Durban FilmMart 2014 selected projects – Fiction projects


Producer: Hossam Elouan
Director: Khaled Hafez
Country: Egypt

“All Time Idlers is an ironic epic about historical conspiracies, revolutions, and
more revolutions.’
Five linear historical time periods “open’ on each other and protagonists perform
the same roles across time, over and over.
Period One: Circa 1350 BC, during the Amarna period (18TH Dynasty), precisely
the 18 years when Akhenaton is king. Period Two: 1610 AD, Stratford von Avon,
when Shakespeare succeeds in writing four masterpieces, and struggles to
write a fifth. Period three: 1952 AD, when some officers plan for a revolution to
oust a king and replace a monarchy with a republic. Period Four: late 1963 AD,
United States of America, a group of characters in some dark alleys devise a
plan. North America and France 1963, between Texas, New Orleans, Mexico City
and Marseilles, a conspiracy is being woven to eliminate an American politician, a
head of state. Period five: 2013 AD, the same characters from period one
reappear to play the same parts, where seculars confront the religious and army
officers play kings.
Throughout intermingled relationships between protagonists, where actors play
the same roles of conspiracy, leadership, virtue and vice, viewers float in a
never-ending sea of plans, plots, conspiracy, disappointment, hypocrisy and
cheat, identical in every possible way since the beginning of history.

Producer: Ashleigh Nash
Director: William Collinson
Country: South Africa

At the age of 21 Herman Charles Bosman was arrested for murder and
sentenced to be hanged. However, he was granted a reprieve and after several
reductions to his sentence, he was a free man again. Twenty years later, he
wrote an autobiographical account of his prison experience, Cold Stone Jug, a
coming-of-age story which was published in 1949.
“Perhaps the most startling characteristic of Cold Stone Jug is that it is pre-
eminently humorous and largely a raconteur’s holiday…as though a sojourn in
the death cell and the miseries of imprisonment were essentially comic
“It is a tribute to Bosman’s creative genuineness and psychological insight that
the chronicle of his gaol years is not a document of self-glorification, self-pity or
indignation. Cold Stone Jug is totally original and, under its vast funniness, fully
charged with intimations of horror, pity and misery so that it ends by being
overwhelmingly poignant. The daringly light hand reveals all the awfulness of
what men do to each other…in the throwaway roughness of this jokey
fictionalized memoir Bosman expressed truth and beauty in rich and difficult
ways, and has manifested in something we can only call genius.’ – Lionel
Abrahams, Johannesburg, 1985

Producer: Mutaleni Nadimi, Tapiwa Chipfupa
Director: Oshosheni Hiveluah
Country: Namibia

Dances of Red (Oudano doutilyane) is a quirky coming of age melodrama that
fuses the real world with the spiritual and the gross imagination of the narrator.
A prose set mainly in a small all-girls missionary boarding school in a small
northern Namibian village.
The middle sister Ndaty is brutally murdered by her husband Tiko and after the
funeral, her sisters Oletu and Tuli come to pack up her belongings. They find
Ndaty’s prose diary book and other items that evoke their memories of the one
year when they attended boarding school together. It was also the same year
when Ndaty and Tiko’s relationship blossomed.
Told through the eyes of the youngest sister Tuli, who has a very sharp and
active imagination that leads to funny and thoughtful moments in the film, they
try to cope with the loss of their sister. It’s a story of sisterhood, love and dance
and a girl who wants recognition and acknowledgement through her dance so
badly it “destroys’ her. However, Tuli learns that through interwoven dreams,
visions and memories sometimes things can be made right, when we just open
ourselves up to believing.

Director: Amirah Mohamed Tajdin
Producers: Wafa Mohamed Tajdin, Bongiwe Selane, Helena Spring and Junaid
Country: Kenya/South Africa

Hamedi is a Swahili wedding singer and a part-time drag queen who returns
home to be by his dying mother’s side.
The film takes place over seven days in Mombasa and unfolds as an intense
week for the protagonist who has to balance his mother’s worsening cancer
condition and the culmination of his wedding singer career.
He discovers truths about his mother’s past, revisits painful memories from his
childhood and channels his emotions through his one true love – music. Thus the
sounds of popular “Taarab’ music, Bollywood love songs and old Egyptian
orchestral music accent Hamedi’s island existence and more importantly his
deeply fractured relationship with his mother who violently shuns his drag
queen lifestyle, a less than manly career choice.
Hamedi finds comfort and wisdom from his aunt who truly understood his
eccentricity. A gentle spirit and positive soul, he embarks on the daily trials and
tribulations of attending to his distant and disapproving mother, as well as
finding solace with the family servants and his best friend, a seamstress who’s
been responsible for his “outfits’ but most importantly is the creator of his
masterpiece, the ensemble set to accompany his final performance as his alter
ego, “Hawa Hawaii’.

Producer: Rafeeqah Galant
Director: Matthew Griffiths
Country: South Africa

Thabo is a young boy from an affluent background who finds himself in Nyanga
Township. Lost and confused, he is unable to accept this new setting as his
When he meets Mdu and Gadgets he is sucked into their project to build and
pilot a model airplane and in the process encounters Mandla, the local school
bully. Thabo’s pride leads him into a confrontation with Mandla, causing Mandla
to destroy the model plane.
Mdu blames Thabo for the incident and their newfound friendship falls apart.
However, Mandla also takes the opportunity to steal Thabo’s most prized
possession: his bicycle. Distraught, Thabo arrives at Mdu’s door and tells him of
the theft, explaining his parent’s death and how the bicycle was from his father.
The three boys come together and make a plan. Gadgets creates a distraction
so Thabo can sneak in and grab the bicycle. Then Mdu pilots the revived plane to
guide Thabo through the streets while Gadgets lays booby traps for Mandla and
his gang. Mandla makes it through and catches up to the three boys. Mdu is
finally prepared to stand up to him but Thabo, realising the day is already won,
encourages the boys to just go home.

Producer: Jennifer Mostert
Writer & Director: Jan Lampen
Country: South Africa

Tshimbiloni is a gentle spirited Venda boy growing up in Limpopo. As a small
child he falls into a fire and burns his face beyond recognition. The villagers
reject him until his grandfather, a traditional wood-carver, carves him a beautiful
wooden mask.
At the age of 12, Tshimbiloni is selected for reconstructive surgery. The
grandfather who accompanies the boy to Johannesburg has to accept that the
doctors will now replace the face that he had created for the boy.
When a violent strike breaks out at the general hospital, grandfather and the
boy decide to return to Venda. Dr Truter, the renowned plastic surgeon, offers
to take Tshimbiloni into his ersatz Tuscan Villa until his new face is complete.

Dr Truter’s wife Adele resents this additional responsibility and the presence of
this monster boy triggers a crisis for Charlie, his obese teenage daughter who
has always felt inadequate and ugly compared to her mother.
In forgoing his own mask, the little boy from Venda forces everyone around him
to drop theirs and in the painful construction of his new face, he inspires
everyone to face up to their own demons, their little indiscretions and

Producer: Wael Sayad El Ahl, Karim Boutros Ghali, Alaa Karkouti
Director: Ahmed Amer
Country: Egypt

Balash Tebosni; the Story of a Kiss, is a mockumentary that follows the story of
Tamer, a young and ambitious Egyptian director who faces issues while shooting
a kissing scene in his new film.
The leading actress Fajr, once a starlet known for her steamy roles, decides to
quit the film before finishing it because she has “found God’ and now has a
problem with kissing in front of the camera… jeopardising the completion of the
highly publicised film, and more importantly, Tamer’s vision.
The story is interwoven with archival footage and interviews with heavyweight
actors and directors from the Egyptian film industry and ones who come from the
liberal eras of cinema who tell their own stories of kissing on film. They will also
comment on their “colleague’ the director Tamer and his problem with Fajr,
blurring the line between fiction and the documentary. Famous preachers and
“redeemed’ actors will also present their case regarding what is halal and why
they are pushing for “clean cinema’ but all in the context of our story of Tamer
and Fajr. This film will examine the rise of conservatism in Egyptian cinema and
society and its complex relationship between religion and art.

Producers: Pablo Iraola, Pandora da Cunha Telles
Director: Licinio de Azevedo
Country: Mozambique

Mozambique is in the midst of a civil war. The train that connects Nampula to
Malawi is the only hope for hundreds of people, who are willing to risk their own
lives to guarantee the survival of their families.
Running 5km per hour over sabotaged tracks, the train journey is filled with
obstacles and adventure, where the violence of soldiers against the people who
they were supposed to protect is tangled with the enemy’s violence.
This is the story of the stoic Mariamu, a frequent passenger who continues
doing the same journey to take salt from the coast of Mozambique and is
bringing back sugar from Malawi; of nurse Rosa, who is going to the hospital
where she was placed, living the reality of war for the first time; and of the
Lieutenant Taiar, who only knows the reality of the military life. Stories of love
and war that defy death and despair, creating a space for hope filled with the
traditional African oral stories.

Producer: Elias Ribeiro
Director: John Trengove
Country: South Africa

Kwanda, a rebellious and sexually confused teenager from the city, travels to
the rural settlement of his family’s origin to be circumcised in a traditional rites-
of-passage into manhood.
For three weeks Kwanda and his fellow initiates – a group of rural boys – live in
isolation, recuperating in mountain huts. He forms an intimate bond with his
caregiver – Xolani – a mysterious rural man who helps him endure his first week
on the mountain. Kwanda’s curiosity is piqued when he begins to suspect that
Xolani is involved in a closeted sexual relationship with Vija, a charismatic and
volatile alpha male from the village. Kwanda is drawn to Vija and seeks out his
approval as a father figure, igniting a jealous rivalry between the two rural men.

When it is discovered that Kwanda has witnessed a sexual encounter between
them, Vija, fearing exposure, goes on the hunt for the city boy. Forced to choose
between his compassion for Kwanda and his loyalty to Vija, Xolani helps Kwanda
escape. As they descend the mountain, Kwanda discovers too late that he has
been ambushed when Xolani pushes him off a mountain ledge to his death.

Producers: Stephen Abbott & Eduan van Jaarsvelt
Director: Stephen Abbott
Country: South Africa

Cain is a violent man who suppresses his murderous past as he ekes out
survival in a rural post-apocalyptic South Africa.
In this desperate and decrepit future, old prejudices have taken new forms:
racism flares, the police sell bodies, the news investigates, the travellers provide
transient slave labour, and no-one returns when they leave for the distant city.

When Cain is confronted by an alluring traveller, Helen, his dormant conscience
begins to stir. Could he find peace from his past?
A powerful journalist from the city begins an investigation into the murder –
unsolved until now. Cain strains to conceal his evil deeds. He begins to see
visions of the ghost of murders past.
Cain falls for charming Helen and the absolution she seems to offer. His two
murderous accomplices follow diverging paths: one spirals into madness and
suicide, and the other into more murder and intimidation, clashing with Cain over
his changing resolve. Cain’s visions grow clearer and more horrific. Meanwhile,
the investigation draws ever closer to the wicked truth.
Cain seeks redemption, but must admit to the evils of his past, face his
depraved accomplice, and sacrifice his freedom and ultimately his life for the
woman he has come to love.


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