OFFICIAL SELECTION 2018
DIRECTOR : Sara Blecher
COUNTRY : South Africa
YEAR : 2018
TIME : 92min
Nu Metro 5, 11 Oct @ 8pm | Nu Metro 6, 15 Oct @ 7.45pm
This fourth film from acclaimed South African director and DIFF regular Sara Blecher provides a fresh look at the gangster genre from a very different perspective. Set in the Johannesburg suburb of Mayfair, an area that was previously defined as ‘Indian’ by the architects of apartheid but has since become a melting pot of new migrants from across the continent, the film tells the story of the relationship between crime boss Aziz (Rajesh Gopie) and his son Zaid (Ronak Patani). As the film progresses, Blecher peels back the layers of moral hypocrisy that lurk beneath the veneer of Aziz’s respectability. Zaid rejects and abhors everything about his father’s moral choices & until he learns that his dad once had to make the exact same choice that he is now being forced to make.
By providing a female perspective on both a traditionally male genre and a story about manhood, Blecher has created a film that both celebrates and extends the limits of the genre. A compelling story about family, freedom and faith, Mayfair is another truly South African film from one of the country’s most gifted directors.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Originally from South Africa, Blecher’s family moved to New York when she was 12 years old. Her family is originally of Jewish Lithuanian origin, which informs some of her work. After a brief spell at Georgetown University, Blecher lived in Paris for a year and enrolled in film school upon her return to New York. In 1992, shortly after graduating, she returned to South Africa. She directed the documentaries Surfing Soweto and Kobus And Dumile. She was nominated for Best Movie Director at the 2013 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for her first film Otelo Burning, a story of how 16-year-old Otelo Buthelez learns how to surf amidst apartheid. The film won 17 awards internationally. It is in Zulu with English subtitles and stars Jafta Mamabolo, Thomas Gumede and Tshepang Mohlomi. Following the success of Otelo Burning, Blecher received funding from the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) for a “slate of films”. Her second film Ayanda premiered October 10 at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival and took international honors at the LA Film Festival in 2015. Blecher graduated from NYU.
She is married and has three children.