Cape Town production company ZenHQ has launched "True Films" a new feature film initiative which will focus exclusively on true South African stories that can cross international borders. An initial slate of three films will be packaged for back-to-back productions during late 2008/2009.

ZenHQ is currently accepting submissions from both South African and international writers and filmmakers. Scripts must be polished, in standard script format, and ready for production. All genres are being considered provided stories are well written and based on a true South African story.

"If it's intriguing, unusual, insightful, inspirational, or funny it will be considered", says ZenHQ founder Chris Roland. "I am particularly interested in stories where the main character does a one hundred eighty degree flip or has strong convictions, ala The Last Emperor, Phenomenon and American History X."

Roland has been involved in several true stories, including Hotel Rwanda, which revolved around Rwanda's genocide, and Stander, about notorious police detective Andre Stander, who robbed banks and investigated his own crimes.

The first of the three films has already been selected. Beyond the Light Barrier is based on the controversial life of Elizabeth Klarer. Adapted from the book, which has been optioned by ZenHQ and is written by Roland, Klarer claimed to have lived on another planet where she gave birth to a child.

"What I like most about Elizabeth's story is her unwavering conviction, not just in her otherworldly claims, but in all aspects of her life."

The three films, which have a total budget of R45 million, are being financed as a package. To bolster sales and secure financing, international name actors will join South African cast in some lead roles.

ZenHQ is both producing the slate and handling worldwide sales. ZenHQ will consider a co-production with another South African production company, but is reluctant to set the slate up as an international co-production. The slate is timed to be released around the 2010 World Cup when the world's focus will be on all things South African.

Submission criteria and guidelines can be found on ZenHQ's website at

Source: ZenHQ