South Africa will this year host its second-ever pavilion at Cannes, despite the fact that no South African films have been selected for the competition - or indeed any section of the festival.
While the absence of South African movies from everywhere but independent market screenings is largely due to the dearth of local product, there are at least two titles that could have been contenders.
Jason Xenopolous's feature debut Promised Land (right)received very positive feedback from the local industry. But, says producer David Wicht "We're going to hold the film back for Venice. I think that the selection for Cannes this year was slightly commercial and our film is probably better matched for Venice."
Meanwhile director Eubulus Timothy, who self-financed a feature adaptation of Othello was bitterly disappointed at being overlooked, noting that Orson Welles' Othello played the Croisette fifty years ago.
Meanwhile, despite having no films at the festival, South Africa's National Film and Video Foundation plans to have a high profile at the event. Its main objectives are to market South Africa and attract foreign investment and increased possibilities for co-production.
South African that will get independent screenings include, Derailed by Bob Misiorowski, Global Effect by Terry Cunningham, Mr. Bones by Gray Hofmeyr, Promised Land, Slash by Neal Sundstrom, Snake Island by Wayne Crawford, The Piano Player by Jean-Pierre Roux, The Red Phone by Jerry Jameson as well as Sechaba Morojele's short Ubuntu's Wounds, which has been selected as a nominee for America's student Academy Awards.