Upcoming local film KROTOA has already made waves around the world. The film has already won eight coveted awards, including an Award of Excellence at the International Film Festival for Women, Social Issues and Zero Discrimination; a Best of Show at the Depth of Field International Film Festival; a Platinum Award at the International Movie Awards; a Diamond Award at the Filmmakers World Festival; a Best of Show at the IndieFEST Film Awards; an Award of Excellence Special Mention: Women Filmmakers at the Accolade Global Film Competition; a World Platinum Award at the World Woman Awards and an award for Best Film at the Harlem International Film Festival held in New York. Now, ahead of it’s official South African release, the official trailer has dropped everywhere – and it’s made me so excited for the film.

This remarkable drama tells the story of a feisty, bright, young eleven-year old girl (Charis Williams), who is removed from her close-knit Khoi tribe to serve Jan van Riebeeck (Armand Aucamp), her uncle’s trading partner. She is brought into the first Fort, established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652. There she grows into a visionary young woman, who assimilates the Dutch language and culture so well that she rises to become an influential interpreter for van Riebeeck, who became the first Governor of the Cape Colony. KROTOA (Crystal-Donna Roberts) ends up being rejected by her own Khoi people and destroyed by the Dutch, when she tries to find the middle way between the two cultures.

The film is, naturally, based on real-life events which makes this story even more captivating. “KROTOA’s story was created by a crew of dynamic women. It was imperative that her story not only be told by creatives from the community, but also from a female perspective. This feature film is the culmination of three years of research, scripting and, most importantly, actively engaging with top historians on the subject,” Director Roberta Durrant says. “In comparison to men, very few women have been acknowledged for having an impact on South African history. KROTOA (Eva) is the tragic heroin of this movie. It is not only important to tell her story because of all her great achievements, but it is also necessary to highlight that she was caught between two ways of life and constantly forced to choose between these two cultures. Identity, a sense of belonging and reconciliation are strong, universal themes in this powerful tale. Especially because the identity of someone, who is in between two cultures, is very relevant in any multicultural society.”

KROTOA will be released in cinemas nationwide on 4 August 2017.

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