South Africa’s first western Five Fingers for Marseilles opened nationwide at cinemas on 6 April.
While South Africans were the first to see the fast-paced action film, Five Fingers for Marseilles will also be released in the USA on 7 September, starting in New York and Los Angeles, before moving to an additional 15 American cities.
“We are thrilled to be working with the team that produced the Oscar-winning films Precious and The Paperboy... This is excellent news as it gives the film, which has fairly universal ideas and themes, access to a global cinema audience,” said writer-producer Sean Drummond.
Post the USA theatrical release it will also be made available on Amazon Prime, Amazon’s exclusive streaming video on demand service, increasing its reach even further. Five Fingers for Marseilles has also secured releases in Japan and Scandinavia, with more to follow.
Five Fingers for Marseilles tells the story of a group of young men (the ‘Five Fingers’) who stand up to brutal police oppression in Marseilles, a town in the rugged badlands of the Eastern Cape. Tau, one of the Five Fingers, kills two policemen and is sentenced to 20 years in prison. When he is released, the embittered ‘Lion of Marseilles’ discovers his comrades are now in prominent positions in the town. But there’s also a vicious new threat afoot, prompting Tau to reform the Five Fingers, take on old allies and new enemies.
“The film is hitting all the right notes with reviewers who have praised its cast, screenplay, directing and cinematography,” says Helen Kuun of Indigenous Film Distribution. “It’s not only action-packed and visually exquisite, but it also makes some incisive comments on the socio-political context in South Africa right now.”
The cast includes Vuyo Dabula, Hamilton Dhlamini, Zethu Dlomo, Kenneth Nkosi, Mduduzi Mabaso, Aubrey Poolo, Lizwi Vilakazi, Warren Masemola, Dean Fourie, Anthony Oseyemi, Brendon Daniels and Jerry Mofokeng. Cast by acclaimed casting director Moonyeenn Lee, the film also features people from local Eastern Cape communities in supporting roles, and introduces to the big screen talented newcomers Toka Mtabane, Vuyo Novokoza, Ntsika Tiyo, Sibusiso Bottoman, Abongile Sithole, and Qhawe Soroshi.
Five Fingers for Marseilles was awarded Best South African Film in Development at the Durban FilmMart’s finance forum in 2013. It was produced by Drummond and Matthews’ Be Phat Motel Film Company and Yaron Schwartzman and Asger Hussain of Game 7 Films, in association with Stage 5 Films and Above the Clouds. Five Fingers for Marseilles was also made possible with the backing of South Africa’s National Film & Video Foundation and the Department of Trade and Industry, and with additional support from Dupa Films.