The NFVF (National Film and Video Foundation) presented the South African film projects to international buyers and distributors at an event at Rado Plage.
Upcoming projects include: Makeba; Otelo Burning; Whiplash; Spoon; Retribution; Whale; Khabzela; Supermama; Saving Sunnyshore; De Jong and the Rustlers; Crossroads; Four Corners; Stockholm, Zululand; Tin of Paint; The Consequence; Zambezia; Zizi & Boondogle; and Roepman; the documentaries Surfing Soweto, Rebirth, and Dear Mandela and the short films Dirty Laundry and Umkhungo.
Two South African films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival which are garnering the most attention are:
- Mukunda Michael Dewil’s Vehicle 19 which stars Paul Walker (Fast and Furious) who is also executive producer. The film has been sold to UK, Middle East and Germany outlets. The story is about “an unsuspecting traveller in a foreign country who picks up the wrong rental car and becomes tangled in a web of corruption by the local police”.
- Zambezia, directed by Wayne Thornley and produced by Stuart Forrest. The film is about “a high-spirited young falcon determined to be independent of his stifling father. He ventures off into the magical world of Zambezia and discovers that no matter how fast and talented a flier he is, no bird is an island”.
Details from the NFVF about upcoming South African Releases:
Many people know Joe Mafela as a comedian but in his latest movie, the compelling psychological thriller Retribution, he shows off a completely different side to his persona. Here Mafela, co-star Jeremy Crutchley and director Mukunda Michael Dewil talk about justice, building tension, and playing against type.
Mafela executes the element of versatility as he plays and delivers an utterly captivating performance in a disturbing new role.
“It was the director’s challenge to take me out of my comfort zone and I can give him an accurate score on that, he strictly told me that we don’t want funny gestures which are humorous,” says Mafela.
“I’m versatile. I can do any role given to me so it wasn’t difficult for me to do this.”
The Adventures of Supermama
When Doris, an ordinary yet stubborn mama from Alexandra meets a mysterious Kung Fu master Mr. Hung, he helps her turn herself into an unconventional superhero.
But will she be able to overcome her stubborn pride to defeat the bad guys when they kidnap her loved ones?
De Jong and the Rustlers
LEBONA, a quixotic young horseman from Lesotho, is convinced he’s descended from ancient warrior king Moshoeshoe, so he sets out to avenge an insult by rancher KOBUS DE JONG by rustling a vast herd of Kobus’ cattle in revenge.
He enlists the help of a ragtag young bunch of gun-toting misfits, but he has reckoned without the relentless pursuit of the Boer, who tracks Lebona high into the snowy reaches of the mountain kingdom where Lebona finally realises he must confront his destiny in an epic showdown.
Surfing Soweto – due for release in November
Emboldened by drugs and alcohol, spurred on by the promise of notoriety amongst the youth of the Soweto ghetto, and invigorated by the death-defying thrill of it, a group of young South Africans are infamous for surfing the 9373 train to Johannesburg. Some climb onto the top of the speeding train and strike cocky poses between ducking and weaving to avoid metal pylons, tunnels and 3,000 volt cables which fizz inches from their heads; some hang one-handed out the side of carriages and flail their legs in the wind; a few even climb underneath the thundering chassis of the vehicle.
“Train-surfing” is an illegal pastime and an often fatal addiction. Sara Blecher’s documentary Soweto Surfing, screened as part of Film Africa 2011, follows the lives of three of the most notorious train-surfers from Soweto over the course of four years. We follow Bitch Nigga, the self-awarded ‘platinum medal’ holder of train-surfing, who is addicted to heroin, has vowed never to return to jail and who dreams of one day running a hair salon. We follow Lefa, who wooed his girlfriend with toast and popcorn, idolises his ill and once-abusive father, and who wants to return to school to make his mother proud. And lastly we follow Mzembe, whose father was a martyr in the struggle against apartheid, who frequently gets blind drunk and ends up in fights, and who wishes to connect with the family on his father’s side that he never met.