Johannesburg-based Moments Entertainment is in production with its fourth feature film in two years, an African musical starring legendary South African songbird Yvonne Chaka Chaka and award-winning actress Leleti Khumalo (Sarafina! Yesterday).
“Cry of Love is an African film for an international audience, very much in the vein of Fame the Musical. However, the script touches on issues faced by many young Africans today – xenophobia, child soldiers, HIV/Aids, female genital mutilation and marriage by abduction.
“The film celebrates the African notion of Ubuntu and uses the arts and entertainment to offer an alternative for young people so that they sow the seeds of love and not hatred. We want this film to resonate with young people everywhere so that they can build healthy, normal lives,’ explains executive producer Firdoze Bulbulia.
Director Faith Isiakpere, who worked with Chaka Chaka (known as the “Princess of Africa’) on Moments Entertainments’ first feature film, Foreign Demons, created the concept for Cry of Love.
“Faith and I have known Yvonne since the struggle days of the 1980s so we go back a long way,’ notes Bulbulia. “Yvonne is also a UN Ambassador for malaria and involved in UN work globally. Her character in Cry of Love is inspired by Faith’s relationship with “Mama Africa’, the late Miriam Makeba. We are so excited that Yvonee and Leleti Khumalo have agreed to be involved in the film, as well as Victor Masondo, our musical director.’
The film is shooting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal on the RED camera at 4K resolution.
Also shot on this format was Moments Entertainments’ The Algiers Murders, which recently premiered at the Durban International Film Festival. “This was quite an innovation as South Africa does not have 4K projectors,’ comments Bulbulia. “We are excited to announce that the RED company will host a UK training course at Pinewood Studios where a 4K Projector will be used for the first time. RED has requested that we send a copy of The Algiers Murders to be part of the workshop.’
Budgets for Moments Entertainments films range between R4m and R10m. Bulbulia notes that the Department of Trade and Industry rebate has “helped tremendously’ in funding Foreign Demons, A Small Town Called Descent and The Algiers Murders.
“It’s up to us to raise the budget for production and we leverage partnerships with l
ocal and provincial governments and service providers,’ she continues.
“On The Algiers Murders we entered into a partnership with the Sedibeng Municipality. In addition we created a mentorship opportunity for students at the Vaal University of Technology’s Art Department.’
Foreign Demons, which was produced in the Nollywood genre, releases in September through Silverbird Cinemas in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. Zimbabwean-South African distributor Afriwood is releasing the film in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania.
A Small Town Called Descent, directed by Jahmil XT Qubeka, will be distributed globally through Videovision Entertainment, and has screened at more than 10 international film festivals.
The Algiers Murders has secured African distribution with Afriwood and Silverbird Cinemas and is awaiting participation at international festivals.