The 34th Durban International Film Festival will open with the evocative movie Of Good Report by South African director Jahmil XT Qubeka.
His latest film, which has its world premiere at the festival on 18 July, tells the sombre tale of a small-town high school teacher with a penchant for young girls.
Of Good Report is the director’s third feature film and is described as a hypnotically engaging journey into the soul of a mentally troubled man.
The movie tells the story of Parker Sithole (Mothusi Magano) who goes on a drinking spree at the local tavern where he meets the beautiful Nolitha Ngubane (Petronella Tshuma). Soon, the love-struck pair begins an illicit affair.
However, there is just one problem: Nolitha is only 16 years old and is one of Parker’s pupils. Obsessed with the girl, Parker loses all perspective, which leads to tragedy. Six months later, he reads that there is a shortage of teachers in Zimbabwe…
Qubeka says of the movie: “It is a serial killer origins story about how a social misfit turns into an inadequate man hell bent on satisfying his shameful lust. It is Little Red Riding Hood, told from the wolf’s perspective.’
The filmmaker’s documentary and feature film work has screened at festivals around the world. He directed Talk to Me, an hour-long HIV/Aids documentary special with Sesame Street New York, which won the Peabody Award for Best Actuality Programming.
He also produced the low-budget feature film uMalusi, which was released by Ster-Kinekor in March 2009. His second feature, A Small Town Called Descent, had its world premiere at the 31st DIFF, and won the Founders’ Award for Narrative Feature at the Pan African Film Festival in 2011.
Says Peter Machen, newly appointed manager of the DIFF: “We are extremely happy to be opening DIFF 2013 with Jahmil’s brave and remarkable film. Of Good Report does so much more than simply telling a South African story – the film redefines the local filmmaking landscape and extends the language of African filmmaking while acknowledging the rich history of global cinema.’
Of Good Report is produced by Mike Auret and Luzuko Dilima of Spier Films.
The DIFF, which is primarily funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, takes place from 18 to 28 July 2013.
The festival includes 170 theatrical screenings, a full seminar/workshop programme as well as the Wavescape Film Festival and industry initiatives: the 6th Talent Campus Durban (in cooperation with the Berlin Talent Campus) and the 4th Durban FilmMart (the co-production market in partnership with the Durban Film Office), with the Wild Talk Africa Festival taking place in the city from 23 to 26 July.
Go to www.durbanfilmfestival.co.za for more information.