Magazine article Screen International

Fortissimo Picks Up Dornford-May's Breathe

Magazine article Screen International

Fortissimo Picks Up Dornford-May's Breathe

Article excerpt

Fortissimo Films has acquired worldwide rights outside South Africa to Mark Dornford-May's Breathe Umphefumlo, which will premiere Out Of Competition at the upcoming Berlin film festival.

The film transports Giacomo Puccini's opera La Boheme to contemporary South Africa and includes songs in Xhosa, one of the official languages of South Africa.

Dornford-May previously directed U-Carmen, which gave the same treatment to Bizet's Carmen and won Berlin's Golden Bear in 2005.

Produced by South Africa's Advantage Entertainment and Isango Ensemble and the UK's Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME), the film is written by Dornford-May and Pauline Malefane with musical direction by Mandisi Dyantyis.

The story follows a group of artists, writers and actors struggling to survive in the township of Khayelitsha, which has high rates of tuberculosis, in common with 19th Century Paris, the original setting of La Boheme. …

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