Kanarie Spreads its Wings at Local & International Festivals and Screenings
With the countdown to the South African release of Christiaan Olwagen’s Kanarie on 19 October ticking towards single digits, the film has been receiving critical acclaim at a host of local and international film festivals.
Having already scooped five awards – including ‘Best Feature Film’ – at the kykNET Silwerskermfees in Cape Town in August, Kanarie was honoured with the Jury Award for ‘Best Narrative Feature’ at the 36th Reeling Film Festival in Chicago, late in September. Kanarie received critical acclaim at its screening at the 31st OUT on Film Festival in Atlanta, Georgia on 30 September and was honoured with the Jury Awards for ‘Best International Film’ and ‘Best Narrative Feature’ and as runners-up in for the Audience Award for Best International Film. The film was also part of the Official Selection at the 2018 OutFest in Los Angeles, as well as the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival.
The film will be released nationwide in South Africa on 19 October, with more international screenings to follow: at NewFest: The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival and OUTShine Film Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – both on 27 October – and the 2018 Inside Out Ottawa LGBT Film Festival in November. The film continues to tour the festival circuit in 2019, with a stop down under at the QueerScreen Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney in February.
About the Movie
Set in South Africa in 1985 against a backdrop of apartheid, religion, and war, Kanarie follows a teen boy, Johan Niemand (Schalk Bezuidenhout), who has always been bullied in his small town for his flair for British new wave music and love of Boy George. After he gets called on by the military and auditions for the Canaries (the South African Defence Force Church Choir and Concert Group), he believes the choir will be his ticket out of fighting the war, but he begins to see the role he plays in the oppression and injustice around him. On tour, he develops feelings for a fellow Canary and he starts to question everything he knows about himself, leading to a confrontation with his commanding officers. Kanarie is a love story. A film about finding individuality in a world of the oppression and uniformity.
Kanarie stars Schalk Bezuidenhout, Hannes Otto, Germandt Geldenhuys, Gerard Rudolf, Jacques Bessenger, Ludwig Binge, Francois Jacobs, De Klerk Oelofse, David Viviers & Andrico Goosen. The film was co-written by Christiaan Olwagen & Charl-Johan-Lingenfelder and produced by Marche Media.