Roberto Kyle and Brendon Daniels in ’Sons of the Sea’. Picture: Supplied
Roberto Kyle and Brendon Daniels in ’Sons of the Sea’. Picture: Supplied

Local film ‘Sons of the Sea’ kicks off Oscar qualifying run

By Supplied Time of article published Oct 16, 2021

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South African film “Sons of the Sea” kicked off its Oscar-qualifying run on Friday at Ster Kinekor, Tygervalley.

This is in line with the rules for qualifying films for the upcoming 94th Academy Awards. Films are required to screen in order to qualify for nomination by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Directed by John Gutierrez, “Sons of the Sea” tells the story of Gabriel (Roberto Kyle) who is in the illegal world of abalone trading.

Gabriel, a gifted and virtuous but reclusive teenager from the poor fishing community of Kalk Bay in Cape Town, is pressured by his jaded older brother Mikhail (Marlon Swarts) to steal two bags of abalone from a dead man.

Tracked by corrupt government official Peterson (Brendon Daniels), the boys’ mission to sell the stolen goods takes them through the mountainous region of the fabled Cape of Good Hope, and into a fight for their own survival.

“Sons of the Sea” first screened in March 2020 at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, California.

In August this year the film premiered at the Durban International Film Festival, where it won the Best South African feature film award.

“Sons of the Sea tells a complex South Africa story and we are delighted to promote the film as a contender for South Africa’s submission to the Oscars.

“The performances are excellent, as is the cinematography,” says Helen Kuun, managing director of Indigenous Film Distribution.

Gutierrez was inspired by John Steinbeck’s novel “The Pearl” and the Mexican legend of El Mechudo, the greatest pearl free diver in Baja California, who aims to defend his title by diving deeper than ever before, but is found dead by his friends, with his hand caught in a giant oyster.

Today, the ghost of El Mechudo haunts those who dare to dive for oysters in the Bay of La Paz.

The film is co-produced by Khosie Dali, Imran Hamdulay, David Horler (“Flatland”) and John Gutierrez. It also stars Nicole Fortuin (“Rage”, “Flatland”), supported by Sylvia Esau, Noor Emandien, Lamar Esau, Clark Han-Lung Lin and Chris Mbelembushe.

“Sons of the Sea” is distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution.

“Sons of the Sea” is set to premiere on DStv BoxOffice on November 13.

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