Shoki Mokgapa as Rachel in Sink
Shoki Mokgapa as Rachel in Sink. (Image: Sink - Movie on Facebook)

Sink, in which a Mozambican domestic worker living in Johannesburg faces a heart-rending dilemma following the death of her child, has been named in the official lineup for this year's Atlanta Film Festival.

The annual 10-day festival, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is one of the largest, longest-running and most prestigious independent film festivals in the United States, drawing an audience of almost 25 000 film fans to see the best in new independent film making from across the globe.

Chosen from nearly 5 000 submissions

Sink was chosen, along with 50 other feature films and 100 short films representing 37 countries, from nearly 5 000 film submissions for the 2016 festival, which runs from 1 to 10 April.

Written and directed by Brett Michael Innes and based on his novel Rachel Weeping, Sink tells the story of a Mozambican domestic worker who is forced to make a life-changing decision after her daughter dies while under the care of her South African employer.

Filming on location in Johannesburg
Filming on location in one of Johannesburg's leafy upmarket suburbs. (Image: Sink - Movie on Facebook)

Things become even more complicated when she finds out that her employers are expecting their first child, forcing all three to try to find a way to live with the tragic accident that pulls them together even as it threatens to tear them apart.

'Uniquely South African - and universal'

"We are thrilled to have been selected for Atlanta, and hope that this is just the start of the film's journey to international festivals", Innes said in a statement following the announcement of the festival's official selection on 29 February.

"While Sink is a uniquely South African story, it is also a universal one that could have played out in Los Angeles with a Mexican domestic worker, London with a Russian cleaner, or Sydney with a Vietnamese immigrant."



The film stars Shoki Mokgapa (The First Grader, Judge Dredd, Long Walk to Freedom) as Rachel, Anel Alexander (Faan se Trein, Semi-Soet, Discreet) and Jacques Bessenger (Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling, Wolwedans in die Skemer, Verraaiers) as her employers, along with Amalia Uys (Double Echo, Sy Klink Soos Lente) and six-year-old Asante Mabuza (The Last Face).

'To see you cleaning up after them makes me sick'
'To see you cleaning up after them makes me sick' - Vuyelwa Booi (the artist Maria), Vera Ephraim (Tapiwa) and Shoki Mokgapa (Rachel). (Image: Sink - Movie on Facebook)

Vuyelwa Booi, Diaan Lawrenson, Siyabonga Radebe, Sandra Vaughn, Corine du Toit, Siyabonga Radebe, Hanli Rolfes, Leandie du Randt, Mandi Baard, Sarahann Doherty du Plooy and Vera Ephraim round out the cast.

Best Actress award for Mokgapa

The film was produced by Johan Kruger, Anel Alexander and Brett Michael Innes and had its first outing at the 2015 kykNET Silweskermfees in Cape Town, coming away with 5 awards - Best Actress (Shoki Mokgapa), Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Original Score.

Critic Leon van Nierop described it as "a giant step forward for Afrikaans film".

Sink is in English and Afrikaans (with English subtitles). Distributed by Times Media Films under their Fresh Flieks banner, it opens in South African cinemas on 18 March.

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission