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SMS SUGAR MAN (article first published : 2005-12-19)

Aryan Kaganof, the prolific writer/director of numerous feature films, shorts and video art has embarked on a world first. He is to direct the first 35mm feature film, shot on a mobile cell phone camera.

Teaming up with producer Michelle Wheatley and Dv8/IMG Films Executive Producers Joel Phiri and Jeremy Nathan, the film is called SMS Sugar Man. The story is an original idea of Kaganof’s and takes place on Christmas Eve. It centres on a Johannesburg pimp who drives four of his ladies around the city. A feel-good story on a dark evening, for the modern urban viewer.

“The evolution of this technology is perfect to tell this story, which uses cellphones as an integral part of the narrative. The girls are umbilically linked to each other and Sugar Man through their phones” says Kaganof.

“The film will be produced in an innovative way,” says Michelle Wheatley, producer of Kaganof’s documentary Giant Steps” which was recently broadcast by SABC1. “Our technology tests have been amazing and show that you can make a film on virtually any format these days.”

Dv8 Films producers Joel Phiri and Jeremy Nathan are excited to break new ground. “We love this radical approach, blending the use of appropriate technology with a gripping story. It deviates from the norm and with an experienced director – it’s all about attitude.”

The film will be shot in the dead of night, during December, and ready for distribution on a variety of distribution platforms in September 2006.

Ster-Kinekor, a core financier of the project, will handle the release in South Africa. Says Helen Kuhn of Ster-Kinekor: “This project is at the heart of the spirit of our collaboration with Dv8. It is critical that South African filmmakers start creating within our own economic reality. We are excited about the prospects of this film.”

More information from Michelle Wheatley (Reflex Films) on 082 336 6897 or e-mail: michelle@dv8.co.za




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