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American Cinematographer: An Angry Young Man
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Neil Young
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Tsotsi made its U.S. debut last fall at the AFI Fest, and Miramax Films began releasing it in the States late last month. It was South Africa’s submission for this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Gewer was recently invited to discuss his work at the Camerimage Film Festival, where Tsotsi was screened in competition with 14 other features from around the world. “Many of us who worked on Tsotsi had been in the industry for a long time, searching for a film like this,” he says. “When it came around, we just knew — we didn’t know how great it would be or that it would achieve what is has achieved, we just knew it would be a great film to make. It’s an opportunity I’m completely thankful for and humbled by.

“It was definitely the most difficult film I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding,” continues Gewer. “Every setup was intense emotionally; there were no cutaways or simple establishing shots. Fortunately, the actors were incredibly good, our producers had real respect for the medium and didn’t hold us back, and our director had a very strong visual sense and knew how to tell a story collaboratively. The movie required of all of us everything we had to give, and making it had a profound effect on everyone. The spirit and energy were tangible every minute we were on set; one didn’t have to look through the camera to feel it. We knew we were making a really good film that would be important for a long time to come.”


Super 35mm 2.35:1

Moviecam Compact
Zeiss, Angenieux and Canon lenses

Kodak Vision2 100T 5212,
Vision2 200T 5217, Vision2 500T 5218

Digital Intermediate

Printed on
Kodak Vision Premier 2393 and Vision 2383

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© 2006 American Cinematographer.