2020 has been a difficult year for the global film industry, but plenty of films were released on a variety of different platforms and South African audiences responded enthusiastically. With the new year just around the corner, local film distributor Indigenous Film Distribution, has some real treats lined up for the first half of 2021.
This is not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection“
This is not a burial, It’s a Resurrection, starring the late South African screen legend Mary Twala. It is the first film from Lesotho, made by Mosotho film-maker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese. The film is produced by Urucu Media, the talented South African team behind the hugely successful 2017 drama Inxeba (The Wound). It opens during the global award season and has been submitted for both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards in the international categories.
The visually striking drama, set in the mountains of Lesotho, opens with an elderly widow named Mantoa (Mary Twala), grieving the loss of her son. Determined to die and be laid to rest with her family, her plans are interrupted when she discovers that the village and its cemetery will be forcibly resettled to make way for a dam reservoir. Refusing to let the dead be desecrated, she finds a new will to live and ignites a collective spirit of defiance within her community. The film also stars film and TV icon Jerry Mofokeng Wa Makhetha, Makhaola Ndebele and Tseko Monaheng.
May 28, 2021 will see the opening of Barakat. The first ‘Afrikaaps’ language Muslim film to be produced in South Africa, it’s directed by Amy Jephta and produced by Ephraim Gordon. Aisha Davids, a widow, has to preserve the peace between her four sons after they all still struggle to come to terms with the death of their father, two years after the fact.
Zunaid, Zaid, Yaseen and Nur, who return to the family home to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr (or Labarang as it’s called in Cape Town) the celebration that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan, have never really dealt with their father’s death and the void he has left behind. Each son’s unprocessed pain manifests in how they are constantly fighting with each other, saddening their mother as she tries to move on with her own life.
Veteran actress Vinette Ebrahim plays the role of the matriarch, Aisha Davids, while the four boys are played by Joey Rasdien, Mortimer Williams, Keeno-Lee Hector and Danny Ross. Despite the lockdown, the film has been playing on the festival circuit where it is picking up awards and accolades.
March 5 sees the opening of the long-awaited New Material, the follow-up to the enormously popular 2012 comedy “Material”. Cassim Caif (Riaad Moosa), a young Muslim man living in Fordsburg, is now balancing the demands of a new marriage, a young child, and living in a house with his ageing parents, with being one of South Africa’s few Muslim stand-up comedians. His father Ebrahim (Vincent Ibrahim) has reluctantly accepted his son’s chosen career for now, but it is still a simmering issue. Cassim seeks more from life and sets out on a nationwide tour, but things go very wrong and soon he has to reassess everything he thought he wanted.
“Courting Anathi”, a new romcom directed by Akin Omotosho, will be ready in the second quarter of 2021.
“Klein Karoo 2”
Also releasing in the second quarter is another long-awaited follow-up, romantic comedy “Klein Karoo 2“, starring Leandie du Randt, Tim Theron, Marciel Hopkins, Sisanda Henning, Anel Alexander and Hykie Berg. Frans (Theron) finds love for the second time in his life in a tale set against a backdrop of cattle thievery. The film is produced by Cobus van den Berg who was also behind “Kalin Karoo” (2013) and was shot around Oudtshoorn. The cast and crew managed to complete filming in October, while still under lockdown.
Thomas Gumede’s coming-of-age film “Kedibone” releases on April 16. An authentic, contemporary tale that delves into the challenges many young women and men face, it follows the story of a young and gorgeous Sotho girl, Kedibone. Born and raised in Orlando East, her naivete as a township girl changes when she ends up with the wrong crowd on the tempting streets of Jozi. Things go pear-shaped when Kedibone’s boyfriend gets wind of her shenanigans.
The film features television star Natasha Thahane (‘Blood & Water’, ‘Lockdown’, and ‘The Queen’) in the lead, and also stars the hugely popular Kenneth Nkosi (District 9, White Wedding, and Tsotsi).