Chakra Announcements

Film Festival Award for South African Film

by Amala Gaura das

Posted March 19, 2006

Local Documentary wins Hare Krishna Oscar
My Hare Krishna Family, a 48-minute documentary directed and produced by local film-makers Frank Opperman and Denise Slabbert won three awards at the first Hare Krishna Film Festival in Mayapur, India on Saturday night. This film was first aired on SABC2 during August 2005 and has subsequently been rebroadcast during February 2006 as well as appearing on SABC Africa.

The film tells the story of Frank and his relationship with his younger sister Yvonne - a Hare Krishna devotee. The documentary follows the story of Yvonne Opperman (aka Ila Devi Dasi), her Ghanaian husband - Shastra Das and their little son (and Frank's nephew) Ramananda Raya. The documentary was shot on two locations. The first location being Frank's home in Melville, Johannesburg, when his family comes to visit from Ghana. The other location is a rural village, outside Accra - when Frank visits his Hare Krishna family in West Africa.

Opperman says, 'It's a real honour to have won the awards, not only for best film but for best soundtrack and script as well. A highlight of this production is the soundtrack which consists of a number of songs from a band of street children from Kenya called Little Gokul, and it's great that they have been recognised as well'

Producer Denise Slabbert says that expanding the audience across our borders is a real bonus. 'I think its incredible that My Hare Krishna Family has received recognition as far away as Mayapur, one of the holiest places in India. To get accolades from the international Krishna community for a documentary with a totally independent voice is praise indeed.' she says.

Yvonne Opperman and Shastra Das recently left Ghana and are now living in Mayapur (some 150km's from Calcutta) - they were on hand to collect the awards on Saturday evening. 'It was really nerve-wracking' says Yvonne Opperman, 'There were over 4000 devotees and I was really nervous.' She says that the South African devotees attending the awards were very pleased at the outcome of a local film winning the Hare Krishna 'Oscars'.

My Hare Krishna Family was produced by Darling Lama Productions in conjunction with Mafisa Media.

The Production Team

Director / Narrator - Frank Opperman
Producer - Denise Slabbert
Director of Photography - Piet Snyman
Editor: Tiny Laubscher.

Produced By Darling Lama Productions/Mafisa Media