by Thinus Ferreira, Channel 24
To celebrate Youth Day in South Africa and the 30th anniversary of Sarafina!, e.tv will roll out the red carpet for cinema showings and broadcast the musical drama.
e.tv first broadcast the Anant Singh produced and Darrell Roodt directed film 20 years ago. The movie, which was filmed at Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto, tells the story of the 1976 Soweto student uprising in the country, with a local and international cast including Whoopi Goldberg, John Kani, Leleti Khumalo and Miriam Makeba.
Sarafina! will be in South African cinemas again on Wednesday, 15 June, with e.tv doing red carpet showings at Nu Metro in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, before broadcasting the film on Youth Day on Thursday on e.tv at 15:05.
“Sarafina! has remained an audience favourite and an important film in South African cinema. We are proud to partner with Videovision Entertainment to bring Sarafina! back to e.tv to celebrate this milestone,” says e.tv content specialist Marisa Hendricks.
Sarafina! had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 30 years ago and was released shortly after at cinemas in South Africa.
Singh, who recently attended the Cannes Film Festival again, says, “It was a truly nostalgic moment for me when I was walking on the red carpet at the Palais des Festivals where I met officials of the festival who could scarcely believe that it was 30 years since the momentous world premiere in Cannes”.
“My journey with Sarafina! began 35 years ago when I saw the play at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.”
“I was moved and felt that I had to make a film about this amazing play. I was able to secure the film rights from Mbongeni Ngema, and the rest is history.”
“The important aspect for me was that Sarafina! was based on the watershed event of 16 June 1976, which changed the course of South Africa’s history. Sarafina! was made shortly after Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and we were fortunate to have had his support to make the film and have him as guest of honour at the South African premiere of the film.”
“Today, 30 years later, we are delighted to be sharing our film, which perpetuates the contribution of the heroes of 1976 to our democracy, with the viewers of e.tv.”