Dana Brunetti and two-time Academy Award-winning actor, Kevin Spacey showed their support for one of South Africa’s most promising new film talents at the global Jameson First Shot premiere of Hanneke Schutte’s winning short film SAVING NORMAN, held at Shine Studios in Johannesburg on the 25th of May. Hanneke Schutte, a 37 year-old filmmaker from Johannesburg triumphed in the second year of the Jameson First Shot competition, beating off hundreds of other entries to be named one of just three winners worldwide. Schutte received the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly to Los Angeles to shoot her winning short film, directing Willem Dafoe in the leading role, all with the backing of award-winning production company, Trigger Street Productions. Her short film tells the story of a hypochondriac ex-ping pong player who never got over missing a major tournament final because of a cold.
Creative Director of the competition and star of last year’s winning films, Kevin Spacey commented: “It was a risk for Willem to agree to star in three films before we even had any scripts, but I think his gamble has paid off. We have given another three people the opportunity of a lifetime and produced another three incredible films as a result of the Jameson First Shot competition. Last year was an unforgettable experience for me and being on board as Creative Director this year has allowed me to still be a part of the truly unique opportunity we’re offering to these filmmakers of the future. I’m looking forward to seeing the public reaction when we release the films on Jameson’s YouTube channel and also to the third year of the competition when we’ll have another incredible A-list star for our young, talented filmmakers to direct.”
The premiere, held in one of Johannesburg’s premier locations for creative film production in Braamfontein, was attended by over 250 guests, and saw Akin Omotoso presiding over the evening’s events as host and MC. Guests of honour including the competition’s Creative Director and Hollywood legend, Kevin Spacey, Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe Winner and President of Trigger Street Productions, Dana Brunetti and local winner, Hanneke Schutte all graced the red carpet, along with Nambitha Mpumlwana, Pearl Thusi, Lerato Kganyago, Mimi Mahlasela, Derek Watts, Jen Su and many film industry personalities.
Schutte said: “Jameson First Shot has been the most incredible experience. Willem was such an amazing person to work with; he was incredibly easy to direct and always open to suggestions when we were on set. Last year’s films got millions of views when they were released on YouTube, so naturally I’m hoping for a similar reaction to my film this year. It’s been an exhilarating, inspiring, exhausting, life-changing experience, but it is without a doubt something that I will always, always remember and I want to thank Jameson and Trigger Street for giving me this opportunity.”
Zandile Msutwana and Khanya Mkangisa
Zuraida Jardine and her husband Josh Lindberg