April 4, 2019

South African Women Help Take US Short Film, Escala, to 6 International Film Festivals


“Unquestionably an award-winning masterpiece!”

Celebrating women during the month of March, we take a look at the US made short film, Escala. Boasting a 100% female crew, and five South Africans, the film has been selected for six international film festivals since its global premier in July 2018.

The South African ladies behind the scenes include editor, Eileen de Klerk, co-writer, Tammy Anne Fortuin, and sound designer and music editor, Reanne de Klerk. The short also features South African actor, Nick Boraine.

Escala tells the story of Amalia, a teenage violinist torn between tolerating the inappropriate advances from her music instructor and winning the competition of a lifetime to change the future for her and her father. It features South Africa’s Nick Boraine as Dereck; James C Burns as Gustav and Jy Prishkulnik as Amalia.

Escala had its world-wide premiere at the LA Shorts International Film Festival in July 2018.

Shortly after it went onto receive three accolades at the Tops Shorts International Film Festival for Best Editing, an Honorable Mention for sound design, and winning the Inspiring Woman in a Film award that went to Jy Prishkulnik.

It finished up 2018 at the Culver City Film Festival in December,

This year Escala has seen the World-Wide Women’s Film Festival and the Sedona International Film Festival, both in Arizona.

The film was also announced as an official finalist for the Utah Film Festival, being nominated for Best Score (Miriam Mayer) and Best Editing (Eileen de Klerk).

The festival awards will take place in Utah on 6 April 2019.

“The film is only 16 minutes long – so every frame, every gesture, every nuance counts. Often it is more of a challenge and far more intense to communicate a story in a few minutes, rather than the more typical format of a full-length movie or series,”

Says editor, Eileen de Klerk.

“Being part of this amazing production has been the most astonishing journey. The critical acclaim has been extraordinary, hugely affirming and quite unexpected.”

“For us as South Africans working really hard to develop careers in the hugely competitive American film market, we are especially chuffed to have our film, and in particular our individual contributions to the film, being so affirmed by the global film industry.”

Reanne de Klerk concurs.

“It is reassuring that South Africans – and in particular South African women – can find their place in the global marketplace. Our experience and journey in South Africa have set us up to allow us to do what we love with like-minded creatives who have amazing skills, tenacity, vision and commitment to make great work.”

Feedback from Escala

“Escala is a disturbing and absorbing film that pulls you in with fantastic editing and sound design. Every moment is precisely paced in a very cinematic way. The sound is elegant and ethereal, bringing to life Amalia’s moving story,”

said Doobie White, Editor: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Polar

“Escala is unquestionably an award-winning masterpiece. I never thought that a fifteen-minute short film could make such an emotional impact on me… This short film is a must-see for all.”

Utah Film Festival

“A powerful and important film that violates the senses and one’s sense of self. Poignant, gripping, escalatory,”

Charissa Sanjarernsuithikul, Director: LA Hustle, Playing it Straight