Left to Right: The Game of Life, Vusi Nhlapo and Michael Rix
One of Gauteng�s latest feature films, The Game of My Life, was recently showcased at Cannes, where it was taken by its producer Michael J Rix of Johannesburg�s Mirror Mountain Pictures.

Rix, who produced the film written and directed by Vusi Dumisani Nhlapo, said he �was trying to market it in Cannes to an international audience, although it was intended primarily for a local, specifically township market.

�I didn't screen it over there, but was just trying to get the word out. There are a lot of buyers interested in African features who have requested screeners, so we will see where it goes from here. I know our major market is back home though,� explained Rix on his return from the world famous film extravaganza.

The Game of My Life is about finding one�s destiny. �Sometimes we are disappointed with the way our lives turn out because we have fixed ideas of what we need to accomplish, but we never take a step back to appreciate all the unexpected things we have accomplished along the way,� explains Rix.

He adds: �Most movies tend to focus on heroes who have accomplished something that the rest of us think is extraordinary, for example becoming a football pro, but there's seldom recognition for the everyman who faces everyday adversities and wins, even though he may have been forced to give up on other 'bigger' dreams. We wanted to create a feel-good film for the masses, who may not be rich and famous but can still be proud of what they've managed to accomplish in life.�

The Game of My Life is a dramatic comedy and Rix describes it as �very real, at times sad, but at the same time consistently funny.� He explains that though the actors are not classically trained, they came with previous experience in various short films produced in their neighbourhoods, thus they �all did really great jobs - very natural.�

Seventy minutes long, the film was shot in seven days primarily in Duduza township to the east of Johannesburg, �because this is where Vusi is from. We also pooled most of our cast and crew from here. The locations are 100% authentic, which obviously adds a sense of realism to the film,� explains Rix.

He further comments that the main challenge during the shoot was time as the budget was really low: �We had to move really quickly to get it all in the can.�

As always, financing is a big issue and with The Game of My Life it posed the biggest challenge. �We weren't working on a large budget and funds were sourced through private investors, who now all own a percentage of any profits we make. It's the same model I used for my previous project, Tengers.� (note: Tengers was South Africa�s first clay animated movie).