Shot in 2009 and completed in 2010, Master Harold and the Boys, based on South African playwright Athol Fugard’s play of the same name, releases locally on 13 May at Cinema Nouveau sites nationwide. The film is set to release in the US in July through Image Entertainment.

Directed by American Lonny Price, Master Harold and the Boys was produced in and around Cape Town by Michael Auret from Spier Films, David Pupkewitz from Focus Films, Nelle Nugent from Foxboro and Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat. It was post produced at Waterfront Studios.

Price, who played the lead character of "Hally" in the original Broadway version directed by Athol Fugard many years ago, went on to direct the Broadway revival. The play was adapted for the screen by South African screenwriter Nicky Rebello.

With stellar performances from a great cast of local and international actors including Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Mission Impossible), Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Patrick Mofokeng (Invictus) and Jennifer Steyn (Night Drive), the film is an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end. It's a lush period piece that captures the mood of 1950s Port Elizabeth at the time Athol Fugard was growing up.  

“A moving coming of age story about a young boy awakening to, and trying to make sense of, his parents’ and his society’s failings, Master Harold and the Boys should resonate with all South Africans,” says Auret. “Shot by cinematographer Lance Gewer (Tsotsi, Spud), edited by Ronelle Loots (U-Carmen eKhayelitsha) and with music by Barry Donnelly and Philip Miller amongst others, the producers assembled the cream of South African creatives and cast to work with the incredible international actors who both loved the film from the moment they first read the script.”

Master Harold and the Boys won the Audience Award at this year’s recent Cape Winelands Film Festival and recently played at the New York International Film Festival 2011.