Social issues - Pre-Production 2016

A Plastic Surgeon must confront his secret life when he meets a rural boy who hides his disfigured face behind a wooden mask.

    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Social issues, Drama
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • AFRIKAANS, Other
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Jan LAMPEN
    • Writer(s)
    • Jan LAMPEN
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • Die Masker or the boy in the mask is the story of a PAUL TRUTER, a Plastic Surgeon who sells youth and beauty to rich middle-aged women. But his professional fame and material success mask a dark secret. Paul is addicted to autoerotic asphyxiation. The only time that he feels truly alive is during those precious seconds of climax combined with suffocation. Two things happen that shatter Paul’s world: His wife catches him masturbating in the bathroom and his father, the local GP in Louis Trichardt, is felled down by a stroke.

      When Paul returns to the family farm he meets a 12-year-old Venda boy called MPHO, who wears a wooden mask. At the age of 3, Mpho fell into the fire and burnt his face beyond recognition. To hide his monstrous wounds, ZWANGA his Grandfather carved the mask. It is at this point of the film that the universal themes of the film emerge: We all wear masks to find acceptance. We wear masks to hide our fears, insecurities, wounds, and obsessions. We are so good at pretending that we BECOME our masks. In the process, we forget who we are.

      Both Paul and Mpho will be required to drop their masks if they want to step into the world with a renewed sense of integrity and authenticity. There are several obstacles: Grandfather believes Mpho is his creation and resents the fact that another carver (Paul) will replace him. The Boy in the Mask requires from Paul something he is incapable to perform: An unselfish deed. To do something, not for money, prestige or power, but out of love.

      We meet Paul’s mother NELL TRUTER who started an embroidery club to uplift Venda women.
      It is true that her husband DENNIS had an affair 30 years ago. It is true that she turned to 12-year-old Paul for comfort at the time. Nell has no idea that Paul felt betrayed and humiliated when she took Dennis back. She does not know that Dennis’s best friend sexually molested him or that Paul’s complicity in the act was spurred on by revenge and a deep sense of guilt. Nell can’t connect with this grown up child of hers. He shows no interest in Mpho. He seems heartless.

      Nell knows only one remedy. She tells him 4 Venda stories. These stories deal with alienation, rejection, hurt, longing, joy and love. Nell’s stories also tie up Mpho and Paul’s common dilemma. They are both monsters. They both wear masks. They’re both in search of who they really are. Nell is the one that offers them, through the Ma-Lappies club and the Venda stories, a roadmap that leads to beauty, truth and healing.

    • Partners & financing
    • African TV Rights - MNET
      QSAPE on South African DTI rebate - TBC in April 2016
    • Production schedule
    • Pre Production - March 2016 to October 2016
      Principal Photography - 31 Oct 2016 to 5 Dec 2016 - 5 Weeks
      Post Production - Nov 2016 to March 2017 - 20 Weeks
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Oct 31, 2016
    • End of shooting
    • Dec 05, 2016