Dora’s Peace scores big in the US but battles to ‘win SA’s love’
South African film Dora’s Peace walked away with two awards at the prestigious Boston International Film Festival this past weekend but its cast and director maintain that it has not yet got the recognition it deserves in SA.
Dora’s Peace walked away with a best actress award for Khabonina Qubeka and a special recognition award for director Kosta Kalarytis at the festival‚ ahead of its screening at the Beijing Film Festival later this week.
The film follows Dora‚ a Hillbrow prostitute‚ who shields a gifted young boy from a gang of organised crime lords responsible for the death of his mother. The journey leads her to face her demons. It features Qubeka‚ Hlubi Mboya and Danny Keogh.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE‚ Kalarytis said he was happy with the response the film had been getting in the US.
"American audiences loved the film. It was great! They cheered and screamed at parts of the film. You know‚ it was eight years of blood‚ sweat and tears to finally make this film a reality and to see audiences as in love with the film as I am was the most amazing experience‚" he said.
He added that the film had been recognised by the Joburg Film Festival and South African Film and Television Awards but had not got the same reception locally as it had received overseas.
"I think that in many ways Dora’s Peace got a raw deal. Our local distributors have stressed that the film was a box office success and surpassed expectation‚ but it made only R500‚000 and was shown at only 20 cinemas nationwide. We want more. We need to fight harder for our films because we are not making money in cinemas and the system is against us‚" he added.
Qubeka agreed with Kalarytis’s sentiments and wondered if South African audiences were ready for such an emotional film.
"Local audiences and distributors really didn’t give it a chance. I feel like SA is sometimes scared to feel and face the harsh realities of life‚ when they are portrayed in films‚ and that could be the reason why we have not got as much recognition as we had hoped. We are still trying to win SA’s love‚" she said.