South African Features

We Are Thankful (Siyabonga)

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Festival / Official Selection 2018 / We Are Thankful (Siyabonga)

OFFICIAL SELECTION 2018

We Are Thankful (Siyabonga)

DIRECTOR : Joshua Magor
COUNTRY : South Africa
YEAR : 2018
TIME : 97min

Nu Metro 4, 11 Oct @ 2pm | Nu Metro 5, 13 Oct @ 8.30pm

SYNOPSIS

Siyabonga, named after main character Siyabonga Majola, is a docufiction film set in contemporary KwaZulu Natal. In the film we follow Siyabonga, a young man making theatre plays in the township of Mphopomeni. One day he hears the surprising news that a movie is to be made in a nearby town and makes it his mission to be a part of the film.
From conspiring with a maid to steal wifi from the umlungus, to rejecting a friend’s plea for him to improve his luck by using witchcraft, Siyabonga’s journey takes him to a meeting with the film’s director where we observe the conversation that caused We Are Thankful to come into existence.
A film based on real events, re-enacted by those who lived through them, we follow this extraordinary man as he does all he can to try and improve his life and take control of his fortune.

 WATCH THE TRAILER
Siyabonga_Joshua Magor

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Joshua Magor (b. 1991) is a South African filmmaker originally from KwaZulu Natal. After developing an interest in filmmaking at high school, Joshua earned a scholarship to study English Literature and Economics at the University of Edinburgh and then progressed to do his masters degree in Filmmaking at the London Film School.
Working as a director, writer and cinematographer Joshua’s short films have been screened and won awards at over twenty festivals around the world. Most recently his debut feature “Siyabonga” was selected for the Official Competition at Locarno Film Festival, making its world premiere in the Concorso Cineasti del Presente section. “Siyabonga” will be make its national premiere at the Cape Town International Film Festival.

The Harvesters (Die Stropers)

The Harvesters (Die Stropers) 01

Festival / Official Selection 2018 / The Harvesters (Die Stropers)

OFFICIAL SELECTION 2018

The Harvesters (Die Stropers)

DIRECTOR : Etienne Kallos
COUNTRY : South Africa
YEAR : 2018
TIME : 102min

Nu Metro 4, 10 Oct @ 2.30pm | SK Nouveau 5, 17 Oct @ 8.30pm

SYNOPSIS

South Africa, Free State region, isolated stronghold to the Afrikaans white ethnic minority culture. In this conservative farming territory obsessed with strength and masculinity, Janno is different, secretive, emotionally frail. One day his mother, fiercely religious, brings home Pieter, a hardened street orphan she wants to save, and asks Janno to make this stranger into his brother. The two boys start a fight for power, heritage and parental love.

 
The Harvesters (Die Stropers)_Kallos Etienne

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Etienne Kallos is a Greek-South African Director. His early works, documentaries, were screened at the Berlin International Film Festival. His first short, Doorman, was presented at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival (Cinéfondation section) and at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. His thesis film, Firstborn, won the Lion d’Or for Best Short Film at the Venice Film Festival in 2009. The Harvesters is his first feature.

Etienne Kallos est un réalisateur greco-sud africain. Ses premiers travaux, documentaires, sont sélectionné au Festival de Berlin. Son premier court-métrage de fiction, Doorman, est présenté en 2007 aux Festivals de Cannes (dans la section Cinéfondation) et de Sundance. Son film de fin d’études, Firstborn, remporte le Lion d’Or du meilleur court-métrage à Venise en 2009. Les moissonneurs est son premier long-métrage.

Sodium Day

Sodium Day 01

OFFICIAL SELECTION 2018

Sodium Day

DIRECTOR : Riaz Solker
COUNTRY : South Africa
YEAR : 2018
TIME : 100min

Nu Metro 5, 10 Oct @ 7.45pm | SK Nouveau 5, 12 Oct @ 12.30pm

SYNOPSIS

Sodium day is a drama­/comedy­/tragedy slice­-of-­life film about a tumultuous day in the life of a mixed bag of students at a poor government school on the Cape Flats called John Shelby High. Grade 12Y (the class letter is after the surname of the class teacher) is the only class doing Mathematics at a matric level at the school.

It’s September, a month away from the matric exams and they still don’t have a maths teacher. Six woefully unqualified temps have already come and gone during the year leaving everyone hopelessly inadequately prepared for the upcoming finals. The class is made up of a cynical and disenfranchised mixed group of black and coloured students, and the latent racism that still exists in this environment often rises to the surface.

A newly qualified white substitute teacher arrives to teach maths, though he isn’t a maths teacher…he’s qualified as a History and English teacher. Through his eyes we are introduced to the characters in the class.

The day is further complicated by the arrival of a teacher and a group of students from a rich, upper class school, whose day-long visit is part of a cultural exchange programme, but who are shunted around from class to class by cynical, burnt out teachers who don’t want interlopers in their classes, until they arrive at 12Y, because the substitute teacher doesn’t know any better.
A clash of approaches, cultures and personalities ensues.

The mood of 12Y is also strained because one of the girls, Simone, hasn’t showed up for class, and there’s a rumour going around that a dead body that fits her description was found on a field close to where she lives.

Also….one of the local gangsters is planning to invade the school with a couple of his cronies to deal with one of the students in 12Y whom he mistakenly thinks slept with his girlfriend.
All these ingredients combine to create the Sodium Day…. Sodium being a metal that explodes when you add water to it, as seen in many science classrooms. The film begins with a rather large explosion as three friends throw a large chunk of sodium (stolen from the science lab) onto the waterlogged school field.

The climax of the film is a different kind of explosion, one coming from a volatile mix of racism, culture clash, gangster invasion, and impending bad news about Simone… as the last strained strands of the youthful innocence and optimism of 12Y are put to the test.

WATCH THE TRAILER.

 
Sodium Day_Riaz Solker

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Riaz Solker has worked in various capacities as a writer, director, producer, actor and lecturer over the past twenty years in the South African film industry. Notable highlights in his career include his eight-part mini-series ‘Here’s to Good Times’, as well as placing third in the worldwide standings of the 48 Hour film competition, where his short film ‘Past Tense’ screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Riaz currently teaches directing and acting at City Varsity Cape Town.

Sew The Winter To My Skin

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Festival / Official Selection 2018 / Sew The Winter To My Skin

OFFICIAL SELECTION 2018

Sew The Winter To My Skin

DIRECTOR : Jahmil X.T. Qubeka
COUNTRY : South Africa
YEAR : 2018
TIME : 131min

SK Nouveau 5 | 16 Oct @ 8.15pm

SYNOPSIS

A cinematic ballad of indigenous outlaw John Kepe, Sew the Winter to My Skin explores the true myth of a legendary black rebel folk hero in mid 20th century South Africa, a time that foreshadowed Apartheid, one of the most viciously racist political regimes in human history.

In the rural Great Karoo region, the bandit John Kepe terrorises white farmers, stealing their livestock and supplies to give back to his impoverished communities. General Botha, an embittered World War II veteran, becomes obsessed with the capture of the notorious Kepe and leads an epic manhunt for him through the mountains, where he is rumoured to occupy a mysterious cave. Evading capture for over a decade, outwitting Botha and the settlers, John Kepe’s raids become ever more brazen and his escapes from the authorities ever more daring.

The outlaw’s legend grows in the hearts and minds of the poor and marginalised indigenous population, and the self-proclaimed “Samson of the Boschberg Mountains” emerges as both an enigma to his pursuers and a romantic object of adoration for his fellow victims of oppression.

With John Kepe’s very existence representing a threat to the inevitable march of colonial displacement, the hunt to capture and kill the outlaw reaches a desperate crescendo, and his mythological status as a hero and symbol of resistance is cemented forever.

 WATCH THE TRAILER
Sew The Winter To My Skin_Jahmil X.T. Qubeka

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s body of work has spanned over 15 years, covering a broad spectrum of disciplines. His documentary and feature film work has received accolades, awards and critical acclaim at prestigious international film festivals including Toronto International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, London Film Festival, and Pusan International Film Festival, amongst others. In 2005 an AIDS documentary he directed for Sesame Street won a prestigious Peabody Award in America. Among his many successes, Jahmil was the 2014 South African Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year in the Film category.

His second feature film Of Good Report (2013) has the inauspicious reputation of being the first feature film banned in Post-Apartheid South Africa. The first African film in Official Competition at the London Film Festival, it went on to win the BAFTA LA Best Feature Prize at the Pan African Film Festival and numerous awards at the Africa Movie Academy Awards including Best Feature. It also received an unprecedented seven awards at the South African Film and Television Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

Jahmil is currently working on several directorial projects, including the gritty South African boxing story Knuckle City which has just completed production and the large-scale Hell’s Bells – about the sinking of the SS Mendi.