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Sink - Based on Rachel Weeping by Brett Michael Innes - Wins 5 Awards at kykNET Film Festival

Rachel WeepingThe movie based on Rachel Weeping by Brett Michael Innes, published by Tracey McDonald Publishers and distributed by Jonathan Ball, won five out of nine awards at the 2015 kykNET film festival this weekend.

Featuring Anel Alexander, Shoki Mokgapa and Jacques Bessenger, Sink is a contemporary drama that explores the themes of motherhood, loss and forgiveness through the experience of three victims of a horrible accident. Mokgapa plays Rachel, a Mozambican domestic worker living in Johannesburg who is forced to make a life-changing decision after her daughter dies while under the care of her employer Michelle: return to poverty stricken Mozambique or continue working for the people responsible for the death of her child so that she can keep her home, her visa and continue to support her family.

Things become even more complicated when she finds out that her employers are expecting their first child.

Sink premièred at the kykNET Silwerskermfees this weekend, an Afrikaans film festival held annually in Camps Bay, Cape Town. During the screening the atmosphere in the tent could have been cut with a knife, and as the audience – which included some of South Africa’s film industry’s best and brightest – left the makeshift cinema there was hardly a dry eyes left, and a haunting silence remained as they walked back down the blue carpet.

Nominated for nine awards in total, the Sink cast and crew took home five at the ceremony, held a few hours after the première. These are:

  • Best Original Music, Film – Chris Letcher
  • Best Cinematography, Film – Trevor Calverley
  • Best Editing, Film – Nicholas Costaras and Brett Michael Innes
  • Best Actress, Film – Shoki Mokgapa (Rachel)
  • Best Screenplay, Film – Brett Michael Innes

During his acceptance speech for the Best Screenplay, Innes said:

A question I have often been asked is what gives me the right as a white, single, South African male, private school educated, English speaker to tell the story of a Mozambican mother struggling with the loss of a child and a domestic worker coming to terms with xenophobia; and an Afrikaans businesswoman who has to deal with infertility, motherhood and the role that she played in the death of another woman’s child.

The truth is I had very little right to tell this story, which is why it was so important for me to listen. To hear stories of women who have been in those spaces, the Rachels and Michelles. My background is in documentary film and this involved me travelling from Johannesburg to Sudan, and in those places I met many women who became Rachel, faceless women who have gone through great trials just to see their family in a safe space.

And then, when it came to Michelle, I had the absolute privilege of working with three incredibly talented script editors: Anel Alexander, Corine du Toit and Sandra Vaughn. Women who are strong, fierce, independent and forces of nature. It has been such a privilege to work with them. Not only in the discovery of who Michelle was, but also when it came to forming the story. A script is never written in seclusion and to have all these talented writers come together to help trim off the fat that was there really just made the script and film what it is.

I just want to say that it is an absolute honour to be part of the village that raised this baby.

Sink will be released in March 2016. Follow the film’s progress on Facebook and Twitter to keep updated.


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Image courtesy of Sink Facebook page