Fried Barry Rapid lion film festival

Film poster.

SA horror film ‘Fried Barry’ generates buzz ahead of Rapid Lion film festival

The highly anticipated sci-fi/horror ‘Fried Barry’ is set for its local premiere at Rapid Lion 2020 this Friday, 13 March.

Fried Barry Rapid lion film festival

Film poster.

The Rapid Lion film festival will play host to a highly anticipated South African horror project. The fifth iteration of the festival will showcase a diverse selection of works.

Fried Barry at Rapid Lion 2020

One of the highlights of the festival is Fried Barry. The movie is a unique take on the horror sci/fi genre that has received acclaim when it made it’s international debut recently.

In addition, the feature-length film is an adaptation of the award-winning eponymous short film by acclaimed director, Ryan Kruger.

The film will make it’s South African debut at the RapidLion festival on 13 March 2020. Fried Barry is like nothing else to emerge from South African cinema before and promises to be a festival high point.

If, somehow, the trailer hasn’t grabbed your attention, do take note that the cult-style genre movie has been nominated for five awards at Rapid Lion, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Lead Actor.

The film arrives at Rapid Lion after a very successful world premiere at Cinequest film festival. Cinequest has played host to projects by the likes of Harrison Ford, Elle Fanning and James Franco.

Fried Barry was the only African film represented on the festival program this year receiving positive reviews re-affirming it’s potential to become a cult classic.

In conversation with director Ryan Kruger

With South African movies, up until fairly recently, there tended to be certain kinds of movies that were made over and over again and did fairly well. Fried Barry is certainly unlike anything we’ve seen produced in South Africa before.

We asked Kruger if this is a sign of our cinema industry maturing and adapting to the emergence of so many young talented storytellers and how excited are you about the future of South African cinema.

A first of its kind for South Africa

Kruger explained that Fried Barry is “definitely the first of its kind to come out of SA,” and adds that it doesn’t fit into what we normally produce in South Africa.

He explains that “the industry needs to adapt and grow”. Even though South African films are getting better, most South Africans would still rather spend money on the latest American releases showing in our cinemas.

Perhaps because moviegoers in South Africa are tired of the same old movies with the same old stories gracing our screens?

“Most South Africans have a bad taste in our mouths for our own films. We don’t support our films enough here. […] We need to start making fresh original content”. 

Fried Barry’s cult status and fan base

I mentioned that a strange thing happens with cult movies: As they gain relative popularity, they sometimes alienate their original fans who first loved the films, and wanted to know if Kruger feels a responsibility to the die-hard fans of the shorts, and if he had any worries while adapting those short stories to a feature? 

“I wanted to make a film that’s different, a film people won’t forget. A film that, whether you like it or not, you will speak about it in great detail. I truly believe it will break the mould in the industry. We just had our world premiere in America and they went crazy over it.”

In fact, Kruger explains that Americans loved Fried Barry so much, many people said it could easily become a cult classic. He adds that it is now “up to South Africa whether they want the industry to grow or not”. Either way, Kruger thinks it’s time for change.

Watch: Ryan Kruger showreels

Director showreel 2016

Commercial showreel 2016

Fried Barry was born from a short 3-minute experimental he made back in 2017. The short has built up a cult following since then and gained hundreds of thousands of views across platforms and over 100 examples of Fried Barry fan art.

“I feel that any more Fried Barry content is welcome and there are no worries about adapting those stories to a feature. Apart from the short, our online marketing with character memes have had people checking out the short and learning more about the feature. 

Fried Barry plot and cast

Ryan Kruger directs the outlandish story of a heroin addict who has his body hijacked by an alien visitor. Kruger, who is a celebrated music video director, takes the helm of this, his first feature film:

“Fried Barry is a first for South Africa, and it’s encouraging to see such great excitement for a film that is so different from the rest of South African cinema”.

The local and international cast includes Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Black Sails), Sean Cameron Michael (MacGyver, 24) and Chanelle De Jager (The Widow, Outlander).

Gary Green plays the title-role with his distinctive features and grasp of the character, making him and his character a possible future horror icon.