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The Price of Sugar

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  • Director
    Jean van de Velde
  • Release
    2013
  • Producer
    Richard Claus & Co., PV Pictures
    Paul Voorthuysen, Richard Claus
  • Visual effects supervisor
    Dennis Kleyn, NVX
    Albert van Vuure, NVX
  • Compositing
    Albert van Vuure
    Dennis Kleyn
    Frank van der Peet
    Kimberley Klaiber
  • Vfx coordination & planning Planet X FX
    Violette Kleyn
  • Additional visual effects South Africa
    Broadbean VFX
    Fir Suidema
    Jeremy Hattingh
  • Release
    26 september 2013, the Netherlands
  • Running time
    film: 120 minutes
    TV series: 4 x 50 minutes
  • Format
    Shot in RED in 5K
  • D.O.P.
    Giulio Biccari
  • Editor
    Job ter Burg, NCE
  • Facility
    Searle Street Post Production
  • Grading
    David Grant

‘The Price of Sugar’ is the screen adaptation of Cynthia McLeod’s successful novel of the same name. It tells the story of two half-sisters in eighteenth-century Suriname, the white Sarith and her personal slave Mini-Mini. While Sarith grows embittered by the harsh life in the colony, Mini-Mini gets a chance at happiness. Can she and will she dare to grab that chance – , at the expense of her mistress and half-sister?

As the present-day Surinamese landscape doesn’t contain enough original elements consistent with the film’s era, ‘The Price of Sugar’ was predominantly shot in South Africa, after which visual effects were added to more than 250 shots by Planet X in collaboration with the South African company Broadbean VFX.

The African landscapes were transformed into a ‘digital Paramaribo’ by adding digital elements like houses, mills, tropical vegetation and even historical ships, which were shot specifically for this film. In several shots, present-day landscape elements were removed to heighten the film’s realism.

‘The Price of Sugar’ was the opening film at the Dutch Film Festival (NFF) 2013. For their VFX contribution to the film, Planet X has been awarded the 'Special Jury Award' during the first Dutch VFX Award organized by the VNAP (Society of Dutch Animation Producers). This initiative hopefully leads to an official award ('Gouden Kalf' or 'Golden Calf') during the NFF (Dutch Film Festival) in coming years.