Stam (The Tree)

Louw Venter, South Africa, 2019

75 minutes, Afrikaans/Isixhosa/English with English subtitles

Chantal, a homeless addict, leaves her young son Jonah behind while she goes off to turn a trick for Cassie, a misogynistic businessman on a sex and drugs bender. Before leaving Jonah in their shelter below a bridge, Chantal promises to be back soon. Meanwhile Dawid, a young Afrikaans policeman, wakes up next to his Muslim girlfriend Samiah, a young nurse who suspects she may be pregnant with his baby. Samiah craves a picture-perfect life, but Dawid, struggling with his own demons, shies away from the commitment of marriage. Dawid meets up with Cassie, his older brother, who begs Dawid to appease his estranged wife, Izzie, on his behalf.

DIRECTOR'S BIOGRAPHY

Louw Venter, a celebrated actor and screenwriter, is a co-creator of the cult comedy TV series The Most Amazing Show which proved pivotal to the rise of the Zef-culture movement in South Africa. In 2014 he wrote and acted in Konfetti, an award-winning film based on his hit play the Best Man’s Speech. His performance won him the Best Actor award and Best Screenplay nomination at the Silwerskerm Festival in 2014. He also received the 2015 SAFTA Award for Best Actor in the television drama Swartwater. Louw recently completed his directorial debut Leemte; a precursor to The Tree.

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