‘Beyond the River’ goes beyond borders

Hot on the heels of its cinema run, South African movie Beyond the River, is set to hit the international circuit.

Requests for the movie, which will be available on DSTV’s Box Office from June 24, and on DVD for rental or retail from mid-July, have been received from as far afield as Belgium, Australia, Argentina, Britain and Tasmania.

“We have received several messages from international canoe clubs, expats as well as locals who didn’t manage to see the film in cinemas.

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“Beyond the River tackles universal themes around trust, understanding and tolerance; we want to make it available to audiences far and wide,” says Heartlines CEO and Beyond the River Executive Producer, Dr Garth Japhet.

Inspired by the true story of Piers Cruickshanks and Siseko Ntondini, who together competed in one of the toughest river races, the Dusi Canoe Marathon, the widely-acclaimed locally produced film is an adventure drama, which highlights racial tension, inequality and social gaps.

Reviewers have called the film “pure gold” (Independent), and “beautifully shot… the performances nothing short of epic” (Sunday Times). The movie has been well received across the board, with rave audience reviews, several company block bookings and interest from schools, churches and community groups.

Starring Grant Swanby, Lemogang Tsipa and Israel Sipho Matseke Zulu, Beyond the River has been linked to a larger campaign being led by Heartlines, a media NGO that produces and  promotes stories on values-related themes. The campaign, called “What’s Your Story”, aims to use the movie as a starting point to tackle some of South Africa’s deepest divides.

“We live in a world of stereotypes where we treat each other according to the opinions and assumptions that we make. Beyond the River is the perfect example of how, through getting to know each other’s stories, we can come together and break these stereotypes,” says Japhet.

Beyond the River will be available on Box Office for R40 per download, and will retail in major stores, including Takealot and Loot, for R159.99. It will also be available for rental from local DVD stores from July 14.

“Whilst we are keen for as many people as possible to see this film, the DVD is for home use only and not for public screenings,” says Japhet.

“People wanting to use the film for larger audiences should contact Heartlines directly. We also have discussion guides that people in workplaces, schools and faith-based organisations can use to take conversations further beyond the film.”

Public viewings in PE/Nelson Mandela Bay
Churches, high schools and tertiary institutions in Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay — where the story-telling initiative has taken off — which have not yet seen Beyond the River are invited to host a public viewing at the very special price of R 1 000 per viewing (Normal price R 2 500). There are no limits as to the number of people who may attend the viewings. This special deal will enable groups to show the movie on either Blu Ray, DVD or flash drive depending on their projector and media set up.

What’s Your Story campaign coordinator in PE Glen Weiss says: “In addition, Heartlines material and resources to roll out the nation-building What’s Your Story initiative are also available together with some conversation-starter questions coming out of the movie.”

For more details or to make a booking, churches and learning institutions in PE / Nelson Mandela Bay can contact Glenn Weiss at glenn@storehousechurch.co.za or 041-368 5485

More info on the film is available at: www.beyondtheriver.co.za and Facebook: Beyond The River movie

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