. They are extremely talented and have an appeal that audiences respond to. They suit their respective roles perfectly. We are also pleased to be working with the BBC once again in South Africa. We also acknowledge the involvement of the Industrial Development Corporation who have been a tremendous support."

Red Dust is a very powerful South African story on the canvas of the TRC, one of the most significant healing instruments of South Africa's young democracy and will be completed in time to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of South Africa's freedom next year. The film will also be premiered at the Cannes Film Festival next year.




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