South African Filmmaking

 look at our Top South African Films of 2016

New Releases

TRIX TEAMDaniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with the creative team behind the hilarious action comedy Thys & Trix: Writer-director Quentin C. Krog, screenwriter Frannie Van Der Walt, and actors/ husband-and wife team Leandie du Randt Bosch and Bouwer Bosch.

 

 

 

37 WEBDaniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with 29-year-old writer-director Nosipho Dumisa, who makes her feature film debut with the South African crime-thriller Nommer 37. Set in Haven Mansions, a fictional block of apartments in Dumisa’s imagined suburb of the Cape Flats, NOMMER 37 looks through the eyes of a former petty criminal, who has been spat out by the very world he once thrived in and left to observe it from the outside. Read more

 

WONDERLUSIn the new Afrikaans romantic comedy Wonderlus, a wedding goes awry and the morning after, friends and foes need to piece together the puzzle of the night before. In search of answers, a groom (Edwin van der Walt) needs to pursue the love of his life, a bride (Mila Guy) has to untangle herself from the past and a waitress (Lea Vivier) tries to escape the present. Read interview with writer-director Johan Cronje

 

 

SUSTERSIn the Afrikaans film Susters three adopted sisters are reunited after the untimely death of their mom. Lexie, a free-spirited entomologist, Jo, an aspiring fashion designer, and Cecile, a stay home mom, are forced to put their lives on hold, to fulfil their late mom’s last wishes. What ensues is a road trip through beautiful parts of South Africa, and a trip down memory lane, filled with adventurous twists and turns, and many colourful characters. Each sister brings their own eccentricities to the mix, in this feel-good family film, designed for audiences aged 6 – 60.  The three girls rediscover the value of family, and the power of love, in what becomes the journey of a lifetime. The journey is filled with fond memories and features singer Leah, Quanita Adams and Diaan Lawrenson’ It is directed by Corné van Rooyen (Hollywood in my huis, Vaselinetjie) from a screenplay by Corine du Toit and Sandra Vaughn (Semi Soet).

Susters vertel die verhaal van drie aangenome susters wat van mekaar vervreemd geraak het. Na hul ma se dood vertrek hulle saam op ’n ontdekkingsreis. Dis ’n reis gevul met tere herinneringe, interessante karakters, ongelooflike mooi plekke en dit waarin die skoner geslag uitblink: om hope pret te hê. Lokprent / Susters – ‘n Eg Suid-Afrikaanse Chick-Fliek

Five Fingers for MarseillesDirected by Michael Matthews and written by Sean Drummond, Five Fingers for Marseilles (from 6 April) is a predominantly Sesotho, Western-inspired tale of an outlaw who returns home after years on the run, and finds a chance for redemption.  It tells the story of how, 20 years ago, the young ‘Five Fingers’ fought for the rural town of Marseilles, against brutal police oppression. Now, after fleeing in disgrace, Tau returns, seeking peace. Finding the town under new threat, he must reluctantly fight to free it. Will the Five Fingers stand again?  Watch the trailer

 

Catching FeelinsCatching Feelings  is a dark South African romantic comedy which follows an urbane young academic (Kagiso Lediga) and his journalist wife (Pearl Thusi), as their lives get turned upside down when a celebrated and hedonistic older writer (Andrew Buckland) moves into their Johannesburg home with them. Despite their love for each other, their relationship has hit a rut. Lacking excitement, the couple have settled into a routine that neither agrees with. Max now spends his time at dinners and events, musing over his frustrations with his key conspirator and sounding board, Joel (Akin Omotoso), who himself has his hands full with an illicit affair. The film also features Zandi Tisani, Precious Makgaretsa and Kate Liquorish. “I wanted to make a fun film about Johannesburg. It is a place full of contradictions. It is Africa’s business capital and culturally diverse with a very messy recent history. I find it fascinating that the 30-something, black, middle class characters portrayed in this film never existed 20 years ago because it was essentially illegal to be black and middle class and I guess it would also be impossible to engage in angst ridden, existential navel gazing when you’re fleeing tear gas and rubber bullets from the Apartheid cops. Although it is rumored that the 30-something year olds of Apartheid times had a greater sense of purpose,” says Lediga, who wrote and directed the film.  Trailer / Read more /

meerkat-moonship-thMeerkat Maantuig  is inspired by the youth novella Blinde Sambok by renowned South African author Riana Scheepers. Writer-director Hanneke Schutte, decided to use the book as a point of departure and turn it into a cinematic story set in the majestic forests of Magoebaskloof, South Africa. A fearful young hypochondriac with an overactive imagination, descends into darkness as she realises that she’s the only one left with a cursed family name. With the help of her new friend Bhubesi and his make-shift moonship, she’ll have to find the inner strength to face her fears in order to break the curse. Written and directed by Hanneke Schutte. In Afrikaans with English subtitles.  Trailer / /Writer-director Hanneke Schutte talks about Meerkat Maantuig, a truly unique South African film

The Number (from 10 August) tells the extraordinary tale of the nigh-impossible redemption of high-ranking Magadien, a Magistrate of the 28s, one of the notorious Numbers prison gangs. The film is set in an overcrowded South African prison, peopled by cruel warders and hardened tattooed men in regulation orange overalls. Between the cells, corridors, showers and exercise yard, we discover how the Numbers operate. Strict codes govern each gang and brutal discipline is administered swiftly and without sentiment.From the first, Magadien stands apart from the crowd, participating in 28s activities but questioning his choices. This will put him at risk, for the Numbers demand total fealty, inside and out of jail. When Warden Jacobs is appointed, he still believes in the goodness of men. He focuses his efforts on Magadien to bring about fundamental change in a flawed and self-perpetuating system of violence and abuse. Directed by Khalo Matabane, screenplay by Paul Ian Johnson. With Mothusi Magano, Kevin Smith, LemoTsipa, Warren Masemola, Deon Lotz, Crystal Donner, Sibusiso Msimang, Presley Chweneyagae, Charlton George, Roberto Meyer, Shuraigh Meyer, Vo Gumede, Clint Brink, Johaah Munnik, Sdumo Mtshali, Ayanda Nyandeni, Mlungisi Msibi, Andile Khumalo, Zahir Bassa, Lwazi Mabizela, Nzuzo Khumalo and Gcina Mhlope.

Written and directed by Mbongeni Ngema, the film version of the seminal musical Asinamali  (From 3 August) follows a group of prisoners in the 80s as they think back on their pasts and the events leading to their arrest. The hardship of prison life is told through the experiences of the inmates, whose lives are made even more difficult by sadistic prison warder Sergeant Mgwaqaza (Boitumelo Chuck Shisana). At the same time, the prison authorities are under pressure to accommodate Comrade Washington (Mbongeni Ngema), an exiled MK soldier working for Amnesty International, who is running drama workshops with the inmates at the notorious Durban Central Prison. He is thwarted at every turn by Mgwaqaza. Comrade Washington has an additional agenda, to see the love of his life Soweto (Danica de la Rey), who is languishing in the Female Section of the prison, soon to be transferred to death row in Pretoria for her MK cross-border activities. Washington believes in the power of music and theatre to transform the lives of people: the political activists, the criminals and even the hardened servants of the apartheid regime. Through sheer determination he outsmarts the prison authorities, manipulating those around him into allowing him to create a play which depicts how they came to land in prison. It represents triumph over adversity, with the theatrical musical explosion becoming their ticket to freedom.  Trailer / TBC

NOMMER 37NOMMER 37 Entrapped in his apartment, Randal Hendricks (Irshaad Ally), a recent paraplegic, is given a gift of binoculars by his devoted girlfriend, Pam (Monique Rockman). But he is in financial debt to Emmie (Danny Ross), a sadistic loan shark, and when he witnesses a powerful gangster, named Lawyer (David Manuel), commit murder while observing his neighbours through his binoculars, he initiates a dangerous blackmail scheme in an attempt to settle his debt. With deception and greed around every corner, what follows is a thrilling ride that puts both their lives in mortal danger… as the world around Randal deteriorates further and further into chaos.   Scripted and directed by AFDA alumna Nosipho Dumisa. Read more / Trailer / Releases in SA on 1 June

Exclusive Interviews

frans_cronjeSouth African producer, writer, director and actor Frans Cronjé’s brand-new The Roar is about the life of Louise du Preez, a farm-girl dreaming about the fulfillment of her unique singing and dancing talent on the international stage. Firmly believing that if you dream it you really can do it, her life and dreams are shattered when the expectations of her fiancé André and her stubborn dad, Ranger turn out to be solid obstacles. It’s about a woman realising that willpower is the difference between success and the disaster of never start living your unique purpose.  Even the negativity of her fiancé and the stubbornness of her dad turn into stepping stones when life is left to God’s will and timing. Filmmaker Frans Cronje talks about The Roar, An Inspirational New South African Film  / Trailer  / Read more /

RAAISEL 2The powerful South African film Raaiselkind explores the unrelenting burden of autism on an average, loving family and shows the disintegration of the family as a result. It drives home the inescapable truth that society can be cruelly indifferent to whatever it perceives to be aberrant. Screenwriter Pieter Esterhuizen talks about writing the screenplay

 

 

Henk2Modder & Bloed is a dream come true for The Writing Studio graduate Henk Pretorius. Read more

 

 

 

 

sallasWriter-director Sallas De Jager talks about his uproarious comedy Jonathan that deals with a dreamer and wannabe stand-up comedian who embarks on a roller coaster journey of self-discovery.

The Writing Studio’s proud graduate Sallas de Jager is winning the hearts of audiences worldwide with his sensational Free State, which he wrote-directed and produced, garnering the Best Director award and Special Jury award for scriptwriting at the Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt last month, as well as Best Cinematography at the Garden State Film Festival in New Jersey, New York.

John BarkerWriter-director John Barker, a proud graduate of The Writing Studio, is turning politics inside out and upside down with his biting independent mockumentary Wonder Boy For President.  

 

 

 

Carl

Safe Bet is a winner for The Writing Studio Graduates:  Director-producer Bonginhlanhla Ncube and screenwriter Carl Roddam

 

 

 

Mr BDaniel Dercksen Shares A Few Thoughts With Safe Bet Writer-Director-Producer Mr. B

 

 

 

 

John_TrengoveThe Wound was born out of a desire to push back against clichéd stereotypes of black masculinity perpetuated inside and outside of African cinema,” says writer-director John Trengrove, whose critically acclaimed drama explores tradition and sexuality and is set amid the Xhosa rites of passage into manhood. “As a white man, representing marginalised black realities that are not my own, the situation is of course complicated. Even highly problematic. It was important to me that the story mirrors this problem. The character of Kwanda is an outsider to the traditional world; he expresses many of my own ideas about human rights and individual freedom. He’s also the problem. His preconceptions create jeopardy and crisis for others who have much more to lose than him. This was my way of saying, ‘‘I don’t have the answers and my own values don’t necessarily apply here’’. Read Interview / Read more about The Wound/  Visit the website  / Trailer

She is King is a joyous celebration of Zulu culture in a glossy contemporary setting, showing off the City of Gold as the Broadway of Africa. Think ‘Smash’ meets ‘Lion King’, in Joburg. Khanyisile is a talented singer, dancer and actor who wants to be a star. She travels from her home in Nongoma in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, to audition for a new musical to be staged at the Joburg Theatre based on the life of Zulu Queen Mkabayi ka Jama. After a couple of detours, she lands a role in the chorus and catches the eye of the best-looking dancer in the show, charming soap star Luyanda.Will she be able to keep up with her more seasoned fellow performers, avoid the jealous machinations of the aging leading lady, and survive the punishing rehearsal schedule to make it to opening night and shine like the star she is? Directed by Gersh Kgamedi. Screenplay by Nicola Rauch and Gersh Kgamedi / Interview with screenwriter-producer Nicola Rauch / Trailer

A young beauty queen is flung into swift adulthood when her father assumes a new identity: Father Christmas in Liewe Kersfeesvader. Juggling an unhinged father, an impressionable kid brother and a growing romance, Nonnie has to redefine her own meaning of family. Written and directed by Ettiene Fourie (Die Windpomp, Dis Koue Kos Skat) “Liewe Kersfeesvader is a story that is incredibly personal to me. It deals with themes of family, the always-rocky transition from childhood to adulthood and, above all, love. It allows a glimpse into the lives of a typical, seemingly inconsequential family, who undergoes extraordinary challenges. Liewe Liewe Kersfeesvader is a story about choosing to love and accept your family, not despite but rather for their imperfections. It is a story about loss and it shows how there is nothing more effective than tragedy to glue a disjointed family back together.” Writer-director Ettiene FourieRead review / Interview with writer-director Ettiene Fourie / Trailer

Daniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with writer-director Etienne Fourie, who caused an uproar with his sensational Die Windpomp, and now wows us with his delightful Dis Koue Kos, Skat, based on the novel by Marita van der Vyver.

Morne du ToitDirector Morné du Toit’s Nul is nie niks nie is an inspiring, heart-warming story about life, death and the continued hope that can be found somewhere between the two. Read an interview

 

 

 

Johnny Breedt 2 Writer-director Johnny Breedt talks about Die Ontwaking.Read more

 

 

 

 

SINK 2Writer-director Brett Michael Innes talks about SinkRead more

 

 

 

 

Bongiwe SelaneAward-winning producer Bongiwe Selane talks about Happiness is a Four -Letter WordRead more

 

 

 

 

Vir AltydDarling superstars of the local film and TV industry, Ivan Botha and Donnalee Roberts, who charmed filmgoers in Pad Na You Hart, and sizzle in their latest charmer Vir Altyd (Forever) which they wrote and co-produced. Read more

 

 

Koos-Roets-600x450Writer-director Koos Roets talks about ‘n Pawpaw Vir My Darling.Read more

 

 

 

 

BlechnerDirector Sarah Blecher talks about Dis Ek, Anna. Read more

 

 

 

 

From left to right: Andre Frauenstein (Snr); Thandi Puren; Darrell Roodt: Reine Swart and Samuel Frauenstein

From left to right: Andre Frauenstein (Snr); Thandi Puren; Darrell Roodt: Reine Swart and Samuel Frauenstein

Returning to her hometown, Eden Rock, and overwhelmed by the birth of her first child, Chloe van Heerden (19) tries to come to terms with motherhood in Siembamba. Despite the support from her mother, Ruby (35), Chloe struggles with the demand of being a new mom.The incessant crying of her baby, the growing sense of guilt and paranoia sends Chloe into a dark depression. With a heightened urge to protect her son, Chloe sees danger in every situation.  Chloe starts to hear voices and the humming of a childhood lullaby and sees flashes of a strange entity around her child.Convinced that the entity is real, Chloe does everything in her power to protect her son.  Is Chloe haunted by evil or is it just the baby blues? The film stars Reine Swart, Deànré Reiners, Thandi Puren, and Brandon Auret and directed by world-renowned director Darrell James Roodt (Sarafina! Treurgond, Cry the Beloved Country, Winnie Mandela) from a screenplay by Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo. Interview with producer André Frauenstein / Trailer

HOUSE MASTERIn The House On Willow Street  a roguish kidnapper and 3 accomplices, abducts a young heiress. When they have her locked up in their inescapable lair, they discover she is possessed by a terrifying demon, which plunges them into a nightmarish experience of supernatural horror. Read an interview with writer-director and producer Alastair Orr

 

 

judy-2Daniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with writer-director Judy Naidoo, whose sensational film Hatchet Hour marks her directorial debut and is most definitely a landmark on her 20-year journey as an independent filmmaker in South Africa.

 

 

CraigDaniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with writer-director Craig Gardner, whose film My Father’s War will help facilitate healing for a generation of men, women and children (now adults) who were deeply affected by the South Africa’s Border War  – on and off the battlefield.

 

 

AnitaDaniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with prolific television producer Anita Le Roux, who wrote the screenplay for the sensational Twee Grade Van Moord and enjoyed its debut at the Indie Karoo Film Festival, where it won the Best Film and Audience awards.

 

 

HermanusDaniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with writer-director Oliver Hermanus, whose third feature film The Endless River takes us to rural South Africa — where anger and sorrow still linger some twenty years after apartheid — and conducts an original and incisive examination of the complex relationship between perpetrator and victim.’

 

 

Regardt 2Daniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with storyteller and storymaker Regardt van den Bergh, whose inspirationalUitvlucht will be screened in competition at the Indie Karoo Film Festival.

 

 

 

Adze_2South African filmmaker Adze Ugah talks about Mrs. Right Guy, a story that will appeal to South Africans, to everyone who has been heartbroken. It’s a story that is specifically about love but has universal appeal that celebrates living in South Africa, in Jozi, in Soweto.

 

 

VOELS-2-150x150Daniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with writer-director Quentin Krog about Vir Die Voëls.  Inspired by a true story, the romantic drama Vir Die Voëls was produced by Huisgenoot, in association with kykNET Films as part of their centenary celebrations in 2016.

 

 

Kampterrein

Daniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with screenwriter and producer Morné Lane, whose film Kampterrein turns a family holiday inside out!

 

 

 

Sean ElseWriter-director Sean Else talks about Modder en Bloed. Read more

 

 

 

 

 

Stefan Enslin - Strikdas EPKScreenwriter Stefan Enslin reaches for the stars with Verskietende SterRead more

 

 

 

 

stiaan-smithDaniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with award-winning actor Stiaan Smith, who stars in the new Afrikaans romantic comedy Sy Klink Soos Lente, and also wrote the screenplay.

 

 

 

jarrod-and-pieterDaniel Dercksen shares a few thoughts with Executive Producers and screenwriters Jarrod de Jong and Pieter Oosthuizen, whose film Eintlik Nog Baie is loaded with a good balance of romance, comedy, suspense, tragedy, and is shining with charisma. Read interview

 

 

Reviews

Abraham2Abraham is undoubtedly one of the best South African films ever made, a profound and consummate masterwork from industry legend, Jans Rautenbach that marks his first film in 30 years. Read more

 

 

 

Johnny 11With Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie,  writer-director Christiaan Olwagen delivers a refreshing film that is as radical as the Voëlvry music movement that rebelled against the autocratic dictates of the apartheid government and changed the hearts of a generation of South Africans who wanted to break free from oppressive separatism.

 

 

Modder en Bloed 9Modder en Bloed – In this emotional journey into the heart and soul of a war that divided a nation, reconciled revenge forces underdogs to triumph in the spirit of togetherness.  Read more

 

 

 

Man soos Pa 1The deeply moving ‘n Man Soos My Pa is one of those exceptional films steeped in the tradition of classic films like East Of Eden that grabs hold of you emotionally and never lets go. Read more

 

 

 

Dis ek, Anna is about the sexual abuse of Anna Bruwer by her stepfather over a period of eight years. Silent Anna, she called herself because she could not tell anyone what had happened between her and her stepfather. Not her mother, not her best friend and not even her own father. In the story, the viewer becomes intimately involved in the child’s twilight world of shame, threats and silence and how she takes revenge. Read review

 

Jagveld 3In Jagveld le Roux is on her way home to the family farm in the Great Karoo. Pretty, soft little Emma, the pacifist primary school teacher. She has made this trip numerous times without incident. But not today. Today her path will cross with Bosman and Baz and Jay. And Boela and AJ and Piet. Bosman is the mastermind of a drug syndicate and a psychopath; he is savage and violent. Baz and Jay are his henchmen – murderers, monsters. AJ and Boela, spoiled brats looking for validation, are on board to make a quick buck in the criminal underworld. And then there’s Piet, the weakling, who is willing to do just about anything for his cousin Bosman. Emma witnesses the murder of a policeman at their hands. And they see her seeing them. Now they’re hunting her down like an animal … she’s easy prey, after all – it’ll all be over soon.The problem is, Emma is the daughter of Jacques le Roux, who taught her everything he knows. And Jacques le Roux was a Recce.Nothing about this hunt is going according to plan; everything is falling apart, and fast. At first they were driven by hate and revenge. Suddenly, it’s survival. The script was written by best-selling author, Deon Meyer and directed by Byron Davis. The cast includes popular local stars Neels van Jaarsveld, Bouwer Bosch, Leandie du Randt and Tim Theron. Read more about the film /   Read review   / Watch the trailer

Films that have been released and are available on DVD / Blu-Ray

(Listed Alphabetically)

24 masterIt was the powerful human story underlying the action in 24 Hours to Live that caught the attention of Thunder Road Films producer, Kent Kubena, when he read the script co-written by Ron Mita and Jim McClain – who originally set the story in Washington D.C. “The film takes on a genre that is so much more than just an action film.” says Kubena. The high-octane film is penned by Zachary Dean and based on Ron Mita & Jim McClain’s original script that follows Hawke’s career assassin who is given a chance at redemption after his employer brings him back to life temporarily, just after being killed on the job. Trailer / Feature: A high-octane action film with morality and poetry weaved into it.

ACCIDENT 2In the horror The Accident a group of teenagers suffer a terrible accident during a joy ride and get trapped at the bottom of a ravine.Jess and Caroline are ready to party it up in Northern Cali but miss their bus to the rave of the year. Dressed up and too pumped to miss out, they go looking for a ride to hitch. They join Thomas, young, dark and charming, and his handsome buddy Fred, for a ride. During a tussle the car loses control and rolls down a steep slope…The two girls try everything they can to save themselves and get out of the car – but nothing works. They’re trapped. Hope returns when Thomas comes to but disappears again when he divulges that there is more to the car than meets the eye. It is stolen and they are in trouble. Desperate attempts to free themselves set off a tracking-device, expose loads of hidden cash and reveal the fact that the guys they took the car from are coming for it – in a big way. Written and Directed by Dan Tondowski.  Trailer

AlisonAnother proud graduate of The Writing Studio, director-writer-producer Uga Carlini, changes lives in a profound way with the poignant documentary Alison, which  won the Best Documentary at the Asia Pacific International Film Festival, after selling out at the Encounters International Film Festival, and wowing crowds at its international premiere at Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles.

 

 

beyond-the-riverTwo men from vastly different walks of life have one thing in common: to win gold in Beyond The River. But there are a few things in their way. One has a marriage on the verge of collapse. The other is on the run from the law, and his so-called life. Then there’s the minor detail of them never before having competed as a team… Somewhere along the river of their lives, there’s a confluence that changes both of them – forever. Through a series of unexpected events, the two men find themselves attempting the three-day Dusi Canoe Marathon as a doubles pair. But there are a few things they must overcome, not least of which are the completely different worlds they come from. They realise that the dream they both desperately desire requires them to work together, both in the boat and beyond the river. Inspired by the true story of Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks, who together won gold in the 2014 Dusi,  It is directed byCraig Freimond and written by Freimond and Robbie Thorpe.  Watch Trailer / Read more about the film

In the children’s ward of St Luke’s Hospital, Sam Cooper (Joel Brown) is waiting at the top of the transplant list for a new liver in Bypass.. His mother, Dr. Lisa Cooper, (Natalie Becker) head of cardiac surgery, feels completely helpless, unable to save her son, despite saving her patients’ lives every single day.  When a liver finally becomes available and is destroyed en route to the hospital, the alternative of sourcing an illegal organ becomes her only option.  Knowing that in order to harvest a heart and perform the transplant, she will need to take the life of a young, innocent girl to get Sam back, she is faced with the devastating reality that some lives may simply be more valuable than others. Screenplay by Shane Vermooten and Bianca Schmitz, directed by Shane Vermooten. Visit Website / Trailer

Dis ek, Anna 3Dis Ek, Anna is based on Anchien Troskie’s best-selling fictionalised autobiographical novels Ek, Anna and Die Staat Teen Anna Bruwer. While the filmmakers have handled the subject with great sensitivity and care, the film confronts abuse head on. Directed by Sara Blecher and stars Charlené Brouwer in the title role, along with Morné Visser, Nicola Hanekom, Marius Weyers, Eduan van Jaarsveldt, Drikus Volschenk and newcomer Izel Bezuidenhout as young Anna. Dawid Minnaar, Elize Cawood, Hykie Berg, Ilze Klink and Fezile Mpela round out the cast. Read the review  Feature:  Bringing Dis Ek, Anna to the Big Screen

doras peace 2In Dora’s Peace, a Hillbrow prostitute shields a gifted young boy from the violent clutches of organized crime and discovers aspects of her own lost humanity. Director, producer and editor Kosta Kalarytis, who co-wrote the screenplay of Dora’s Peace with Andrew Herold,  began his career as a cartoonist and illustrator working for The Mail & Guardian and other numerous South African publications.

 

 

Finders KeepersIn the action-comedy Finders Keepersa strip joint janitor and a club patron strike up an unlikely friendship as they evade gangsters and Russian mobsters, and try to secure the release of a kidnapped stripper, by trading her for a lucky fish they had stolen. The film was conceptualized by director Maynard Kraak back in 2012 when he set up West Five Films, but it was not until early 2014 that he brought his very good friend Strini Pillai,  onboard to write the screenplay – Pillai, who now resides in Australia, is an award winning film, television and stage actor who has branched out into writing and stand-up comedy.

Premiere Invitation - The Jakes are MissingWritten and produced by the talented and well-known Bianca Isaac and directed by Neal Sundstrom and Denny Miller, The Jakes Are Missing  promises to entertain viewers, young and old, with its universal storyline and theme, filled with comedy, drama, intrigue and romance.  “This film is a global story that appeals to all South African audiences, as well as audiences outside the country. It deals with love – falling out of love, falling in love, finding new love, the old love that never dies and infatuation that always lurks around. The Jakes Are Missing is a fun light film for all – you will laugh, cry and fall in love all over again”, says Isaac. The Jakes have fallen out of love and into Police Protection…..Being at the wrong place at the wrong time sends a teenage boy, Simon (Mpho Sebeng) and his parents to a journey where they will rediscover what it means to love each other, again. Janice (Mampho Brescia) and Donald Jakes(Pope Jerrod) are at a crossroad, Janice wants to leave this relationship and Donald has been so busy at work he hasn’t noticed his wife hates him and wants to leave. One night, while supposedly being grounded, Simon sneaks out to a music event that could possible change his career forever. However it changes his life forever as he becomes the witness to a murder and escapes the crime scene with the one thing the criminals are willing to kill for…The Jakes are Missing features a star-studded cast with household names such as Mampho Brescia, Pope Jerrod, Mpho Sebeng, Nomzamo Mbatho, Darlington Michaels, Abigail Khubeka, Nicole Bailey, Heidie Mollentze, Celeste Ntuli, Dirk Stoltz, Zakeeya Patel and Jody Abrahams to name a few.

Kalushi4_webSouth African filmmaker, Mandla Walter Dube, makes his feature directorial debut with the human drama Kalushi – The Solomon Mhlanga Story. Sacrificing his short life, through a brutal death in the hands of South Africa’s apartheid police has made Mahlangu a celebrated struggle hero in the revolutionary fight or freedom.

 

 

keeping-up-with-the-kandasamys-2From the producers of Happiness is Four Letter Word, one of South Africa’s most successful films, comes an all new rib-tickling family comedy – Keeping up with the Kandasamys directed by Jayan Moodley (White Gold). The film opens a window into the lifestyle and subculture of modern-day Indian South Africans; their aspirations, dreams, challenges and the things that make them laugh and love

 

 

Krotoa 1”Identity, a sense of belonging and reconciliation are strong, universal themes in this powerful tale,” says producer-director Roberta Durant of Krotoa,  a powerful film that tells the story of a feisty, bright, young eleven-year old girl, who is removed from her close-knit Khoi tribe to serve Jan van Riebeeck  at her uncle’s trading partner.

 

 

MossieThe sexual awakening of a teenage girl stirs a rousing romance in Mignon Mossie Van Wyk, the latest film from Darrell James Roodt, who recently gave us the romance Trouvoete and the human dramas Treurgrond and Seun.

 

 

Noem my skollie 2The riveting Noem My Skollie delivers on the themes of friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, acceptance, the desire for a better life, hope and love, and is set on the Cape Flats and in Pollsmoor prison, based on the life of John W. Fredericks, who also wrote the screenplay at the age of 60.

 

 

REBELLIE 2Iconic dramatist Chris Barnard’s classic radio drama and stage production, Die Rebellie Van Lafras Verwey, is brought to life on the big screen by his wife, acclaimed actress and director, Katinka Heyns, as producer, with direction by their son Simon Barnard, an up-and-coming film maker who makes his debut as director of a full-length feature film with this compelling story. This tragicomedy is based on a 1971 drama – a combined effort written and adapted into a contemporary script by the late writer and his son, Simon Barnard. It tells the story of Lafras Verwey (Tobie Cronje) an outcast who could never accept the realities of life. Although he is a government official, he hears the sound of otherworldly music playing in his ears and dreams of a wonderful future. He considers himself a key player in the preparation of a significant rebellion that he believes would change the world. When he takes Petra, a young pregnant woman, in to live with him, the rebellion becomes even more important to him. Ironically enough, his dreamt-up revolution starts the very night that the baby is born. Comedy, drama and elements of fantasy are all intertwined in this gripping tale of a man who is willing to risk everything in his pursuit to make the world a better place for all.

In Reconnect two friends discover artificial intelligence on an old mainframe in an abandoned warehouse and complications arise when they try to lend a hand. Eric Scott and his friend, Jason White are working on a new game they are designing in their private time that will be launched soon. They both work for a large intelligence corporation called “Sky Corp”. After exploring an abandoned warehouse as a possible location for their game launch party, ERIC meets a mysterious artificial intelligent being on an old mainframe that remained there. The system is in a vulnerable shape and threatens the continued existence of “XJ-1” as Eric now calls him. In a courageous attempt, Eric finds a way to transfer him to one of Sky Corp’s extended storage systems and Jason unknowingly helps him. Not long after, XJ-1’s personality begins to change and starts to take over portions of Sky Corp’s mainframe. It is like a virus spreading uncontrollably and no one succeeds to get control back over the situation. Now knowing that it is entirely their fault, Eric and Jason heroically continue to try and find a way to save Sky Corp. In their search, they start to uncover a top secret project and find documents to support their theories. As the truth unfolds, relationships are put to the ultimate test and Eric has to deal with his past in order to reconnect with his destiny

SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERSShepherds and Butchers is the true account of the legal process of capital punishment, and the inhumane treatment of prisoners on death row, which took place during the apartheid era in South Africa. “It’s a film about young people taken by a society, taught how to kill and then left to their own devices,” says director Oliver Schmitz. “

 

 

snaaks-genoegSnaaks Genoeg,  an original piece written and directed by David Moore, follows a down-and-out comedian (Casper de Vries) who drifts from one small town to another.

 

 

 

TessTess is a hard-hitting journey into the heart of a young prostitute who sells her soul on the streets of Cape Town. Tracey Farren adapted her novel to film, with Meg Rickards in the director’s chair.

 

 

 

tribe-localA young professor consumed by alcoholism is saved from self-destruction by a former school mate and begins a journey to save his house, his marriage and his life in The Tribe. Smanga (Charlie Vundla) is a celebrated young professor at a prominent South African university, whose life quickly unravels when his wife, Laura, leaves him. He spirals into an alcohol, marijuana and sex induced tailspin that places the status of both his career and house in jeopardy. Smanga’s path of self-destruction is interrupted when he meets an old school mate, Jon, (Louis Roux) who is a failed motivational speaker. Taking pity on him, Smanga invites Jon back to his place and a friendship quickly develops. Through their emotionally honest communication Smanga begins the process of healing himself. When Smanga’s wife abruptly returns after being battered by another man things become complicated by an unexpected pregnancy. As the tensions in the house rise, a newly clean Smanga faces a complex decision that will define the lives of his tribe. Produced, written, directed and starring Charlie Vundla. Read more about the film /  Watch the trailer

VaselinetjieVaselinetjie the story of Helena ‘Vaselinetjie’ Bosman, a white girl raised by her loving coloured grandparents in a remote rural village in the Northern Cape, South Africa. However, upon learning that Vaselinetjie is not their biological grandchild, the welfare intervenes and decides to send Vaselinetjie to a state orphanage in the far away city of Johannesburg. Based on Anoeschka von Meck’s celebrated youth novel. It is a story about defining your identity and race within the turmoil of post Apartheid South Africa. Nicole Bond and Marguerite Van Eeden make their big screen debut as both older and younger Vaselinetjie. Other cast members include Arno Greeff, Elzet Nel, Elani Dekker, Marise Loots, Anchen Du Plessis, Daniah De Villies, Royston Stoffels and Shaleen Surtie-Richards. Written and directed by Corne Van Rooyen. Feature: An Inspiring South African Story

Vaya 3A synthesis of big-city anxieties and aspirations, Vaya is directed by Nigerian filmmaker Akin Omotoso, who weaves together three separate stories to create a gripping yet compassionate portrait of small-town characters immersed in the intimidating, alluring, and dangerous world of big-city Johannesburg and Soweto. It is based on the lives of four young men from The Homeless Story Project and rooted in their experiences of coming to the city in search of family and opportunities. Millions of people in South Africa have left rural communities and travelled to cities. For the poor and the jobless the safety net of family is fast disappearing. Countless migrants to the city find themselves invisible and trapped in places with limited opportunities for survival and abused by the very people whose protection they sought. The Homeless Story Project gives a voice to the voiceless by creating opportunities for stories to be developed into films or published media. Feature: Vaya – a rare lens into life in the city that is unique, gritty and hard hitting / Trailer Facebook

In the dark comedy Vuil Wasgoed Wim and Kevin have been dreaming of their own coffee shop for years, but while they wait for their dream to come true, they temporarily work in a laundromat. The problem is ‘temporarily’ has become seven years and the highlight of their existence is still borrowing their clients’ clothes to gate-crash parties at night. The system works well. Kevin is even close to kissing the love of his life, until a crooked jewel merchant is betrayed, his finger is chopped off and the finger ends up in a jacket pocket at the laundromat. Against their will, Wim and Kevin are dragged into the dangerous criminal world.   Morné du Toit directs from a screenplay by Bennie Fourie. Watch the trailer