Paula van der Oest is directing the English-language romantic epic about South African poet Ingrid Jonker (played by Carice van Houten).

Bavaria Film International has taken on worldwide rights to Black Butterflies and will show first footage and start sales on the project at the Cannes Film Festival.

Paula van der Oest is directing the English-language romantic epic.

The film is based on the true story of Apartheid-era South African poet Ingrid Jonker, who is played by Carice van Houten. Liam Cunningham plays the love of her life, and Rutger Hauer plays her oppressive father.

Producers are IDTV Film (The Netherlands) with Comet Film (Germany), Spier Productions (South Africa) and Cool Beans (The Netherlands), in association with Riba Film International (The Netherlands).

The film’s principal photography wrapped recently in South Africa and it is expected to be delivered in the autumn.

Black Butterflies has strong political implications, but it is above all a deeply affecting film about the universal human urge to stand up against injustice and a tenacious woman’s fight to find her true voice and to follow her own destiny. I am thrilled to be working with such a stellar cast, an immensely talented director, and experienced producers on a film with such broad international scope,” said Thorsten Ritter, Head of Bavaria Film International.

”This is a very important project for us, both artistically and commercially, and we are very happy that Black Butterflies found a home in Bavaria’s prestigious line-up”, added Frans van Gestel, who is producing alongside Richard Claus, Michael Auret and Arry Voorsmit.