AFDA Cape Town alumnus Desmond Denton has once again been raking in international awards for his films, the director recently returned from the Monaco International Film Festival in December where his film Tussen As en Hoop was chosen as an official selection.
His production company, Imagenheart, also won two awards at the festival, namely: Best Upcoming Feature Film for Tussen As en Hoop and Best Feature Script for the upcoming film William Austen.
The Monaco Film Festival was the icing on the cake for a very successful year for Desmond.
In September, his short film Infidel won the Best Title Sequence, Best Supporting Actress and Audience Choice awards at the Cape Town 48 Hour Film Project.
Later that month, his film Lenteblom won Best Feature Film, Best Foreign Film, Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the American Christian Film Festival.
In October, the same festival crowned Desmond’s latest movie Tussen As en Hoop with Best Foreign Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor Teen awards.
In the middle of all of this, he also opened the Overberg Film Studios.
It’s the Monaco International Film Festival Desmond seems most excited about, pointing out that it’s a very glamorous event, filled with interesting people, parties and workshopping.
“I always enjoy seeing what opportunities there are for South African films beyond our borders.”
Desmond developed Tussen As en Hoop and Lenteblom with Albert Maritz for an education programme sponsored by AgriSA and Hortgro. The idea was to create edutainment- relatable feature films with an educational message- to educate farm workers about and destigmatise TB and HIV.
The first versions of these films were screened on 10 000 farms across South Africa where screenings were followed by voluntary health checks. Over 56 000 people have been tested for TB and HIV thanks to the initiative.
The films went through a post-production process before being submitted to international film festival and with hopes to release it locally next year.
Desmond is currently in post-production on a project very close to his heart. The futuristic, dystopian film set in Cape Town Spelonk will be released next year as an Afrikaans feature film and an English television series.
While he’s been working on the project for quite some time, Desmond is hesitant to call Spelonk a passion project. “It’s much more than that. It makes complete commercial sense.”
He knew he was on to something when a short film version was selected for script development at the Silwerskermfees, but decided to develop it independently instead.
Spelonk’s delayed release actually comes at a perfect time. While the world is grappling with a climate crisis, Spelonk looks at how a society with highly limited natural resources will look like.
The film will be released alongside an activist documentary about climate change and every part of the production process was kept as “green” as possible.
Desmond is also working on Sirkel of Noodlot, a film adaptation of ST Potgieter’s human trafficking novel with the same name. For more information about his film projects, visit www.imagenheart.com. For more about Spelonk, visit www.spelonkfilm.com.