International film distribution confirmed for Oscar nomination SA director 

Gravel Road Distribution Group has secured global sales rights for Oscar nominated, South African filmmaker Darrell Roodt's next romantic film project, 'Greytown Girl', ahead of filming in July this year (2022).

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Gravel Road Distribution Group is slated to begin production later this year for the upcoming film, ‘Greytown Girl’, yet the highly anticipated romantic film has already secured international sales rights with Durban-based producer Rani Sitaram, who penned movie alongside Rose Cortes. 

The biopic will be directed by Oscar nominated South Africa filmmaker Darrell Roodt, most well-known for his 1992 film ‘Sarafina’, which starred legendary American actress Whoopi Goldberg.

‘Greytown Girl’ depicts the true life story of a small town South African girl, Meena, who was abandoned as a baby with physical limitations, and goes on to build her life with tremendous bravery.

Through the romance of letter writing, she falls in love and a cross-continental love story begins. Set in the 1960s Apartheid South Africa, the film builds up to the liberation of the nation as well as Meena’s self realisation and self-love.

“What I love most about Greytown Girl is its authenticity. You can hear the characters come to life on every page,” said Roodt, adding: “This is because Meena’s story is a true story, and so are the characters in it. They steeped in culture, which provides depth and richness beyond the image.”

“I chose to partner with a distributor with a proven track record of supporting diverse voices, supporting the feminine, and that provides sustainable success to films in the marketplace,” said Rani Sitaram, producer of ‘Greytown Girl‘.

Durban-based Rani Sitaram is set to produce Darell Roodt’s next romantic film ‘Greytown Girl’.

“Gravel Road is the leading distribution company on the continent and a beautiful story like ‘Greytown Girl‘ deserves the best team,” she added.

“Including powerful themes of resilience, fear, courage, sisterhood, sacrifice, self-identity and empowerment and discrimination, ‘Greytown Girl ‘will have broad global appeal, particularly to female audiences” said Benjamin Cowley, CEO Gravel Road Distribution Group. “I’m looking forward to taking this premium local production to the world,” he added.

The production boasts a multi-ethnic group of characters and is based in the vibrant South African context, creating a rich tone. Casting is currently under way.

Production is scheduled to commence in July 2022, with theatrical and VOD release set for 2023. Gravel Road will manage international sales, and distribution across Africa.  

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Roodt was behind the first local film nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language 2004 film, ‘Yesterday’. Roodt has made close to 50 feature films to date, notably ‘A Place of Weeping‘ (1986), produced and marketed internationally by the globally renowned Anant Singh, who’s behind leading SA TV shows, including ‘Imbewu‘ and ‘House of Zwide‘.

He’s also behind numerous genre orientated films for the foreign market, including  include ‘Blood City‘ (1987), ‘Father Hood‘ (1993), ‘Cry The Beloved Country’ (1995), ‘The Second Skin’ (2000), ‘Pavement (2002)’, ‘Dracula 3000‘ (2003) and ‘Prey‘ (2007).


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