Cape Town - Now in its 66th year, the Dusi Canoe Marathon, the biggest paddling event on
the African continent, kicks off on Thursday, February 16.
WATCH the movie trailer HERE
Dubbed as one of the world’s
toughest river races, the three-day long race, which runs along the Msunduzi
and Mgeni rivers, over a total distance of 120km, is set to feature in
a locally produced film, Beyond the River, which hits the big screen on April 28 this year.
Inspired by the true story of Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks, who
together won gold in the 2014 Dusi, Beyond the River delivers a nail-biting
adventure story about the triumph of the human spirit. The film stars screen
legend, Grant Swanby (Blood Diamond, Mandela-Long Walk to Freedom and Invictus)
as Steve, and Lemogang Tsipa (When We Were Black, Traffic! and Jab), who makes
his debut lead role as Duma.
Duma is a talented young man who feels trapped by his circumstances and finds
himself on the wrong side of the law. After another near miss with the cops,
Duma is forced back into the world of canoeing, and in so doing his passion and
dream to paddle the Dusi is reignited. When Steve’s long-time partner decides
to paddle with someone else, he is stuck without someone to complete his 15th
Dusi and possibly win his 10th gold medal. After some convincing, he agrees to
give Duma a shot. But there are a few things they must overcome - one is
struggling to break out of a life of crime and poverty - the other is dealing
with a marriage on the verge of collapse. Somewhere along their journey, both
on and off the river, their lives change forever.
Written and directed by Craig Freimond, the beautifully shot film, which
showcases some of South Africa’s spectacular KwaZulu-Natal landscapes, is
produced by award-winning film makers Heartlines, the Centre for Values
Promotion, and Quizzical Pictures. The movie has been funded by the National
Lotteries Commission, the Department of Trade and Industry, the National Film
and Video Foundation and the KwaZulu Natal Film Commission and sponsored by
Discovery Health, Vodacom and Adreach. Two books, published by Pan Macmillan;
Beyond the River, adapted from the film and part of Heartlines’ What’s Your
Story book series and Confluence, Cruickshanks’ true story of his journey with
Ntondini, will be released alongside the film.