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Sunday, November 13, 2016


(Film maker Judy Naidoo on location filming “Hatchet Hour”)

Hatchet Hour, a Ladybug Films production which recently scooped the Best Foreign Film Award at the LA Femme International Film Festival, has opens in selected South African cinemas, presented by the National Film & Video Foundation in association with The Department of Trade & Industry and M-Net.

Based on an original screenplay by Sofia de Fay, Hatchet Hour is written by the swiftly-rising independent South African film-maker, Judy Naidoo, in collaboration with Salah Sabiti, and directed by Naidoo. The film stars Erica Wessels, Petronella Tshuma and Adam Croasdell.

A fiery lawyer, Belle (played by Wessels), mistakenly believes her gardener, Amos, to be an assailant, and shoots him dead. Belle decides not to report the accident, and rather to take her chances in the legal system. She assumes that her brilliant career, as well as that of her legendary lawyer father will be ruined if the courts find against her and charge her with manslaughter. She must get rid of the body and all evidence of the crime.

“This story is an interesting exploration of how far ordinary people are willing to go to keep things in their life on an even keel, and if at all any of our actions can come without consequence,” says director Naidoo. “Is all good rewarded, and all bad punished? In a cynical world, is there such a thing as karma?”

Naidoo says that her intention for Hatchet Hour is to take an audience from the comical to the tragic in 90 minutes. “I want audiences to find humour in the witty cynicisms, and more importantly, laugh at themselves for laughing at the taboo subject matter,” she says. “We laugh at death precisely because we fear it”.

Hatchet Hour’s production credits list Judy Naidoo as producer, with Barbara Snell as supervising producer, Anna Walton as line producer. Production design is by Chantel Carter, and costume design by Glynnis Harris. Other key credits include Tom Marais (Director of Photography), Warwick Allan (editor) and Brendan Jury (composer).

Hatchet Hour screenings in Durban are at Cine Centre, Suncoast, and at Nu Metro, Pavilion. In Guateng screenings are at Nu Metro, Menlyn Park, Nu Metro Clearwater Mall and at Montecasino’s Movies@. In Cape Town screenings are at V & A Nu Metro and Canal Walk Nu Metro.