Feature Films

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Guide to the World’s Best Pizza

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50 simple salads recipes for you

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March 2, 2017 Shane Murphy

Kids favourite desserts – pancakes!

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March 1, 2017 Stoffel Jansen

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Thiru NApril 26, 20163min40

Multi-award winning local filmmaker Sallas de Jager’s period drama feature film Free State has continued its winning streak by taking the honours for Best Cinematography at the Garden State Film Festival in New York. The film recently scooped Best Director at the Luxor African Film Festival.

“This is an amazing accolade and we are really thrilled that our Director of Photography Tom Marais has been singled out for his amazing work on this film” says de Jager.  “It is further testimony to Tom’s dedication and passion for the medium of film.  He has done us proud. This win is further proof that the complexities of our history resonate far beyond our borders and that our stories are universal”.

Written and directed by de Jager, the film is set in the Free State province during the 70s and examines the devastating consequences of an interracial relationship between an Afrikaans girl (Former supermodel Nicola Breytenbach) and a handsome Indian man (ex-Mr South Africa Andrew Govender), and their respective families.

Free State is a collaboration between de Jager’s Bosbok Ses Films and Utkarsh Entertainment in association with Indian production company, Parnam Entertainment. 

Nicola Breytenbach and Andrew Govender head up a cast which includes some of the country’s most celebrated and well-loved actors including Leleti Khumalo (Sarafina, Yesterday), Deon Lotz (Modder & Bloed, Skoonheid) and Rolanda Marais (Wolwedans in die Skemer, Ballade vir ’n Enkeling). This film marks the first international appearance for Marathi and Bollywood star, Mangesh Desai.

Free State is distributed by Times Media Films and will be released nationally on 27 April 2016.


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Thiru NJanuary 20, 20165min50

VIBRANT SA FILM AYANDA TO STREAM ON NETFLIX OVERSEAS AND DSTV BOX OFFICE IN SA

Ayanda: Cast and Crew - During the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival
Ayanda: Cast and Crew – During the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival

South African film Ayanda, which was acquired for distribution in the US, is now available in the US and Canada from on-demand Internet streaming media company Netflix through Ava Duvernay’s ARRAY Distribution. This follows the film’s successful US release on the theatrical arthouse circuit in the last quarter of 2015.

Ava Duvernay
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Locally, the film premiered on DSTV Box Office on 16 December and is showing until 25 January. The DVD will be released in South Africa in February.

“The Netflix release is great news,” says Sara Blecher, director of the film. “Array has done an excellent job of promoting Ayanda in the US and Canada.”

Ayanda South African Feature Film Wins Coveted Jury Award At Los Angeles Film Festival

The film will play more than ten international festivals over the next few months, including the Göteborg Film Festival in Sweden, the Toronto International Film Festival’s Next Wave, the Toronto Black Film Festival, and the San Francisco Independent Film Festival (SF Indie).

Ayanda is a tale of love, friendship and growth in contemporary South Africa. The film tells the story of a single-minded 21-year-old Afro-hipster Ayanda (Fulu Mugovhani), who has a talent for taking neglected pieces of furniture and “bringing them back to love”. Eight years after her father’s death, his prized auto repair garage is in deep debt and in danger of being sold, but Ayanda does everything in her power to hold onto his legacy.

The film also stars Nigerian actor OC Ukeje – winner of the 2015 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award for Best Actor, Jafta Mamabolo, Nthati Moshesh, Kenneth Nkosi, Sihle Xaba and Vanessa Cooke. 

Ayanda was produced by Real Eyes Films and Terry Pheto’s Leading Lady Productions, with the support of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), Africa Magic and the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Watch Trailer Here


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Julian CleophasDecember 10, 20152min50

Award winning Ugandan feature film “House Arrest” directed by Joseph Ken Ssebagala, will celebrate its official public film premiere on the 19 December 2015. Hailed as production of the year, the film won six awards at the Ugandan Film Festival, including Best Film and Best Director to name a few.   A glamorous red carpet event will be held at the National Theatre on the 19 December 2015, to celebrate the production by Zenken Films.

House Arrest, Africa's 1st Film Blog, Uganda film

“The picture was good, I had the best Actress, the location for shooting was good and I worked with the best crew” said Joseph Ken Ssebagala to Chano8. The films established cast includes award winning actress Faridah Kuteesa Farshee, William Ndawula and Jakira Suudi. Check out the official trailer to House Arrest here.


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Julian CleophasOctober 6, 20153min90

For Love and Broken Bones, Zoom-In, South African Film, African Film

South African feature film “For Love and Broken Bones” by Tebogo Malope walked away with all the spoils at the Portland Film Festival 2015, winning the festivals prestigious main award, Best Film. To earn the title of Best Film, “For Love and Broken Bones” had to compete against 220 other films screened at the Portland Film Festival to win the Jury Narrative Feature Section.  After the great success at Portland Film Festival, the South African filmed and produced feature film is likely to generate a buzz among festival goers at the New York Independent Film Festival running from the 12-18 October 2015, with the film making official selection at 6th annual film festival.

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“For Love and Broken Bones” starring Lerato Mvelase and Mduduzi Mabaso, tells the story of a lonely and ruthless debt collector who falls in love with a feisty and passionate wedding planner, who also happens to be his latest assignment. Can they overcome their old fears and let love into their lives? And can he save her and her son in time before his powerful and dangerous boss comes back to collect his money. Check out the trailer to Teboge Malope’s film “For Love and Broken Bones” below.


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Julian CleophasSeptember 14, 20154min20

What happens to an adolescent discovering they attracted to the same sex? To make circumstances more complex, what is it like to be an interracial homosexual couple in South Africa? Well, allow South African feature film “While You Weren’t Looking” produced by Out in Africa, to demystify some perceptions you may have with regard to homosexuals and their experiences through the eyes of one family.“While You Weren’t Looking” directed by Catherine Stewart, follows the shaky marriage of a mixed raced lesbian couple and their daughter Asanda’s new found discovery of being a lesbian. The film shot on location in Cape Town, highlights South African issues like race, gender, identity, class and sexuality through the eyes of one homosexual family. “While You Weren’t Looking” won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Pink Apple Film Festival 2015,  and recently screened at the Durban International Film Festival 2015. Check out the official trailer below…

Synopsis

Dez and Terri, a mixed-race couple married 20 years and adoptive parents, are the trailblazing lesbians of the New South Africa, who seem to have it all. When a wedding anniversary gift goes very wrong, cracks begin to show. They must now learn to cope with their own hypocrisies and secrets, which threaten to destroy the seemingly perfect world they’ve crafted. Asanda, their 18 year old adopted daughter, is the poster child for South Africa’s diversity but describes herself as “an experiment”, being made up as she goes along. She meets Shado, an enigmatic Tommy Boy from Khayalitsha, a township on the edge of Cape Town, and a different picture of the New South Africa emerges.

Film Cast: Fezile Mpela, Lionel Newton, Sandi Schultz, Camilla Lilly Waldman, Petronella Tshuma, Thishiwe Ziqubu, Terence Bridgett, Jill Levenberg, Tina Jaxa

Director: Catherine Stewart

For more information about this film click here


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Thiru NAugust 20, 20156min90

With the themes of corruption and brutality at its centre, filmmaker Jyoti Mistry’s new film ‘Impunity’ is a profound investigation into contemporary South Africa and the seat of power. In a country where people who commit crime are often seen to be exempt from punishment, or free from the consequences of their actions, the film invites its audience to reflect on the nature of violence.

Watch Trailer Here

In a similar vein to ‘Natural Born Killers’, ‘Impunity’ is a fictional story centred on a young, attractive couple who commit acts of crime and violence, leaving a trail of murders in their wake.

“In a country where violent crime remains disturbingly high, the film invites self-reflection,” says Mistry. “Having screened the film at the Toronto Film Festival in 2014, and earlier this year at the Durban International Film Festival, I’m interested to see how general South African audiences respond to the story and the visual language of the film.”

‘Impunity’ tells the story of a young couple, Derren (Bjorn Steinbach) and Echo (Alex McGregor), who work as waiters. A Special Crimes Unit investigator Dingande Fakude (Desmond Dube) and a local police detective and trained psychologist Naveed Khan (Vaneshran Arumugam), take them in for questioning after a high-profile murder.

IMPUNITY - Alex McGregor and Bjorn Steinbach

The two lawmen find themselves caught up in political corruption and conspiracy when they investigate the gruesome killing of a cabinet minister’s daughter, found in an exclusive African safari resort after a party celebrating her engagement to a rising political star. The film is interspersed with cuts to security-cam and news footage of violence, both criminal and accidental, as well as newspaper headlines highlighting some of the estimated 650 000 violent crimes that take place each year.

It soon becomes clear that Derren and Echo, who were working as waiters at the engagement party, are caught up in a frenzied, bloody adventure. As Dingande and Naveed begin to piece events together, it seems the perpetrators will be brought to book. Instead, however, they are drawn further into the high-profile murder case. Eventually, as they uncover a trail of murders, they are faced with a moral dilemma involving the new political elite.

Mistry’s background as a successful artist and experimental filmmaker is clear in the film’s much-lauded rich visual language, which features picturesque beachfronts and dry bushveld, intercut with harsh realities of life in South Africa. The Toronto Film Festival organisers described “‘Impunity’” as “an eye-opening jolt, casting an unwavering gaze on South Africa’s increasingly troubling surrender to the banality of violence.”

Mistry studied filmmaking and cinema studies at New York University. Her short films include ‘We Remember Differently’ (2005) and ‘I Mike What I Like’ (2006). ‘Impunity’ is her second feature, after the experimental film ‘The Bull on the Roof’ (2010) which was part of a retrospective on transgressive South African Cinema at the Jeu de Paume, Paris (2013). Mistry’s installation work was included in the exhibitions ‘Afropolis: City, Media, Art’ in Cologne, Germany; ‘Space: About a Dream’ at Kunsthalle Vienna, Austria and in the Incheon Women’s Biennale, South Korea (2011). Her short film ‘09:21:25’ was in competition at Kurzfilmtage Winterthur (2011). In 2013, her solo exhibition ‘Narrative, Memory, Site’ was shown at the Museum Bärengasse in Zurich.

An associate professor at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Department of Film and Television, Mistry teaches writing for experimental film and documentary. Her areas of research and writing include cultural policy, questions of identity and multiculturalism. “Gaze Regimes: Film and Feminisms in Africa’ co-edited with Antje Schuhmann (2015) is published by Wits University Press, Johannesburg. Mistry was a participant of the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and scholar in residence at Filmuniversity Babelsberg Konrad Wolf.

‘Impunity’ is produced by Blackboard Trust, Shadowy Meadows Productions and Bioskope Pictures, with additional funding from the Department of Trade and Industry, National Film and Video Foundation, and the Gauteng Film Commission. ‘Impunity’ was made possible through the generous grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder) to Blackboard Trust.

The film opens in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town on 28 August.


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Thiru NJuly 2, 20156min80

Ayanda, the new film by award-winning director Sara Blecher and produced by Terry Pheto, Busi Sizani and Robbie Thorpe was awarded a “special mention” by the prestigious Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) Jury when the 2015 festival winners were announced, following its screening in the World Fiction Competition.

Ayanda had its world premiere in Los Angeles on 13 June, and debuted to rave reviews. The Examiner said, “The Los Angeles Film Festival’s 2015 mission to find ‘… diverse stories and storytellers … who exhibit true and singular voices’ is fully realized with Ayanda. Shot in South Africa, writer Trish Malone and director Sara Blecher create a vibrant, colorful film about a young woman looking to make her mark in today’s South Africa.”

The film tells the story of a resolute 21-year-old Afro-hipster Ayanda (Fulu Mugovhani), who has a talent for taking neglected pieces of furniture and “bringing them back to love”. Eight years after her father’s death, his prized auto repair garage is in deep debt and in danger of being sold, but Ayanda does everything in her power to hold onto his legacy.

Entertainment blog Indiewire called the film “an important and fascinating piece that is absolutely worth seeing for its representation of a modern African story, which is uniquely, distinctively African, but also urban, fresh, and contemporary in a way that is far too rare. Anchored by a standout performance by the magnetic Fulu Mugovahni, the vibe and milieu of Ayanda is as refreshing as a light summer breeze.”

Culver City Observer named Ayanda a “standout “Must See” in the World Fiction Competition”, and “A beautifully lensed film courtesy of cinematographer Jonathan Kovel…” The review described Trish Malone’s screenplay as a “a nuanced script with strongly detailed characters that come to life through some well oiled, fresh performances,” and said “Fulo Moguvhani is nothing short of luminous in the title role with strong supporting performances.”

The film also stars Nigerian actor OC Ukeje – winner of the 2015 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award for Best Actor, Jafta Mamabolo, Nthati Moshesh, Kenneth Nkosi, Sihle Xaba and Vanessa Cooke.  

Both Pheto and Blecher were at LAFF to promote the film, a line-up of 74 feature films from around the globe.

“We could not have wished for a better response from a discerning American audience,” says Blecher. “The film was praised for being distinctively African while exploring universal themes of love, friendship and growth. We cannot wait to share the film with South African moviegoers. As a female team, we are proud to have made such a strong and vibrant film about women in contemporary South Africa.”

Ayanda was produced by Real Eyes Films and Leading Lady Productions, with the support of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), Africa Magic and the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It will be distributed in South Africa by Helen Kuun of Indigenous Film Distribution.

“The film has an excellent cast and superb production values, as well as a story that is young, fresh and distinctly urban,” says Kuun. “We are excited to bring a creative product of this calibre to the local movie circuit.”

Ayanda will be the opening film at the 36th Durban International Film Festival, taking place from July 16 to 26 this year.

Ayanda releases at cinemas nationally on 02 October 2015.

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Indigenous Film Distribution official site


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Thiru NMay 31, 20154min60

iNUMBER NUMBER’S GANGSTA SOUNDTRACK AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD ON DEEZER

The rousing South African heist movie,’iNumber Number’, written and directed by Donovan Marsh, opened in cinemas on 25 April. The soundtrack for the film, a tale of undercover agents,dirty cops, armoured cars, vicious thieves and big money, is performed and produced by Israel Makoe, aka ‘Ma Orange’, is now available on global music subscription service Deezer, and is being hailed as a perfect reflection of the film itself: entertaining, revolutionary and effortlessly cool.

Describing the motivation behind the songs he wrote and performed for the soundtrack, actor, poet, singer and dancer Makoe, who also plays the role of hard-core gangster ‘Skroef’ in the film,says: “I was inspired by the reality of a hidden gang society that is seldom spoken about. The music reflects the storyline and the mood of the film.”

Makoe has appeared in a number of feature films, including ‘Four Corners’ (2013), ‘State of Violence’ (2010), ‘iIzululami’ (2008), ‘Tsotsi’ (2005) and ‘Drum’ (2004). He is also a well-known face on television and has starred in ‘Yizo Yizo’, ‘Gaz’lam’, ‘Zone 14’, ‘Zero Tolerance’, ‘Home Affairs’, and ‘Isidingo’.

‘iNumber Number’ is about a pair of cops battling corrupt colleagues as well as a gang of armoured-car thieves. The tracks include: iNumber Number, Umguluguthu, Amaroto, Chili & Shoes, and Skhoko. “The film has a unique sound, with the commercial tracks created by Israel Makoe counterpointed against an abstract and unusual score composed by acclaimed South African musician and composer Brendan Jury,” says Marsh. “The result is an incredibly atmospheric and authentic audio experience.”

Official Poster fully autographed up for grabs...
Official Poster fully autographed up for grabs…

A must-see for action fans, the film has all the tension, double crossing, gunfire, and explosions that a heist film should have, as well some great humour and outstanding cinematography, and a soundtrack that mirrors the relentless pace of the story.

Go to www.deezer.com to download the ‘iNumber Number’ soundtrack. Deezer has more than 36 million music fans across 182 countries. It gives fans access to more than 30 million tracks, instantly available on any device – smartphone, laptop,tablet, wireless home speakers, in-car audio, and PC.


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Thiru NMay 31, 20157min80

“STRIKDAS” FIRST SOUTH AFRICAN FILM TO RELEASE SIMULTANEOUSLY IN SA CINEMAS AND ONLINE IN THE REST OF THE WORLD – ON APRIL 02, 2015

On 2 April 2015, offbeat romantic comedy “Strikdas – ‘n familie gedoente” will be the first Afrikaans feature film to be released worldwide simultaneously, in theatres across South Africa, and to international audiences outside of Africa and adjacent islands, via the video-on-demand platform Scatzy.com.

Scatzy.com, a content portal and social media platform, provides South Africans all around the world with content from their home country. It  was set up to drive hundreds of thousands of South African expats to content that has been produced in South Africa, providing a huge opportunity both for content owners and for potential viewers who are yearning for familiar entertainment content.

“As the distributor of  “Strikdas – ‘n familie gedoente”, we are excited to be involved in this initiative, which sees the film having the same day-and-date release on the big screen and on-demand via the Internet,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution. “It’s the first time this has ever happened to an Afrikaans film, and we are all keen to see how an entirely new audience – who now have access to local content — will respond to this unique pay-per-view system. It’s an amazing development for the local television and film industry and, of course, for South Africans who are living or travelling elsewhere in the world.”

The film’s producer, Stefan Enslin, adds that “Strikdas – ‘n familie gedoente” was the perfect choice as the first film to be released on two different platforms. “It’s a quirky romantic comedy, shot on location in Stellenbosch, which tells the story of Don ‘Vossie’ Vorster, a geeky bunny-hugger with a good heart who is about to set off for university,” he says. “At its heart lies the question of whether true love is able to surmount big obstacles.”

The film’s hero Vossie, played by Kaz McFadden (“Knysna”, 2014) falls in love with Willemien, played by Leandie du Randt (“Mooirivier”, 2015), the spoilt daughter of a wealthy wine farm owner. He finds himself having to prove his worth not only to her, but also to her snobbish family. At the same time, he has to fight off Willemien’s two-timing ex, who is not prepared to let her go without  a fight.

STRIKDAS

Produced by Faith in Motion Productions and Philo Pieterse’s Philo Films, the production company behind runaway success “Platteland”, the film also stars Albert Maritz, Susanne Beyers, Gys de Villiers, Elsabé Daneel, Sandra Kotzé and Sean-Marco Vorster.

The IMF reports that around 5% of the global population resides outside of their country of birth. Scatzy’s founders aim to reach those groups that still have a defined link to their country of birth and an interest in content from back home. With its initial focus on rolling out content to all English speaking countries at present, and all Spanish speaking countries by the end of 2016, Scatzy estimates a market of 120 million potential viewers.

“With Scatzy we now have an additional distribution channel that will enable us to reach a market that has been untapped until now, which is great news for filmmakers and content owners,” says Kuun.

“Strikdas – ‘n Familie Gedoente” is distributed by Indigenous Film Distribution and releases in cinema nationally and worldwide (excluding Africa and adjacent islands) on Scatzy.com on 2 April 2015.

Strikdas Website: www.indigenousfilm.co.za/movie-archive/strikdas/ 

Indigenous Film Distribution official site: www.indigenousfilm.co.za


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Thiru NMay 31, 20154min00

CAPE FLATS THRILLER, FOUR CORNERS SWEEPS THE BOARD AT 2015 SAFTA CEREMONY

The climax of the night at the 2015 SAFTA Coming of Age Golden Horn Awards was the announcement of the Best Feature Film winner. And the big winner for the night was the coming of age thriller Four Corners which walked off with six awards from 13 nominations, including the coveted Golden Horn Best Feature Film and the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Awards.  

The audience were thrilled to hear young Jezriel Skei, youngest Golden Horn SAFTA Best Actor Winner in the history of the event make an eloquent plea for the right of youths with tough lives to explore their talents as a way to flourish and grow in society. His plea was backed up by Ian Gabriel director of the film who saluted the young actors in his film and youth from marginal communities across South Africa and called on the live and television audience to make South Africa a safe place for children across the country’.

After the show Ian Gabriel explained that much of the story of Four Corners, shot entirely in the Ganglands of the Cape Flats was inspired by daily news of children caught in the crossfire, and counterbalanced by research with children in reformatories and detention centres and discussions with South Africa’s only chess Grandmaster and a former child chess coach Kenny Solomons, a resident of Mitchells Plain and chess consultant on the film.

The Four Corners nomination, was Jezriel Skei’s first appearance on film. He was 12 years old at the time of shooting of the thriller and faced competition from veteran male lead actors from Faan se Trein, iNumber iNumber, and Hard to Get.  Tough competition emerged in the Best Supporting Actor category with an unusual double nomination for actors  Irshaad Ally and Brendan Daniels  from Four Corners competing with Deon Lotz from Fans se Trein and Israel Makoe from Hard to Get,  Brendan Daniels winning the Golden Horn Best Supporting Actor award, praising the in the moment authenticity of the film. 

The film which was produced by Cindy Gabriel and Genevieve Hofmeyr also received awards for Best Cinematography for camera woman Vicci Turpin, Best Music Score in a feature film for Markus Wormstorm Best Sound for Barry Donnelly.

Image Courtesy of MTV News
Image Courtesy of MTV News

Four Corners previews in London this week ahead of the UK distribution of the film.  The film was made with the support of the National Film & Video Foundation and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.