Lina and Leo releases online
Inspired by an Annie Leibovitz portrait of William Burroughs buried in a desert up to his shoulders, “Lina and Leo” is a quirky 20-min film, written and directed by Yolande Botha and produced by The Brave Cartel. Due to film festival requirements, the film has not been available online until now.
The film is about struggling middle-aged journalist, Leo (Jeroen Kranenburg), who is hot on the trail of a hugely successful but recluse surrealist artist for his next big story. Known only as “NJ”, the artist clearly doesn’t want to be found and Leo experiences one bizarre thing after another in the strange little town where his search has taken him.
Says Botha, “Even though the film is offbeat and has elements of surrealism at times, its theme is universal. It’s really about survival and what different people are willing to do to survive.”
The film was shot in and around the Karoo town of Barrydale with a small, dedicated crew. Cinematographer on the film was three-times SAFTA-winner, Felix Seuffret, whose graphic composition gives the film its artistic look throughout. Features editor, Paul Speirs, edited the film.
Nominations and awards
Its bluesy, laid-back soundtrack was provided by RiaanSmit and the Crimson House Blues band, for which the film won Best Use of Music at the 2016 Independent Mzansi Short Film Festival (IMSFF). It was at the IMSFF that it also received nominations for Best Original Screenplay, Best Short Film, Best Editing, Best Production Design and Best Sound Mixing and Editing. Morné Marais of Sound Surgeon is responsible for the rich soundscape that adds humour and drama to the film.
The film screened at various festivals including the Durban International Film Festival, the Indie Karoo Festival, Short&Sweet and the Cine Pobre festival in Mexico, and will be screening at the upcoming Jozi Film Festival. It was also screened in Barrydale at its neighbouring Smitsville, to share it with the community that was involved.
The Brave Cartel is not a traditional production company but a collaboration of different people being pulled in on different film and branded content projects. It was founded by Botha as a way to combine her 14 years’ experience as a copywriter and creative director in advertising with her passion for filmmaking. She completed her BA Honours in scriptwriting and directing at AFDA, Cape Town, in 2011.
Although she has, since its completion, finished other short films, including the twice-SAFTA-nominated When We Were Kids, Lina and Leo is her first professional film and her biggest production to date. Says Botha, “Film making is definitely not for sissies. You have to really love it and want to be in it for the long run to keep motivated. Thanks to the helping hand of some incredible people, this film was made possible.”
Writer/director: Yolande Botha
Producers: Cate Uys
Executive producer: Ebrahim Mia
Director of photography: Felix Seuffret
Editor: Paul Speirs
Sound design: Morné Marais
Colour grade: iKraal
Supporting roles: Anna Capraro, JarridGeduld, Trude Gunther, Billings Siwila and Karl Oslo