Losing Lerato – An authentic South African story

Kagiso Modupe’s debut film Losing Lerato tells of a successful father who loses everything including his daughter and will do anything to get her back.

Modupe, who produced the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Tocardo Arendse, and stars as the desperate father Thami, along with his
9-year-old daughter Tshimolo in the role of Lerato.

Thami has recently lost his job at a top firm following accusations of fraudulent activities. This is the last straw for his wife Noluthando who, fearing a drop in her standard of living, abandons her marriage, taking their daughter Lerato with her. Thami is desperate to maintain a relationship with his daughter, while Noluthando does everything in her power to ensure that Thami is denied access to Lerato. After exhausting all known avenues, and desperate to be reunited with his daughter, Thami kidnaps Lerato from school, intending to flee Johannesburg for Kimberley by bus. This is an ill-conceived move which angers Noluthando and puts him on a collision course with the law. Thami’s actions put his life, that of Lerato and their fellow passengers in danger and leads to a high-stakes hostage situation on the bus. Then a shot rings out…

The content of the film offers real life issues, honesty, and authentic South African references, but is it human interest global story.

The film will resonate with any man who has ever found himself separated from his child by a vengeful mother who seeks to destroy him, knock him while he’s down or has ever had to face the wrath of the law as a result of failing to pay a maintenance order for his child.

In South Africa, criminal charges may be brought against a person who fails to pay the maintenance as stipulated by their maintenance order and they may face jail time not exceeding three years and/or a fine.

During its opening weekend on 13 Sept 2019 It was the number one film at Ster-Kinekor’s Mall@Carnival, Sterland, Wonderpark, Rustenburg, Maponya Mall, Newtown Junction, and Festival Mall cinemas, and at Nu Metro’s Loch Logan in Bloemfontein, Westgate Mall in Roodepoort, and Mams Mall in Mamelodi, as well as at The Gables in Swaziland – among others. Thanks to the more than 13 000 attendances, four screens will be added this coming weekend, in Welkom, Port Elizabeth, Sandton and Mimosa Mall.

Directed by Sanele Zulu, the film, which features the cream of the crop of the local film and television industry, had the second-highest print average of all films for the weekend, superseded only by the J Lo starrer ‘Hustlers’. It did 93% of Kagiso Lediga’s box office hit ‘Matwetwe’ on its opening weekend, and superseded Stephina Zwane’s ‘Baby Mamas’ opening weekend by 17%.