A screenplay inspires a novel before the film is made

The Story of Racheltjie De Beer is one that most South Africans remember from their childhood and soon they will be able to relive those memories as an adaptation of the story gets ready to hit the printing press.

Naledi, the publishing house behind the new Riaan Cruywagen autobiography, have just obtained the rights to publish a novel, in both Afrikaans and English, based on the screenplay of The Story of Racheltjie De Beer, a film that will start production in early 2013.

The novel has been penned by first-time author Brett Michael Innes, the man responsible for the film’s script, and is inspired by the Afrikaans tale of the young girl, Racheltjie De Beer, who’s sacrifice during the 1800’s has inspired people for generations.

“We’ve done everything back to front with this story.” said Innes. “Traditionally a book is written and then the movie is made or vica versa. When Naledi heard that the film was being made, they quickly made contact with me and said that they wanted to release a book based on the script. So I wrote it. The funny thing is that the book will actually be released before the film even heads into production but, if you look at the timeline, the film came first.”

The first draft of the novel is currently being edited while the film is moving full steam ahead into pre-production. The novel has been shortlisted by the IEB as a potential set work for schools to use in 2013 which would mean that, while the movie is being made, students would be reading the story in their classrooms.

“It’s a gripping story with a lot of feeling.” says Cecilia Kruger, one of the researchers at The Heritage Foundation, who is helping with the historical accuracy of the tale. “I was very close to shedding some tears!”

Facebook and Twitter will give readers and movie-goers an intimate glimpse into the progress of both the novel and the film as the artists post up-to-date information on daily development.



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