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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Fundraising walk for Whiplash, a film on abuse of women, children

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, former Deputy Minister of Health, members of NGOs and project supporters will accompany local filmmaker Meg Rickards as far as Woodstock Police Station, as Rickards walks 26km from the Cape Town City Hall to Muizenberg, dressed in a petticoat and with painted-on bruises. (video)
This performance art piece, on the eve of Women's Day, is to build support for a film that Rickards is directing to help break the silence around the abuse of women and children. The Whiplash team is collaborating with South Africa's online crowdfunding website Thundafund. Due to the difficult subject matter, Rickards has decided to look at innovative ways of raising the necessary finance, whilst also building a community around the project.

The film is based on the award-winning novel by Cape Town author, Tracey Farren.

Whiplash tells the story of Tess, a prostitute whom, as a child, a close family member has repeatedly abused. As a young adult, she is battered and raped. When Tess discovers she is pregnant, she is ambushed by shocking memories and has to face her buried shame to learn to live, dance and love. "This film challenges the pervasive culture of abuse and violence in South Africa head-on," says Rickards, "and is ultimately a story of redemption."

The story and the camera

"As a woman, mother and filmmaker, I feel compelled to act against one of the most devastating plagues in our society using the tools at my disposal - the story and the camera. By bringing Whiplash to the screen, we hope to make a contribution to changing hearts and minds through the power of narrative, and to challenge the culture of impunity around rape."

The aim of the walk is to create a community of interest around the production of the film, as well as to attract financial support for the film via the local crowd-funding platform Thundafund. The project already has the backing of the National Film and Video Foundation and the Department of Trade and Industry. However, the filmmakers need to raise the last 30% of the budget - an additional R1 million - before shooting can start.

Producer Jacky Lourens says, "The aim of our appeal is to solicit donations from a large number of people. Donations start at R100 and everyone who backs the project will get something in return. The rewards are designed to draw people into the filmmaking process - to visit the set, watch the rough cut and even be in the movie. Contributors can go to Every contribution will be acknowledged."

Filming will start in March 2015 and the film will launch on Women's Day, 2015. It will also be s part of a public awareness campaign with screenings and discussions being held in schools, prisons, civic and religious organisations.

The walk begins on Friday, 8 August 2014 at 7am outside the Cape Town City Hall and will proceed along Main Road with an estimated time of arrival at 3pm at Surfer's Corner, Muizenberg.