2019 has been an interesting year for South African film. We’ve had multiple landmark local successes at the box-office with Kandasamys: Wedding and Matwetwe, however the release of South African films have been quite sporadic. Winter particularly saw a drought in releases with the Kings of Mulberry Street being one of the only major releases, however the tides seem to be changing as spring creeps on in. The next few months seem to offer a flurry of local flicks at the box office with about over 9 films releasing within the period and here are the South African films coming on circuit within that period.
- Ander Mens – 23rd August 2019
Quentin Krog returns with his fourth cinematic feature with this action-comedy starring Frank Opperman, Bennie Fourie and Marlee van der Merwe. When his wife leaves him for their marriage counsellor, sad-sack Daniel Niemand unknowingly becomes integral in a high-level police ploy to capture a local crime syndicate.
- Uncovered – 30th August 2019
SAFTA-winning director Zuko Nodada veers into politically-heated drama with his new film starring Nqobile Khumalo, Robert Hobbs and Sthandiwe Kgoroge. When Aluta’s journalist sister is killed for her investigation of a mining conspiracy involving her own boss, Aluta must fight to stop the corruption and bring her sister’s killers to justice. This movie looks to serve film-goers looking for high-octane drama that deals with socia-political themes.
- Rafiki – 30th August 2019 (Kenyan Film)
Directed by Africa Movie Academy Award-winning filmmaker Wanuri Kahui, Rafiki holds the distinction of being the first Kenyan film to screen at Cannes. “Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena and Ziki long for something more. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety within their conservative society.
- Back of The Moon – 6th September 2019
The Bomb Shelter and Academy Award-nominated director Angus Gibson returns to film with this period drama starring Richard Lukunku, Moneoa Moshesh and Lemogang Tsipa. On the eve of his home being demolished by apartheid police, Badman, a notorious gangster decides to fight them to the death. But when Eve, a gorgeous torch singer, is thrust into his orbit Badman finds something to live for.
- Fiela Se Kind – 13th September 2019
Brett Michael Innes helms the latest adaptation of Dalene Mathee’s best-selling novel Fiela se Kind, starring Zenobia Kloppers, Wayne Smith and Luca Bornman. Fiela Se Kind tells the story of a coloured woman living in the arid Karoo who takes in a lost white child and raises him as her own. Nine years later, the boy is removed and forced to live in the Knysna Forest with a family of woodcutters who claim that he is theirs.
- Losing Lerato – 13th September 2019
Acclaimed actor Kagiso Modupe produces, writes and stars in this tense thriller, co-starring his daughter Tshimillo Modupe and Ayanda Borotho. A successful young black man takes matters into his own hands by kidnapping his daughter after life, the law, and the woman he once loved, separates him from his child. His actions put him on a collision course with that law, and he finds himself in a high-stakes hostage situation.
- Moffie – 20th September 2019
SAFTA and Cannes-award winning filmmaker Oliver Hermanus provides another film centred on unique queer experiences, starring Kai Luke Brummer, Ryan De Villiers and Matthew Vey. Based on Andre-Carl van der Merwe’s memoir Moffie tells the story of a conscript who embarks on his military service in 1981 South Africa.
- Zulu Wedding – 11th October 2019
This film holds the distinction of being the first South African wide-release film to be directed and produced by a black woman, Lineo Sekeleoane. When an engaged Lou is told she’s been promised to marry the Zulu King, she is forced to confront the tradition she’s been running away from since the death of her parents when she turned 15. But when she prevails upon a handsome royal advisor to help her get into the Royal Compound, he proves to be a dangerously seductive charmer.
- Racheltjie De Beer – 18th October 2019
Matthys Boshoff makes his directorial cinematic debut adapting the aforementioned Brett Michael Innes’ (see Fiela Se Kind) best-selling novel on folk-lore legend, Racheltjie De Beer. Set in the 1800’s Five years after their mother died, Rachel, a girl on the cusp of adolescence and Jamie, her 5-year old brother, find themselves on their way to the virgin gold fields with their father as he tries to start a new life. When Jamie goes missing in a freak snow blizzard, Rachel braves the storm to look for her little brother.
Previous/Similar Works/Reference Points: Sink, Fiela se Kind (2019)
- Blessers – 25th October 2019
Rea Rangaka helms this Tbo-Touch penned and produced comedy starring Kenneth Nkosi, Sonia Sedibe and Six Nyamane. When Natasha is cut off financially by her well-off parents, she falls into the world of blessers until she finds an unexpected client half-naked and waiting for her in a hotel room.