Interview with Filmmaker Corrine Sandler (CRY, ME BELOVED COUNTRY)

CRY, ME BELOVED COUNTRY, 62min., Documentary
Directed by Corrine Sandler
How South Africa went from a Cry for Freedom to CRY, MY BELOVED COUNTRY. An inconceivable story told in a feature length documentary about a South African Emigrant, Corrine who grew up in the Apartheid Regime in the 1970’s. Corrine returns to her birth country 30 years later with her Canadian children. Together they embark on an emotional journey back to her homeland. Their journey takes them into the heart of past and present-day conflicts in a country ravaged by corruption.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I originally wrote the script almost 16 years ago, it was very different to the final narrative. I wanted to tell the story about growing up in South Africa through the eyes of a white child.
I also had a deep desire to create a documentary film, my genre of choice in film. I believe there are so many stories to be told that can be influential and educational – a beautiful entertaining way to learn about the world and help the many people.
I travelled to South Africa with my children and decided to start capturing video for my eventual documentary film, however on arrival and through the journey there was a different story to be told and so Cry, my beloved country was born.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

Surprising it was very fast; the script was re written on my return and I worked daily with my technical editor to get it done. The entire film was produced in approximately 4 months.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Shattered Motherland

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

There were many places in South Africa that filming was not allowed, but I wanted to capture the essence of the destruction and the fight of Nelsons dream. We had to hide cameras in many places.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was truly exhilarating for me to hear the comments and reviews. The way the story was interpreted and the fact that the narrative was engaging and most important educational.
The emotion I felt was clearly conveyed through the film and the audience felt my pain, that was incredible to see.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I guess I always wanted to tell stories, but I landed up going into Market research and telling stories based on data. As I said this film has been waiting for 16 years to be made and now that it’s my debut film – I am ready for more.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?


8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I would love to meet other film makers and have the opportunity to showcase my film in theatre with an invited guest list; and have a Q and A session after. I am looking to raise money for my next film, so meeting potential byers would be great

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?


10. What is your favorite meal?

Norwegian Smoked salmon with capers and lemon

11. What is next for you? A new film?

Yes, I have already written the script. My films will all have a strong sociocultural focus on countries where peoples culture, ethnicity and values have been depressed and their fight for freedom needs to be voiced. I want my films to highlight people plight. Politics and greed has destroyed many beautiful cultures. We all deserve to live in a free society, freedom is my core value and everyone in our world should have the power or right to act, speak or think as they want without hinderance or restraint. At the very least practise their beliefs.

Stay tuned… it’s going to be eye-opening.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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