An idea born out of a bronze sculpture seen in Simonstown in the Western Cape was the inspiration for local film maker Karen Van Schalkwyk’s pilot for a trilogy of short films. With

The adventures of Supermama
assistance from the Gauteng Film Commission the first 10 minute movie is complete and had its premiere on the 6th of August.

Director/Writer and Producer Karen Van Schalkwyk explains. “Once I saw the sculpture which depicted a lady dressed in a Superman outfit the idea grew on me. I decided to do a story based on a local hero called Supermama who essentially acts the role of Superman and changes into her own home sewn costume to fight crime and corruption in South Africa. I wrote the script, pulled in film makers and shot a pilot at the end of 2005.

I took the pilot to Sithengi two years back and presented to the SABC who rejected it. Undeterred I took the pilot to Ster Kinekor and presented to Helen Kuun who liked the concept and indicated her support, but required that we re-shoot on a format suitable for theatrical release. With the assistance of my co-writer and producer Damon Berry we drew up a proposal which was based on a trilogy of short films. We had a distribution deal in place with Ster Kinekor, and based on this we approached the Gauteng Film Commission who agreed to assist with funding. Without this support we would not have been able to proceed.

We then re-shot in and around Johannesburg with a huge amount of assistance from the local industry. We cast Mavis Magayeyana as Supermama who has tremendous charisma – imaging being on the streets of Johannesburg dressed in a Supermama outfit – this required charm and courage! The three Tsotsi’s Nkosinathi Ndlovu, Bongeziwe Mabandla and Tema Sebopedi were also great.  The DOP was Marius Van Graan and the post production was completed at The Video Lab”.

Part 1 of The Adventures of Supermama will be released on 7th September at Ster Kinekor as a ‘Bonus feature’ with selected films. It will run for a month. It has also been accepted by the Apollo Film Festival, and is in the pipeline for Woman of the Sun and ‘Off the Shelf’ and there will be township screenings at the end of August. Parts 2 and 3 will be shot back to back in 2008 for release in the same year.

Van Schalkwyk concludes. “I would like to thank everyone involved in this production, those whose faith in this project made it all happen. It gave me the opportunity to learn a tremendous amount about film making, copyright and humour. Go and see the movie…”