Cape Town - Two men from vastly different
walks of life are brought together by their determination to win gold in one of
the toughest river races in the world, the Dusi Canoe Marathon.
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 locally produced, proudly South African movie will hit cinemas on Freedon Day, Thursday, April 27.
Starring 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. Other cast members include Israel Sipho Matseke
Zulu, formerly Makoe (Yizo Yizo, Tsotsi
and Gaz’lam), Emily Child (Shirley Adams and Village Voices), Mary Twala (Beat
the Drum and Lucky), Kgosi
Mongake (Invictus, The Bang Bang Club
and Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom)
and Garth Breytenbach (Black Sails
and Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom).
After another near miss with the law, 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 a partner to complete
his 15th Dusi and possibly win his 10th gold medal. After
some convincing, he agrees to give Duma, or
‘helicopter’ (an old nickname given to him because of his speed in the water),
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.
Brought to the big screen by Heartlines and Quizzical Pictures, the
movie was written by Craig Freimond and Robbie Thorpe, directed by Freimond and
produced by Thorpe, Harriet Gavshon and Ronnie Apteker. The beautifully shot
film showcases some of South Africa’s spectacular KwaZulu-Natal landscapes and
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. With sponsors Discovery Health, Vodacom and AdReach, Beyond the River is a must see for the
whole family. 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.