There Are No Heroes
Students on the Verge in Cape Town
If there is one thing that my few years as a student filmmaker, and especially this film has taught me it’s that I would not wish the film industry on my own worst enemy. You go days without sleep, you smoke two packs a day, are near suicidal on a good day, tempting fate on a bad day and generally become misanthropic as the days go by.
But when the dust settles and you are left alone in your own private quarters of midnight, you realise that you’ve been given the opportunity to change people’s lives, their perspectives, their emotions. You can make them cry, laugh, fall in love, sit on the edge of their seat or make them feel so disgusted they want to ban your film.
The film I’m currently in production with is There Are No Heroes. It is a 48-minute science fiction film being shot in Cape Town. It is has been adapted from a cyberpunk short story called Land Of The Blind by Charlie Human; that was based on Lauren Beukes’ cult novel Moxyland and subsequently published in her international award-winning novel Zoo City in 2010.
It is set in future Cape Town several years after the meltdown of a nuclear power plant. The film follows Drew, a young single-mother and factory worker, who must fight to survive in this dystopian future ruled by a sinister pharmaceutical company, DARCORP. This cautionary tale takes a fresh look at many issues current in today’s world such as nuclear power plant development, privatisation, corrupt healthcare systems and the political climate of South Africa.
In South Africa, we seem to be living in the least nationalist time in our country’s history; where everyone is constantly asking hard questions of the government and only wondering now where it all went wrong. This sense of disbelief and helplessness is what I wanted to explore in the future South Africa premise of the film. Cyber-punk allows you to explore the man going up against the machine. The genre also allows the question of what if the hero doesn’t win? What if the guy doesn’t get the girl? What if the aliens win in the end? How do the characters feel? How do they react? How does the audience feel?
These questions make the movie unpredictable and exciting; and independent film-making allows you to explore these themes. Mainly, because we don’t have the pressures of making back a Michael Bay (Transformers) budget at the box office. This freedom does come at a price, the price of not having a Michael Bay budget.
As passionate filmmakers, we were given the opportunity to extend the film from 24 minutes to 48 minutes and decided that the story would be better told in this format. Unfortunately, even with all the great sponsorship there just isn’t enough budget left to complete the extended film.
So the film needs an extra R20 000 to be completed and so we’ve have decided to use the pioneering crowd-funding website IndieGoGo to raise the additional funds, where the audience contributes to a film they want made. There Are No Heroes is yet to raise the full amount and is still looking for the audience members willing to invest from as little as R50.
We’d appreciate it if you could take some time to look at the promo video and even just tell us what you think, even if you can’t contribute. This is the revolution of film-maker meets audience member.
Once completed There Are No Heroes will be screened at the Annual AFDA Film Festival at Cinema Nouveau in Cavendish Square (Cape Town) and Rosebank Mall (Johannesburg) in late November this year, after which it will be sent to several local and international film festivals.
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Article by - Kyle Stevenson (Co-Producer / Co-Writer / Director)