Oliver Hermanus’ latest film offering, Moffie, has been invited to premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.

Moffie is the second film by seasoned director Hermanus, and only the fourth South African film in the festival’s 76-year history to receive an official invitation to Venice. A previous Hermanus film, The Endless River, became the first South African film to vie for the Golden Lion in 2015. Hermanus’ acclaimed gay drama Skoonheid was awarded the Queer Palm at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, with his first film, Shirley Adams being nominated for the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film festival in 2009.

Based on André-Carl van der Merwe’s memoir of the same name, Moffie tells the story of a young South African conscript embarking on his military service in 1981. The film stars Kai Luke Brummer in his first lead performance, together with a cast of 16 other young actors, many making their feature film debut.

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The casting process for Moffie kicked off as far back as October 2017. Our first round of casting was held in Cape Town and Johannesburg and this was when we first saw our lead, Kai Luke Brummer. Over the course of a year, Kai would audition for three different principal roles before being chosen as Nicholas in late 2018. In early 2018, we opened up the casting process to the public. We were inundated with responses and saw some great young talent. Out of the near thousand hopefuls who auditioned, we discovered Matthew Vey and Rikus Terblanche, both high school students. Pictured here is Kai Luke Brummer who plays the role of Nicholas van der Swart. 📷: ​Daniel Manners. . . . #moffiefilm #castandcrew #behindthescenes #productionprocess #casting

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Speaking about premiering at Venice, Hermanus said, “I am so honoured to return to Venice. The head of the festival, Alberto Barbera, has been such a wonderful champion of my work and I in turn am extremely proud of the cast and crew that have been a part of this return to Venice. We really became one big family making this film and it will be a crowning moment to present the film to them in the context of such prestigious occasion like Venice, not to mention the audience of over a thousand people.”

The oldest film festival in the world, the Venice International Film Festival forms a part of the Venice Biennale, and takes place on the Lido in Venice from 28 August to 7 September this year. Moffie will be released in South African cinemas later this year.