South African Filmmaking

New Releases

ZULU WEDDING An unashamedly romantic, glamorous and hilarious all at the same time and pays loving tribute to the richness of African culture. It acknowledges the, sometimes schizophrenic, reality of many urban South Africans who live sophisticated modern lives which are nonetheless shaped by their family cultures, traditions and expectations. Lu (Lungile Sabata) left South Africa and her Zulu-Sotho heritage behind to become a dancer in America, and when she falls in love with Tex (Darrin Dewitt Henson) , she knows he’s the man to marry. But when she brings Tex home to meet her family, she discovers she’s been promised since birth to a Zulu king (Pallance Dladla). Caught between two men, two families, and two countries, Lou has to come to terms with who she is so she can fight for what she wants. Directed by Lineo Sekeleoane. Screenplay by Julie Hall / Website / Trailer / Showing from 11 October

THE STORY OF RACHELTJIE DE BEER Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by writer and filmmaker Brett Michael Innes, the film tells the story of Afrikaans family, the De Beers, who are forced to find shelter on a local farm in the Eastern Free State of South Africa in the 1800s. Winter has arrived and, as dark clouds laden with snow start to roll in over the Drakensberg mountains, tragedy strikes. Read more/ Showing from 18 October

BLESSERS Although the arrangement is nothing new, ‘blesser’ is a South African term for an older man who has multiple girlfriends he lavishes with gifts, in exchange for sex and companionship. In turn, the girlfriends post photos on social media of expensive shoes, clothes and piles of cash, tagging the pictures #blessed. That’s the subject at the heart of the slick and hilarious new comedy ‘Blessers’, by actor and director Rea Rangaka. The film stars award-winning actor and comedian Kenneth Nkosi as a middle-aged businessman who has become accustomed to his routine, a life which includes his wife, Michelle (Sonia Mbele of ‘Generations’ fame), his daughter Natasha (Six Nyamane), his work and his fun. Caught knee-deep in the word of blessers, Jacob and his family are about to learn a few hard lessons and discover that they are perhaps not that #blessed. ‘Blessers’ is written by Tbo Touch, Sasa Nqabeni and Kumaran Naidu.Says Rangaka. “It has an interesting way tonally, of dealing with some really dark material like the concept of blessers, cheating, and the sex trade, and making it palatable. We’ve seen and lived with the events on screen all around us. The film is ‘funny ha ha’, but even funnier as in ‘oh snap!’ Showing from 25 October / Trailer

CUT-OUT GIRLS is the story of how six young women’s lives are altered by the actions of two aspiring sportsmen. Kevin and Mike are young men trying to get ahead in the competitive world of tennis. When one of them discovers a dangerous key that can unlock their potential, things get out of hand. Their worlds become intertwined and spiral out of control. A small series of seemingly insignificant moments weave together with devastating consequences. In every moment lies a choice. The frightening truth is that we all can turn from ‘us’ to ‘them’. The trick, the prayer, the hope is that we won’t. Cut-Out Girls is inspired by the #MeToo movement and is a film about date rape aimed at creating social change. Written and directed by Nicola Hanekom. With Joel Rosenblatt, Ashleigh van der Hoven , Cody Montein. Trailer/ Showing from 22 November

POPPIE NONGENA The drama tells the story of a South African isiXhosa mother, whose life revolves around finding stability for her family during a period of insufferable upheaval in the country when African women were forced, by arrests, fines and forced removal, to leave their homes and resettle in remote areas designated as black homelands. When her husband, Stone, became too ill to work, Poppie was deemed by the law to be an “illegal” resident in her own country. She engaged in a desperate struggle with the authorities for permission to stay, moving from house to house, applying for permits, applying for extensions, extensions of extensions, and using every means at her disposal to remain with her children. Caught in the crossfire of her children’s needs, her husband’s illness, community anger and repressive laws, she was finally forced to give in just as the 1976 riots for freedom erupted. Clementine Mosimane (The Wild) plays the role of Poppie, alongside Anna-Mart van der Merwe (Kanarie), veterans Chris Gxalaba (Long Walk to Freedom), Rolanda Marais (Binnelanders), David Minaar (Torings) and Lida Botha (Pad Na Jou Hart).  Written and directed by Christian Olwagen, based on the award-winning novel by Elsa Joubert . Showing from 30 January

Latest Film Releases

Interviews with South African Filmmakers and Screenwriters

KNUCKLE CITY A new movie by acclaimed director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, and South Africa’s official Oscar submission for the 2020 Academy Awards, is set to put the Eastern Cape on the map. A cultural melting pot, the rich heritage and diversity of the Eastern Cape with its vibrant people, and magnificent sights are what make this region so unique. The birthplace of legends like Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, the province is the traditional home of the Xhosa people. But it’s also given rise to a phenomenally successful boxing culture, with Mdantsane and neighbouring East London known as ‘The boxing mecca’ of South Africa. It’s this fascinating phenomenon that lies at the heart of Qubeka’s hard-hitting film. For more than three decades, Mdantsane has produced no less than 20 boxing world champions and more than 50 national champions, which provided the fodder for the plot. Beginning in 1994, ‘Knuckle City’ tells the story of Dudu Nyakama (Bongile Mantsai), an aging, womanising, professional boxer from the township and his career-criminal brother Duke (Thembekile Komani) who take one last shot at success and get more than they’ve bargained for. Qubeka says the energy of the Mdantsane landscape and the visceral fight for survival that is palpable on the streets inspired in him a deep yearning to chronicle the lives of its people through film. “It is my intention to capture the essence of life in Mdantsane, and the restless pursuit of being a champion within a society that often dictates you are a failure. I am determined to give audiences a glimpse into a world rarely seen, and a deeper understanding of the multi-faceted individuals inhabiting our land.” Appropriately, the gritty crime drama starts its Oscar qualifying run at Ster-Kinekor Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth. The film will screen from 20 to 26 September to make it eligible for the Academy Awards in the category of Best International Feature Film. Showing from 27 December / Trailer