Izulu Lami (My Secret Sky), the opening night film of the recent Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) opened nation-wide in South African cinemas on 21 August. Directed by Madoda Ncayiyana and co-written by him and Julie Frederickse of Durban-based company Vuleka Productions, the film has generated global interest as well as locally from the President’s office and the Department of Arts and Culture.
To mark the film’s nationwide release, the Durban Film Office (DFO) invited 100 children from Durban and surrounding areas to view the film with South Africa’s First Lady Nompumelelo Ntuli.
Said the DFO’sActing CEO Toni Monty: “We are privileged to have the First Lady watch Izulu Lami with the kids. The response received from the kids after watching the movie was both phenomenal and incredible. Together with cast members, including Tarifa award-winning young actress Sobahle Mkhabase, the kids were excited to be in the company of the country’s First Lady”.
In May Izulu Lami (My Secret Sky) received the Audience and Best Actress awards at the Tarifa International Pan African Film Festival in Spain. During the film’s African premiere at DIFF, it received a phenomenal response from an audience, which included the honourable Minister of Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana. During the DIFF awards ceremony Izulu Lami (My Secret Sky) received special jury mentions of the child actors.
The film follows the story of two young children who journey to the city from their rural homestead after their mother’s death. The film features a cast of mainly young children who had never acted professionally before, discovered through extensive casting by the director, from the townships and informal settlements of eThekwini Municipality to the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal.
“Seeing such a compelling and authentic local story told in Zulu by a local Black director makes the NFVF immensely proud,” said Ryan Haidarian of the National Film and Video Foundation.
Reviewing the film in his NFVF blog, Dr Don Materra mentions that the film “is the kind of family movie that you may want your kids to see; the kind that gives one confidence and a sense of tangible hope for the future of film production in South Africa generally.” Dr Mattera goes on to say that the film can play an important role “in the creation of stirring children’s dramas in South Africa, and also on our beleaguered African Continent.”
Izulu Lami (My Secret Sky) is screening nationwide at cinemas including; Ster Kinekor Cape, Gauteng East, Gauteng West, KZN, Ster Kinekor Pretoria; and NuMetro Cape Town, Gauteng and KZN. The film will be available on DVD through Ster Kinekor Home Entertainment and will be broadcast on SABC towards the end of the year. For more information on the screening venues visit www.sterkinekor.com.
The film was produced by Dv8 Films and co-produced by Vuleka Productions. Izulu Lami (My Secret Sky) is supported by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the SABC, Ster-Kinekor Distribution, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Rebate, INK and the French film fund, Fonds Images Afrique.