Friday, prescription 7 November 2008: Filming of the long awaited HEARTLINES television series Hopeville started in Waterval Boven in Mpumalanga this week.
Set to be screened over a six-week period on SABC 2 in late February 2009 the series continues the HEARTLINES’ tradition of using television to tell stories that will get the nation talking, search thinking and acting on good values.
In 2006 HEARTLINES made headlines when its series of eight films on values, broadcast over eight weeks on SABC, sparked a nationwide discussion on values. The films, which received critical acclaim and have won many international awards, reached over 7.3 million people and led to at least 4.5 million values related conversations.
Hopeville is being produced by award-winning production house Curious Pictures – which also produced HEARTLINES’ eight film series. It tells the moving story of one man who has the courage to do what is right, living his values.
Says HEARTLINES Executive Director Dr Garth Japhet: “Through the Hopeville series we want to promote values-based action that will support the development of our youth specifically by restoring recreational facilities, promoting mentorship programmes as well as literacy and libraries.”
Starring Jody Abrahams, Desmond Dube, Fana Mokoena, Themba Ndaba and Terry Pheto, Hopeville tells the story of Amos, who makes a new start in a small town, trying to make the best of his situation as a single dad and recovering alcoholic. Through the restoration of the town’s swimming pool, Amos reconnects with his son, and finds the courage to live out what he believes, creating a ripple effect that impacts on the community at large.
According to Curious Pictures Executive Producer Mariki van der Walt the picturesque town of Waterval Boven forms a perfect backdrop for the series.
“We are very excited about this project. The first week of filming has been very successful,” she says.
According to Dr Japhet the six weeks that Hopeville screens will be used to encourage all South Africans to live their good values, creating ‘6 weeks of values in action’.
HEARTLINES is an NGO that started in 2002. It uses the mass media (radio and television) and training materials to help people live their good values, thereby addressing key social issues.
The reason that Heartlines emphasizes values is because unlike other initiatives which tend to tackle behaviour change from a health, legal and human rights perspective, HEARTLINES goes to the root cause of behaviour, namely values. HEARTLINES challenges people (irrespective of gender, age or religion) to live out positive values in a way that will build people, families, communities and the nation.
In 2006 HEARTLINES developed a series of 8 short films– which screened on SABC 2. This period – ‘8 weeks, 8 values, 1 national conversation’ – was very successful: the 8 films reached over 7,3 million people, resulted in over 82,000 additional acts of caring for people with HIV/AIDS and led to at least 4,5 million values related conversations.
The eight film series, which was produced by Curious Pictures, also won many major local and international awards, including:
Three South African Film and Television Awards: Producer Mariki van der Walt and Director Angus Gibson won the Best Movie for TV Movies award, Patrick Mofokeng, who played conflicted father Solomon Sithole in one of the eight films walked off with the Best Actor in a TV Drama award, while Megan Gill won Best Editor in a TV Drama for her work on the movie.
Best South African Feature Award at the Durban Film Festival
Best Dramatic Feature Award at the Byron Bay Film Festival in Australia in 2008
The Good Provider, one of the films in the eight film series was awarded at the 2007 BANFF World Television Awards
Special Recognition Award at the 2007 New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival
Remi Creative Award at the 2007 Houston World Fest
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE/ Sony D-Cinema Award at the 2007 Skip City International Festival in Japan
Awarded Best feature Film at the 2007 Baja California Film Festival in Tiajuana, Mexico
For more information please contact:
Claire Taylor, 072 341 3898, email@example.com
Hopeville will screen for six weeks on SABC 2, starting Tuesday 24 February 2009 at 19h30.