Pakkies story an award-winning film

The true South African story of a mother that killed her drug-addicted son out of sheer desperation has taken the country by storm in its opening weekend.

Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story, opened in cinemas on Friday 7 September with raving reviews from the public thus far.

The movie also scooped several awards at the kykNET Silwerskerm Festival recently, with Jill Levenberg, who plays the role of Ellen, winning best actress and Jarrid Geduld was awarded best actor for his efforts.

“There are no words to describe how I feel. Thank you to M-Net, kykNET, Silwerskermfees and everyone involved in this film. Thank you to Aunty Ellen for being so brave to share her story with the world. When we are transparent we facilitate mutual healing. Please support the film when it releases in cinemas on 7 September. The international community is recognizing our work, but we need the South African public behind us”, says Levenberg.

Jarrid Geduld says: “I feel incredibly proud to be given this award. My spirit feels lifted. My soul is grounded. I can only thank God for choosing me to be on this journey.”

Amy Jephta walked away with the best script award and the film also received various other nominations at the festival.

The film was produced under the watchful eye of acclaimed director, Daryne Joshua, in association with producers, Schalk-Willem Burger and Paulo Areal, with input from Ellen Pakkies herself.

The film is already a hit with overseas audiences and was showcased at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, as well as the 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival in the USA.

The film delves into the inner psyche of a family ravaged by drugs in one of the most dangerous communities in South Africa. A scourge that extends beyond the Cape Flats and highlights a systematic failure to protect the poorest of the poor.