Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Chanda's Secrets Film: Take One

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Chanda's Secrets Film: Take One

From Allan Stratton's blog. Allan is currently in South Africa for the filming of his award-winning novel, Chanda’s Secrets (Annick Press).

Arriving on set was a blast. Everywhere I looked I saw the characters from Chanda's Secrets come to life. In all cases, their spirit was what I'd imagined. In other cases, the actors even looked as I'd pictured them. I'll leave those of you who know the book to tell me which actors you think most closely match their characters. (I'd really love to hear your impressions.)

But first, here's the director, Oliver Schmitz, an ex-pat South African living in Germany. (He fled to avoid the apartheid draft.) He's well-known in Germany and has shown frequently at Cannes, but is perhaps best known here for being part of the director's collective (including the Coen Brothers, Sam Rami et al) that did Paris je t'aime. I first met Oliver several years ago in Berlin on a reading tour for Chanda's Wars. He struck me then as absolutely straightforward, committed, sensitive, and intelligent. (My thought at the time: And he works in film???)

Oliver laughs that he and his crew started the shoot discussing technical matters in German. But unfortunately, German sounds like German. As a result, the entire cast thought they were constantly angry. At them. So Oliver banned German from the set and everyone now speaks English which most people, whose native dialects are Tswana, Ndebele and Africaans, can understand.

Okay, then. to the actors. For those of you who don't know the book, the key thing to remember is that it's about the love of family, the fear of stigma, the pain of bereavement and the courage to live with truth. Lillian, Chanda's mom, develops HIV/AIDS, and Chanda is left to raise her little brother and sister. So the chemistry between them is vital.

Read the rest of Allan's blog entry, "Chanda's Secrets Film: Take One" HERE.

Read about Allan arriving on the set his blog entry, "Filming Chanda's Secrets: On Location at Last."

Read a Ten Questions interview with Allan Stratton here.

Watch a trailer for the book, Chanda's Secrets.

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