Meg Rickards is planning to celebrate Womens’ Day in an rather unusual way: she plans to  walk 26 km from the Cape Town City Hall to Muizenberg, dressed in a torn petticoat and with painted-on bruises.

Why will she be doing this? Richards hopes this statement will help break the silence around child and woman abuse, and build support for Whiplash, the hard-hitting film she ‘ll be directing, based on the award-winning novel by Cape Town author, Tracey Farren.

Richards will be marching with Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, former Deputy Minister of Health, as well as members of NGOs and project supporters.

The march starts at 7.20am on Friday outside the Cape Town City Hall. The march route will be along the Old Main Road and will end at approximately 15:00 at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg.

To raise funds for Whiplash, Richards has a campaign on local crowdfunding site Thundafund, with the aim of raising R1 million for to cost remaining costs for the film.

Whiplash tells the story of Tess, a prostitute who, as a child, has been repeatedly abused by a close family member.  As a young adult, she is battered and raped.  When Tess discovers she is pregnant, she is ambushed by shocking memories, and has to face her buried shame to learn to live, dance and love.  “This film challenges the pervasive culture of abuse and violence in South Africa head-on,” says Rickards, “and is ultimately a story of redemption.”

The aim of the march is to create a community of interest around the production of the film, as well as to attract financial support for the film via the local crowd-funding platform Thundafund.  The project already has the backing of the National Film and Video Foundation and the Department of Trade and Industry.

 “The aim of our appeal is to solicit donations from a large number of people.  Donations start at R100 and everyone who backs the project will get something in return.  The rewards are designed to draw people into the filmmaking process – to visit the set, watch the rough cut and even be in the movie”, says Jacky Lourens, the film’s producer.

Whiplash will also be launched as part of a public awareness campaign.  Screenings and discussions will be held in schools, prisons, civic and religious organisations.

[Image – Thundafund]