The relatively young distribution arm of Tribeca Enterprises, Tribeca Film, just grabbed the US rights to The Big Bang Club in what may prove to be it’s biggest acquisition to date. Tribeca will be theatrically releasing the film, which had it’s world premiere at the recent Toronto International Film Festival, in the second quarter of 2011, as well as on video-on-demand, and other platforms. The character-driven drama was written and directed by South African Steven Silver, who exec-produced Shake Hands With The Devil and another 2010 TIFF premiere, Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie.
Gist: With a B-list cast of Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman, Taylor Kitsch, Neels Van Jaarsveld and Frank Rautenbach, The Bang Bang Club was the name given to four young photographers, Greg Marinovich, Kevin Carter, Ken Oosterbroek and Joao Silva, whose photographs captured the final bloody days of white rule in South Africa and the final demise of apartheid. The film, based on the page-turning book of the same name, tells the remarkable and sometimes harrowing story of these young men – and the extraordinary extremes they went to in order to capture their pictures.
Worth Noting: Many scenes where filmed on the same sites upon which the real events occurred. In one scene, the filmmakers decided not to use the original location where 40 people were massacred. While filming, a woman came out of her home and started screaming. The new location was the site of an even larger massacre, where 150 people had been killed. Silver told Reuters, “This woman walked out of her house and she walked out into a flashback, to an image she had seen 15 years ago.”
Do We Care?: It’s good to know that, much like Sundance, Tribeca will be offering it’s impressive slate of films to audiences on multiple platforms, as we missed the film at TIFF. As for another tale of the lonely photojournalist abroad, let’s hope The Big Bang Club lives up to it’s predecessors Salvadore and Before The Rain or better yet, Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern’s docu The Devil Came on Horseback.