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The PRIZE “AVIFF Cannes 2013 – Angel Orensanz” Winner: Thomas Dorman § Ronnie Belcher, Film: “The Lovers”

The Lovers:
Transcending the boundaries of a love story, The Lovers transports viewers into a post-apocalyptic setting redolent with classic 1920s styling. A man and a woman explore their relationship within a metaphorical context, hinting at the art of René Magritte through a Dali-esque landscape. The film leads viewers using elements of Surrealism. Stark cinematography and symmetrical framing add to a picturesque experience. The story remains open to individual subjective interpretation without compromising a strong narrative element.


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BlackMilk Productions was started in 2008 as a collaboration between aspiring filmmakers Thomas Dorman and Ronnie Belcher.
KiTTY KiLL was the first fruits of their labours, this award-winning short film that features intricate animated illustrations opened doors for the team, and attracted much favourable attention from other industry professionals who could see that something special was happening. In 2009 Este Kira jumped on board, bringing with her a keen eye for Production Design, and years of film industry experience. In 2010 the BlackMilk crew had gained another member in Leon Visser who brought his considerable cinematographic and technical skills to this already dynamic team.
Through the years their abilities and skills have grown beyond all expectation as they continually tackled more demanding projects, thus constantly broadening their horizons.
BlackMilk has solidified into a strong, organized and uniquely creative production team with strong relations with various specialized service providers within the South African film industry.


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Thomas Dorman co-writes and co-directs all BlackMilk projects. He also heads up all animation requirements.

After completing his studies in commercial art and design, he started out as a graphic designer and has won two international design awards. In the interim, Thomas has achieved the position of creative director at an advertising agency.
Photography is one of his other creative outlets and his work has been published in various magazines, both locally and abroad, including one small seed, Marquis, Kultur and Bizarre magazines.

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Ronnie Belcher co-writes and co-directs all BlackMilk projects. He also oversees all sound design requirements.

After studying art and jewellery design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, he travelled through Europe, increasing his love for culture, before establishing himself as an award-winning jewellery designer back in South Africa.
Music, however, is also one of his passions, and some of the bands he has been involved with included Alchemy, Gramlich, Fraustration, Revellus and, at present, as drummer for Terminatryx and Th’ Damned Crows. His musical abilities are considered as masterful as his visual art.
Photography is one of his other creative outlets and his work has been published in various magazines and newspapers.

Leon Visser shoots and edits all BlackMilk projects. He also participates in the writing process.
His love for moving images began in high school while working in the local video store. After completing his studies in film and working freelance for a couple of years, he joined Magic Hour Productions. He focused on filming & editing short films and music videos, which he earned him numerous awards, including best film (Izingwe, 2009) and best editing (Die Stilte, 2008) at the SA Horrorfest in 2009. After that he joined the The Ginkgo Agency as a video editor & colourist.
For Leon everything revolves around film and photography.

Estè Kira is the Production Designer for BlackMilk and she also co-writes.
She studied Make-Up Artistry and Special Effects but soon made the transition to Art Department where she discovered and continually explores the profound impact that Production Design has on a film. Este has been working in the Film Industry in Commercial’s, Music Videos, Feature Films and TV for the past 8 years. During this time she has gained extensive experience working with directors such as the legendary Clint Eastwood, French director Jan Kouen and many more. Recent music videos she has worked on include The Parlotones ‘Save your best bits’ and Spoek Mthambo’s ‘Control’.
Este is a passionate artist, sculptor, writer, poet, performance artist and filmmaker. Somehow all her passions always leads her back to her first love, namely film.