The gripping crime drama of Ellen Pakkies’ life, which will be released in local cinemas on 7th September, was honoured with three big awards at the annual kykNET Silwerskerm Festival this past weekend.
Watch the trailer here:
Jill Levenberg (Genadekans, Noem my Skollie, Suidooster), who plays the role of Ellen – a mother that killed her drug-addicted son out of sheer desperation – won Best Actress. Jarrid Geduld (A Lucky Man, A Boy Called Twist, Black Sails), who stars as the troubled Abie Pakkies, was awarded Best Actor for his efforts.
“There are no words to describe how I feel. Thank you to M-Net, kykNET, Silwerskermfees and everyone involved in this film. Thank you to Aunty Ellen for being so brave to share her story with the world. When we are transparent we facilitate mutual healing. Please support the film when it releases in cinemas on 7 September 2018. The international community is recognizing our work, but we need the South African public behind us”, says Jill Levenberg.
Jarrid Geduld says: “I feel incredibly proud to be given this award. My spirit feels lifted. My soul is grounded. I can only thank God for choosing me to be on this journey”.
Amy Jephta walked away with the Best Script Award and the film also received various other nominations at the festival. ELLEN, THE ELLEN PAKKIES STORY was produced under the watchful eye of acclaimed director, Daryne Joshua (Noem My Skollie), in association with producers, Schalk-Willem Burger and Paulo Areal, with input from Ellen Pakkies herself.
ELLEN, THE ELLEN PAKKIES STORY, is already a hit with overseas audiences and was showcased at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, as well as the 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) in the USA. The film delves into the inner psyche of a family ravaged by drugs in one of the most dangerous communities in South Africa. A scourge that extends beyond the Cape Flats and highlights a systematic failure to protect the poorest of the poor.
Clint Brink (Binnelanders), Ilse Klink (Stroomop, Isidingo), Elton Landrew (Suidooster, Dryfsand) and Russel Savadier (The Wild, Isidingo, Black Sails) can also be seen in the film.
This motion picture was produced in collaboration with M-Net, kykNET Films, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and The Moving Billboard Picture Company and will be distributed by Filmfinity (Pty) Ltd. The film opens on 7 September 2018.
In 2007, the death of 20-year-old Abie Pakkies caused a stir in South Africa and the world. The most heart-wrenching part of the case was that the murderer was his mother, Ellen. In taking on the case, advocate Adrian Samuels was determined to prove that Ellen Pakkies had no choice. But what compelled her to stop seeking help? How does a mother become so desperate that she takes her own son’s life?
Told across two timelines, ELLEN, DIE ELLEN PAKKIES STORY is the harrowing account of a woman put through the penal system, tried for murder and driven by an unflinching love for her son. The film delves into the psyche of a family destroyed by drugs, in one of the most dangerous local communities. A scourge, its consequences reach far beyond the Cape Flats and highlights the systematic failure to protect the poorest of the poor.
Ellen Pakkies still lives in the same house in Dover Court, Lavender Hill, where the murder took place. She not only formed and integral part of the development and making of this film, she also opened her home and her heart and shared her story with us, so that we can share it with the world.
We decided to film as much of the film on location, where the actual events took place. From Ellen’s house and Abie’s room (where the murder took place), to the magistrate’s court in Wynberg and the infamous Pollsmoor Prison. Great care was taken to show these places for what they are in an attempt to get viewers to truly experience this world – the world of the Cape Flats and Ellen Pakkies.
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*Press release, information and images with permission from MS Publicity.