AFDA third year student film “Greg” is travelling far and wide

News, 11 September 2019



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The AFDA Cape Town 2019 third year experimental film “Greg”, directed by Michael Odendaal and produced by Duncan Streuderst has been selected to screen in competition at three film festivals around the globe. The official selections include: Seoul International Film Festival in South Korea, Sinevizyon Film Festival in Turkey and The Lift-Off Sessions in Los Angeles. 

To make things even better, Michael and Duncan also received financial sponsorship from the NFVF to travel to Seoul to attend the film festival in person on the 24th of September 2019. They tell us about their journey so far…

“Greg” never really felt like a "job" or exam to me. Greg was the culmination of a storm of ideas formed by a crew who had been growing together not only as artists, but friends since our first year at AFDA.

When we were told to develop an "experimental" project at the beginning of the year, immediately a specific type of film had been evoked our minds. Ideas generally quite familiar and common within the experimental genre, which is what we wanted to avoid with Greg.

Instead of making a traditional experimental film loaded with dark themes and abstract imagery, we developed Greg, a mockumentary styled experimental film that had adverts in it! More than anything else, we wanted to work on something that everyone in the team could be proud of and have a good time working on. This approach to the project definitely had a positive impact on the film. 

Long after “Greg” had screened at the AFDA Experimental Festival and development for our next project had started, I decided one bored evening to sign Greg up to as many film festivals as possible. Not thinking much of it, I forget about the submissions for a month. And then the emails from Film Freeway started rolling in. Greg has been nominated for 3 film festivals, and will be screening worldwide in the coming months. Los Angeles, Seoul, and Turkey... 3 down with another 50 entries we’re waiting for feedback on. Who knows what corners of the planet Greg will be reaching soon?

An even bigger surprise was the fact that we were able to receive financial sponsorship from the NVFV to attend the biggest film festival of the three, the Seoul International Film Festival in person on the 24th of September. It’ll be an eventful month for me, especially considering the fact that we’ll be shooting our graduation film, “Welcome”, up until the day before we depart for Seoul. 

Our grad film, “Welcome”, tells the story of two brothers who inherit their recently deceased fathers house. One brother wants to preserve the past, and the other would do whatever it takes to burn it to the ground. It will be quite a tiring shoot, especially considering the technical demand and complexity of the narrative, so I expect to be half-dead once I eventually board the plane for Seoul after finishing the 5-day shoot. That means we we’ll barely have the luxury of breathing for the next month. We shoot our graduation film, fly to Seoul, attend the festival, fly back, and jump into post-production with “Welcome”. I definitely won’t have to worry about experiencing a dull day.” Duncan Streuderst - Producer

"As the director/writer of “Greg” I am truly proud of how my amazing team brought this story to life and of course our exceptional leading man -Thapelo Maropefela (Greg) who certainly carries the film. As a writer I am inspired by every day struggles and exceptional people. Greg tells the story of how trying to be “normal” and to change yourself, might be more detrimental than you could ever think. Being unique makes one excellent. This story along with my amazing cast and crew has inspired me deeply. I am so proud and excited to be representing AFDA and specifically South-Africa in Seoul with the great sponsorship from the NVFV and to celebrate the art of film. With my amazing crew I am looking forward to filming our graduation film “Welcome” soon and hopefully create another inspirational piece that exceeds expectations."  Michael Odendaal - Director/Writer. 

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