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Interview & Promotion – Terwadkar Rajiv – ‘Free State’ – A Feature Film


Posted March 24, 2016 by

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Interview – Terwadkar Rajiv

Free State is directed by the award winning director Sallas De Jager and in a short time has been selected for numerous film festivals around the world.  Already making a huge splash in its native South Africa, Free State will screen at the Garden State Film Festival in New Jersey. The film stars former model and face of Revlon Nicola Breytenbach, Andrew Govender.

Jeanette is a beautiful open minded law student. She decided to study while her boyfriend is completing his national military service. They are set to be engaged when he returns. During her summer holiday with her father in the Free State a random act of kindness by an attractive Indian man sparks an unexpected love affair. Despite being warned not to act on these feelings she decides to pursue this relationship. Secret meetings followed, since it was against the law at the time to have an interracial relationship. When their secret comes out, it leads to a very tragic turn of events.

This beautiful love story received its US premier at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, it has also been selected for Cameroon International Film Festival, Chennai International Film Festival, Sangli International Film Festival, Kolhapur International Film Festival, Luxor African Film Festival, Vancouver South African Film Festival, Bengaluru Film Festival  and now the Garden State Film Festival in New Jersey.


Interview – Terwadkar Rajiv:

To begin with, tell us about your film ‘Free State’, what is it about?

Free State is a forbidden love story during Apartheid time when Indians were not allowed to enter into Free State! They had to take a permit, which would be valid for 24 Hrs or 48 Hrs & then had to leave Free State before sunset!

There was an immorality Act; which stated that a white person could not have a relationship with anyone of a different race.

So this film is a forbidden love story of young white Afrikaans girl falling in love with a handsome Indian guy!

How did you get involved with the project?

I had a dream to produce a truly cross-cultural & cross border film. I have been arranging a Film Festival in South Africa!

Sallas De Jager won the Best Director Award for African film in IIFFSA 2014. I decided to work with Sallas on an English film to bring my dream into reality. We discussed the storyline, and after a few discussions, we finalized the project ‘Free State’. 

‘Free Sate’ is by directed Sallas De Jager, what was it like working with him?

It was really good working with Sallas! I learnt a lot about different perspectives on filmmaking. I liked his style of filmmaking!

Who are the main stars of the film? Tell us about them…

Nicola Breytenbach (Face of Revlon, a super model from New York), Andrew Govender (Former Mr South Africa 2012), Leleti Khumalo (Hotel Rwanda, Sarafina, Yesterday & Invictus), Deon Lotz (Mandela: Long walk to freedom) & Mangesh Desai (Award winning Actor from Marathi Film Industry).

As a producer, what are your influences in film?

As a Producer of Free State, my role began with concept building and continued with enhancing storyline and attaching many good Actors and an editor for the film.

For any movie, getting the funding is the most important step. I started with my own funding initially and then got investors on board.

Taking the film around the world is also a big challenge; one of my responsibilities was to take the film around the world through Film Festivals!

Now that we have had a great response for a great product, I got World Sales Agents on board and to secure sales in Asian & African Territories.

‘Free State’ has received acclaim from various film festivals, can you tell us about this…

If you have a great product, then all you need is some marketing! We had a great team, all worked hard to make an amazing product. My job was to take that amazing product and take it around the world on the international film festival circuit. Thanks to Sallas (The Director), Tom Marais (Director of Photography) and the entire crew for making that job very easy for me!

The film has been selected in more than 12 International film festivals! 

What is the next step for you? Do you have any other projects in production?

I am working on two projects at the moment: ”The Confession” and “Ubuntu”, both English language movies and inspired by true events in South Africa. 

Any Plans for Hollywood?

Yes, of course! Everyone has a dream to do a Hollywood Movie, I suppose! I would like to co-produce with Hollywood Production Companies for my upcoming films. Right now I am working towards a co-production between Utkarsh Entertainment – a South African Production Company – and a Hollywood production company.


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