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BUNNY CHOW (article first published : 2007-03-4)

It has wowed audiences around the world and now the hilarious home-grown comedy Bunny Chow Know Thyself is opening on general circuit in South Africa on March 9.

Bunny Chow follows the wacky journey of three stand-up comedians as they make their way to the Oppi Koppi rock festival. It stars Kagiso Lediga along with David Kibuuka, Salah Sabiti, Joey Rasdien and Kim Engelbrecht.

The film’s list of accolades is impressive. Last year it was screened to high praise at the Toronto International Film Festival and had its US premier at the American Film Institute (AFI) Festival in Los Angeles. It was chosen to open the Cape Town World Cinema Festival, incorporating the Sithengi Film & TV Market and walked away with two major awards. Director John Barker received the Lionel Ngakane Award for most promising filmmaker while Kagiso Lediga was named best actor.

This year it has already been selected to compete in the Rotterdam Film Festival’s TIGER Awards. Films that have previously screened at the festival and gone on to garner international acclaim, include Sideways directed by Alexander Payne (2005), which went on to be nominated for five Oscars and won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay; 2046 directed by Kar Wai Wong (2005) and the world premiere of Sabah by Ruba Nadda (2005), which is currently on screens in South Africa.

Says John Barker: “It is a great opportunity to be selected for the prestigious Tiger Award in Rotterdam. It was a real honour to be amongst the best filmmakers in the world. We are looking forward to the local release when the people that the film was made for, finally get to see it.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Joel Phiri of Dv8/Deviant Selling: “This is more great recognition. To be selected for competition in Rotterdam is brilliant and important, both from an audience and business point of view. Now we can’t wait for it to be seen by a local audience.”

“This refreshingly original and hip South African comedy will be a first of its kind for local audiences” says Taryn da Canha-Uhlmann Marketing Manager for local content at Ster Kinekor Distribution; “it is a truly contemporary story about a group friends in Johannesburg, that doesn’t delve into issue-driven themes but rather offers a hilarious slice of life supported by an incredible soundtrack.”

John Barker explains the name: “Bunny Chow is a metaphor for Jozi as a melting-pot of cultures. Think of all the different ingredients that go into a bunny chow, those represent the different people that make up this city. Jozi is the bread - the backdrop upon which all this is taking place. To get to the food stuff you have to peel away the outside layers and mop up the juices.”

More information at www.bunnychowmovie.com and www.dv8.co.za




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