Film Reviews

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March 2, 2017 Shane Murphy

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Thiru NJuly 9, 20143min21

Stylish, funny, and light hearted Between Friends (Ithala) takes a sudden turn to lust, disgust, and mistrust when a spoilt little brother puts together a reunion party for his college friends at his daddy’s holiday resort.

This film is a spot on reflection of modern South Africa.

The moral premise showcases tradition vs. modernism. It’s a nice break from all the Hollywood blockbusters recently released. “Between Friends” is exactly what’s needed to break the ice while Amanda Dupont will be breaking much more than that. This lady is on fire.

This South African feature film is all you’d expect from a romantic comedy, with a touch of drama… okay maybe a little more than a touch.

If you in a relationship or out with friends there’s something for the boys and the girls, especially if you enjoy Tyler Perry’s “Think like a man” or “Why did I get married”. The ending is pretty abrupt; even though Director Zuko Nodada had found Steve from Bleep Bank (you’ll see him) he did not give us the full story. Maybe Nodada’s got a sequel in mind.

The cast is made up of real talented South African beauties and characters…

Thapelo Mokoena; Amanda Dupont; Siyabonga Radebe; Mandisa Nduna; Dumisani Mbebe; Lihle Dhlomo; Morne du Toit; Siyabonga Thwala.

Every single cast member played his or her role without flaw… Great performances all round. Our favorite character is Winston, played by Dumisani Mbebe, even though he was a push over, men should seriously take a page out of his book when it comes to loyalty.

It was nice to see modern South Africa loud and proud on the big screen. With all this talent, hopefully there’ll be more mzanzi flavor to come!

Release date: August 15 2014

Key Crew:

Director – Zuko Nodada

1st AD – Wandile Magadla

Director of Photography – Trevor Calverley

Production Designer – Sam Kelly

Offline Ed – Gugu Sibandze

Key Make-Up – Slindile Dladla

Catch Trailer Here


Thiru NApril 14, 20144min113

With a touch of magical realism comes a story about a young beer drinking cigarette-smoking rebel, Atang Mokoenya (Zenzo Ngqobe) who is forced into a series of unravelling events leading him on a journey of self-discovery where he is stripped of all his wealth and quickly learns the way of the world.

 If you haven’t yet been to Lesotho, The Forgotten Kingdom will take you there! The D.O.P, Carlos Carvalho, did an amazing job in capturing the epic landscapes of this beautiful country.

The Forgotten Kingdom is an independent film and took 9 years to manifest on screen. It all began with a script, written by Andrew Mudge who also produced, directed, and edited this full-length-feature-film.

The script was written in English by the American Mudge and later translated into Sesotho for the scenes shot in Lesotho, and Tsotsitaal for parts of the story shot in Johannesburg, South Africa. While Mudge recognised his limitations with the Sesotho language, he states ~ “It’s about the honesty of the performance. It’s not about how the words come out. This movie isn’t about reading text. I wanted as little dialogue as possible. I never wanted line upon line of subtitle. The story’s about beauty; show and not tell, which meant finding the perfect cast to convey this.”

My favorite qualities about this feature film are the performances; they gripped the audience and me. Strong and authentic each artist is. Even though The Forgotten Kingdom had no major star cast, casting director Bonnie Lee Bowman did a fantastic job of putting the performers together.

There’s so much more I could add to this film, such as the wonderful music by Robert Miller but films are not meant to be read-about, they’re meant to be watched.

This part American and HUGE part African feature film had also snatched a few international awards:

  • 2013 Sarasota Film Festival – Audience Award Best Narrative Feature
  • 2013 Florida Film Festival – Audience Award Best Narrative Feature
  • 2013 Ashland Independent Film Festival – Audience Award Best Narrative Feature
  • 2013 Ashland Independent Film Festival – Finalist Best Cinematography

The Forgotten Kingdom is the first feature film produced in Lesotho. Like all journeys, it was a voyage into the great unknown. ~ Andrew Mudge

You can watch the trailer here

Thiru NMarch 23, 20146min62

WIN WIN WIN!!! We are giving away 2 x movie tickets to the screening of Four Corners + an original fully autographed poster.

Like, share, and tag 2 of your friends – on our  FB page Africas1st Film Blog 

This weekend was really treacherous for me. I’ve been finding it difficult to write an unflattering article about Four Corners – South Africa’s official submission for the 2014 Oscar Foreign Feature Film, from Cape Town, purely because of the effort, authenticity, and dedication that went into this GIANT film.

If you want to see something different – go and see Four Corners releasing on 28 March 2014. Here is why…

The suspense action thriller speaks a universal story. Written for both young, and mature audiences of all cultural backgrounds, Four Corners was beautifully shot with great action sequences and a sense of deeper consciousness. It is not about laughter and slapstick comedy, its message resonates with the inner vigilante, so be prepared.

We sometimes hear about Cape Town’s underworld in the news, a drug bust now and then… Four Corners allows you a 1hr54min pass into an authentic subculture, a culture that many people don’t actually know exist right here in our everyday Cape Town society. It’s time for South Africans to meet the underdog, a group of people that are not usually represented on film.

According to Ian Gabriel, director of Four Corners, the epic gangster flick had +/-60 talking parts and was produced on a budget of R10 mil. The full movie is made up of four stories, seamlessly tied together. The main theme is about family, self-righteously seeking vengeance for their misfortunes.

Authentic. Real. True to reality.

In this movie, there’s a particular gang leader who gets out his matt black Jaguar wearing a long leather trench. This scene led some audience to giggle of disbelief. However, this gangster exists not only in the Cape Town South Africa but also in Brooklyn New York, in Brazil, in Nigeria, Amsterdam, and Russia… Basically wherever a gang exists the man in the black leather trench coat is there, guiding young men down the only path he knows.

It’s about more than Numbers – it’s about Territory.

Four corners is about a 28-gang member (Brendan Daniels) determined to take his own back. It’s about a 26-gang member (Irshaad Ally) who doesn’t follow the rules. It’s about an unsuspecting child serial killer possessed by whatever serial killers are possessed by. It’s about a cop (Abduragman Adams) who values his community. It’s about a child prodigy chess player (Jezzriel Skei) who can easily make a living from the sport. It’s about reclaiming ones place in society… I know I said it’s about four stories in one, but really it’s a plethora.

I’m finding this interesting – Four Corners and iNumber Number share a similar cast and both films are about the underworld, one from Johannesburg and the other from Cape Town. And they are being released 1 month apart of each other. South Africa, we are in for a treat! Is there finally a celebrity status emerging in South Africa?

While South Africa is on the cusp of greatness with two epic releases, Four Corners makes you want to jump and shout “Hollywood watch out!”. The Four Corners team is setting a benchmark for emerging passionate filmmakers here is Africa – be part of that!

Behind the scenes with Ian Gabriel

Release date: 28 March 2014
See you at the movies ~ T

Directed by Ian Gabriel
Fully autographed official poster up for grabs…

Thiru NMarch 6, 20145min95

Win 2 x movie tickets to the screening of iNumber Number + an original fully autographed poster!


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  • NB!!! Tag one of your friends in the poster on our FB Page

Last night a critical, film-loving audience was privileged to a screening of iNumber Number. Don’t be fooled by the trailer, it’s not all action. The trailer, from my critical eye, has closed off its audiences. Director/Writer/Editor, Donovan Marsh (Director of Spud, yes Spud!) has included a strong moral premise; he questions honorability, self-sacrifice, and greed. “The moral premise is that crime comes with a cost to life and psyche. Crime pays, but not always money. You end up paying with your life and your sanity.”

iNumber Number also has loads of catchy, local comedy that had the audience howling with laughter. There’s so much suspense that the audience were literally on the edge of the seats, some even knocking over their red wine!

According to Marsh: “The film took 2 years to write, raise the funds and put it together. Shooting took 4 weeks and editing 4 months.” Marsh recognises himself as a storyteller, and a filmmaker, who has no qualms with taking up the offer for a Hollywood big budget remake.

Before it’s remade into some Hollywood big budget blockbuster with an all american title – Africa… for now this film is all ours! Trust me when I tell you, you have never seen South African performances like these. Marsh brought all the heavyweights together. One of these actors is fairly new to the screen – Cape Town born actor, Brendan Daniels of Four Corners. Donovan also included real life gangster turned actor, Israel Makoe.

The leading man, S’Dumo Mtshali is soon to be a household name. He was given a huge compliment by co-star Hlubi Maboya who said “it was an honour working with S’Dumo in his first feature film while watching him grow into his character more and more everyday on set”.

Don’t let my compliments and subjectivity sway you into experiencing iNumber Number for yourself.

Release date 25 April 2014
See you at the movies ~ T

Donovan Marsh – Directors Interview | Official Trailer | Official Music Video

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