The local film UMalusi held a VIP pre-screening at Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank last week. The producer, co-writer and director of photography, Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, alongside first time director, Mlandu Sikwebu, cast and crew attended the screening with guests who included local filmmakers and craftsmen, production people, ad agency imagineers and muso’s.
The evening was also an opportunity for everyone within the local film making industry to network and discuss the film itself.
The film, which was the first film to be entirely shot in East London post apartheid South Africa and was made on little to almost no budget. It was shot mostly on consumer bought miniDV tape. Qubeka says of the film: “South Africans can all tell a story and there are so many to tell of this diverse and wonderful country. Ours tells the story of a young black man who leaves his comfortable existence, and journeys into Mdantsane township, a sprawling, densely populated, black, poverty stricken place, where the two different worlds depicted are highly contrasting, fusing into a vivid metaphor of South Africa’s complex socio-economic terrain.’
He goes onto say that even with no budget a 78 minute feature film has been produced which is a great achievement for not only themselves but also for local filmmaking. “This should be something that all South African story tellers should aim to achieve, because here in South Africa, anything is possible.’
On what he hopes to achieve out of this film, Qubeka says because it was born from an innate desire to make films that are original and distinctly South African, he also hopes it will hold up a mirror of scrutiny for South Africa’s wayward youth.
uMalusi is being screened at the Durban Film Festival and the public will be able to view this film in October 2008 at Ster Kinekor theatres nationwide.