KROTOA is just as remarkable and unforgettable as the historical heroin this impressive film is based on. It has already managed to conquer the hearts of international film lovers and critics, and is set to be an even bigger hit with local audiences. This film, which has not yet been released in South Africa, has already received six official selections at international film festivals, like the International Film Festival for Environment, Health, and Culture, World Film Awards, Artemis Women in Action Film Festival and the Nashville Film Festival.
It has also won seven sought-after awards, including an Award of Excellence at the International Film Festival for Women, Social Issues, and Zero Discrimination, a Best of Show Award at the Depth Of Field International Film Festival, a Platinum Award at the International Movie Awards, a Diamond Award at the Filmmakers World Festival, a Best of Show Award at the The IndieFEST Film Awards, an Award of Excellence Special Mention: Women Filmmakers at the Accolade Global Film Competition and a World Platinum Award at the World Woman Awards.
Women are often depicted as fragile and vulnerable. Therefore, the impact they have had on our country’s history, is seldom remembered. Society characterizes heroes as being strong ‘warrior types’, who use violence, physical strength and weaponry to defend their country. But what about all the women, who had to sacrifice their lives for this nation? KROTOA is one of these women, whose impact is often forgotten, and this motion picture is about her. The film will be released during Women’s Month, and is the perfect way to celebrate the lasting impression women have had on the South African nation.
Krotoa inspired by historical fact tells the story of a feisty, bright, young eleven-year old girl, who is removed from her close-knit Khoi tribe to serve Jan van Riebeeck (Armand Aucamp), her uncle’s trading partner. She is brought into the first Fort, established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652. There she grows into a visionary young woman, who assimilates the Dutch language and culture so well that she rises to become an influential interpreter for van Riebeeck, who became the first Governor of the Cape Colony. KROTOA (Crystal Donna Roberts) ends up being rejected by her own Khoi people and destroyed by the Dutch, when she tries to find the middle way between the two cultures.
KROTOA, written by Kaye Ann Williams and Margaret Goldsmid, was created by a dynamic team of women, with acclaimed filmmaker Roberta Durrant as director and producer. Roberta is the creator of various award-winning South African television series, including Ring of Lies, Home Affairs (nominated for two International Emmy Awards and as Best Drama at the Banff Film Festival), Montana, Izingane Zobaba, Sokhulu and Partners (nominated for an International Emmy Award and as Best Drama at the Africa Magic Awards), Shreds and Dreams, Saints and Sinners, Zbondiwe, Isikizi and Forced Love; as well as sitcoms like Sgudi Snaysi, Going Up, Madam and Eve (won a Rose Award for Best comedy at the Golden Rose Awards in Lucerne), SOS, Fishy Feshuns, Going Up Again, Mazinyo dot Q, and Stokvel. She is also responsible for the children’s film, Felix, which won seventeen international film awards, while other productions like Inside Out, Skilpoppe and Ingoma were also very well received. Ingoma won six SAFTA Awards in 2016. She is also the producer of the new kykNET drama, Sara se Geheim.
“In comparison to men, very few women have been acknowledged for having an impact on South African history. During the struggle, women like Ruth First, Lillian Ngoyi, Bettie du Toit and Sophia Williams-du Bruyn stood their ground in the fight against the apartheid government. However, if we dig into South Africa’s rich history, we discover that there were other indigenous females – who contributed to the change and development of our great nation – even before the sisters who were involved in the struggle. KROTOA (or Eva – a name given to her by the Dutch) is the tragic heroin of this movie. It is not only important to tell her story because of all her great achievements, but it is also necessary to highlight that she was caught between two ways of life and constantly forced to choose between these two cultures. Identity, a sense of belonging and reconciliation are strong, universal themes in this powerful tale. Especially because the identity of someone, who is in between two cultures, is very relevant in any multicultural society,” says Durrant.
Crystal Donna Roberts, known for movies such as Endless River, Die Ongelooflike Avonture van Hanna Hoekom and Skeem; as well as television series like 7de Laan, Montana, Vallei van die Sluiers, Getroud met Rugby, Boland Moorde and Byl, plays KROTOA, while SAFTA acclaimed actor, Armand Aucamp – who is renowned for his work in Ballade vir ’n Enkeling and Die Boekklub – portrays the role of Jan van Riebeeck. Jacques Bessenger, Doen Lotz, Marcel van Heerden, Roeline Daneel, Brendon Daniels and Ernest St Clair also star in this critically acclaimed film. Sy word na die eerste Fort geneem, wat in 1652 deur die Oos-Indiese Kompanjie gevestig is. Hier word sy groot as ’n visionêre jong dame, wat die Nederlandse taal en kultuur so goed verstaan, dat sy ’n invloedryke tolk word vir van Riebeeck – die eerste goewerneur van die Kaapkolonie. Krotoa word egter op die ou einde deur haar eie Khoi-mense verwerp en deur die Hollanders vernietig wanneer sy probeer om ’n middeweg tussen die twee kulture te vind.
KROTOA is a striking tale about a woman, who was prepared to sacrifice everything, to give birth to the great nation we all share today. It not only has a powerful message, which anyone can relate to, but also promises to take moviegoers on an epic adventure back in time.
KROTOA was produced by the SAFTA Award-winning film company, Penguin Films, in association with kykNET, the NFVF and the DTI. The film will be released in cinemas, nationwide, on 4 August 2017, and is distributed by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment.