Paul Kruger of Hartiwood Films and Deepend Films’ Paulene Abrey have commenced pre-production on Beyond Reasonable Fact, a possible three-part documentary series exploring the events leading to the tragic Valentine’s Day killing of Reeva Steenkamp by Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.
Hartiwood Films and Deepend Films have acquired the film and documentary rights from Pan Macmillan South Africa to Mandy Wiener and Barry Bateman’s best-selling book Behind the Door, on which the documentary will be based. Wiener and Bateman will also collaborate with the filmmakers on the documentary, providing their unique insight into the tragedy.
“Having reported on the Oscar Pistorius trial for EWN and international news outlets, Mandy Wiener and Barry Bateman, the first journalist on the scene of the shooting, are ideally positioned to guide us in the telling of this story,” says Paul Kruger. “While their book will form the factual basis for the documentary, our intention is to examine the personalities involved in a holistic way to try to understand what led to the tragedy.”
The producers have secured exclusive interviews for the content, but will reach out to all parties in an effort to humanise all of those involved. “Our objective is not to re-examine the facts presented at trial, but rather to work backwards and examine the last seven months of their lives and the choices they made during that time,” says Paulene Abrey. “The more we delve into this period, the greater the number of irregularities we find in the choices that both of them made.”
The tragic events of Valentine’s Day 2013 have warnings and lessons for all of us, and exploring these factors is the driving force behind Beyond Reasonable Fact. “We have to look beyond the facts presented at trial, examine the intricate family relationships and the personality types of the dynamic young lovers in order to understand how this came about,” says Abrey. “There is something of Romeo and Juliet in their relationship, but neither of them could possibly have realised this or known of the tragedy that stalked them.”
Shooting on the documentary will commence in the second half of 2016.