South African producers Jeremy Nathan and Michelle Wheatley of DV8 Films together with well known music impresario Mbongeni Ngema (creator of Sarafina!, starring Whoopi Goldberg) are attending the Cannes International Film Festival to discuss distribution deals for their soccer themed feature film, ACE.
Principal Photography of Darrell Roodt’s script will begin in July. The picture will also be directed by Roodt whose feature Yesterday won an Oscar for best foreign feature. Roodt also directed the Miramax (domestic) released Cry, the Beloved Country(Richard Harris, James Earl Jones), and the film version of Mbongeni Ngema’s Broadway stage hit Sarafina!
ACE, a feature film as well as a musical extravaganza, follows the uplifting story of the late Patrick “Ace’ Ntsoelengoe who is regarded as the greatest player in South African soccer history. From his humble beginnings in the racially divided South Africa, the young boy with a dream to play soccer went on to become an international megastar in the sport.
Famous for his exciting playing technique, and drawing thunderous applause from world fans, Ace went from success to success in the global soccer world and was hailed as a soccer genius. He left South Africa in his prime to play in the North American Soccer League. He was the first, and is the only, South African to be inducted into the United States’ National Soccer Hall of Fame – alongside greats like Pele.
In addition to the choreography and scoring the music, Ngema (Committed Artists) serves as Executive producer, and is developing a stage musical to go alongside the film.
Nathan and Wheatley, DV8 Films (Shirley Adams, Izulu Lami – My Secret Sky, Bunny Chow, Forgiveness) will produce ACE in collaboration with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). ACE is due for release in December 2009 to coincide with the FIFA World Cup 2010 draw in Cape Town.