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The Cost of Sugar to open Netherlands Film Festival

by Lisa Paravisini

Director Jean Van De Velde’s 18th Century Suriname epic was chosen to open the Netherlands Film Festival on the 25 September 2013, reports. A period film about the personal stories running through the horror of slavery in the Dutch colony of Suriname, the film was shot in Zinkwazi on the North Coast of Natal, as well as at historic locations in Stellenbosch and at the Castle in Cape Town.

Shot and post-produced in South Africa, it is a co-production between Cool Beans and PV Pictures (Netherlands), Comet Films (Germany), Spier Films (South Africa) and VARA a Dutch Boradcaster.
This is the third co-production between Spier Films and European producer, Richard Claus of Comet Films. Previous collaborations include the film Black Butterflies (Best Film at the Netherlands Film Awards, Best Film at the South African Film and Television Awards and Best Actress at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011) and The Heineken Kidnap.

The Cost of Sugar was created with the support of Netherlands Film Fund, CoBO, Spier Arts Trust and Slavery Foundation. Entertainment One Benelux will handle theatrical distribution in the Netherlands.
Spier Films, Michael Auret says “This is an extremely well crafted film in the same vein as Django Unchained and the new Steve McQueen film, 12 Years a Slave. It is good that Europe, and particularly the Netherlands, are also now taking ownership of this part of their history. I want to congratulate Jean Van De Velde and my fellow producers Richard Claus and Paul Voorthuysen who have invested so much time and energy in bringing this to the screen. I also want to thank all of our wonderful crew for their tireless efforts and amazing creativity and skill.”

The film was crewed by a number of Spier Films collaborators.
It was shot by South African cinematographer, Giulio Biccari, (Luther, Black Butterflies, U-Carmen eKhayelitsha). The films production was designed by BAFTA award winning Darryl Hammer (Black Butterflies, The Girl, The Heineken Kidnap), Wardrobe was designed by Rae Donelly (Black Butterflies, Heineken Kidnap), hair and makeup was provided by Raine Edwards (Black Butterflies, Safe House, Zulu) and it was all Line Produced by Gail Overton (Verraaiers, Layla Fourie).

“We are proud as the Zulu Coast Film Office (ZCFO) to see productions that have been filmed in our Northern Coastal region of KwaZulu-Natal being showcased on global film industry platforms and can only hope that this will attract more filmmakers to make use of the opportunity of exploring the Northern Coastal region of KZN as the “Ultimate Film Destination.” says Noxy Mavundla, head of the Zulu Coast Film Office
“Our beautiful region has recently played the roles of Ancient Rome, St Helena, Miami, Hong Kong, Paris and California. I am excited to see historic Suriname added to the list.” adds Denis Lille, chief executive officer of the Cape Film Commission.

[from repeating islands, October 1, 2013; For the original report go to]

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