‘iNumber Number’, the South African thriller written and directed by Donovan Marsh, opens in cinemas nationwide on 25 April 2014. Starring in the lead role is one of South Africa’s favourite young talents, S’dumo Mtshali, inthe role of honest undercover cop Chili.
Mtshali was discovered when he entered and won the SABC1 reality competition ‘Class Act’, in 2010. After that, he landed his first leading rolein the SABC1 drama series ‘Intersexions’. The series went on to win a PeabodyAward in 2011. In 2011, he took on a recurring role on the hit daily drama,‘Rhythm City’, as Maidi Kotwe, a married medical student involved in a torridlove triangle. Mtshali went on to star as Kuti Daniels in SABC1’s ‘TempyPushas’, a drama series set in the glamorous fashion world and juxtaposed withSouth Africa’s vibrant township culture. In 2012, he played Spikiri in thefeature film, ‘Inside Story’, directed by Rolie Nikiwe and produced byDiscovery Channel Global Education Partnership and Quizzical Pictures. In 2013and 2014, he has starred as Sibusiso, or ‘S’bu’ Ndlovu, in the Mzansi Magic telenovela ‘isiBaya’.
Mtshali says he dreamt of being an actor from a young age. Hestudied acting at Durban University of Technology before entering Class Act in2010. As the winner of ‘Class Act’, his prize included representation from thetop SA casting agency, Moonyeenn Lee and Associates, an eight-week actingcourse at New York Film Academy and the lead role in the action feature film,‘iNumber Number’. “To star in a film where corruption is the norm and gangsters from the streets of Soweto and Johannesburg relate to each other in ‘tsotsi taal’ was a huge amount of fun for me, as well as an exciting step upin my career,” he says.
An action-packed movie, ‘iNumber Number’ is about a pair of copsbattling corrupt colleagues as well as a gang of armoured-car thieves. Chiliand Shoes (Presley Chweneyagae of ‘Tsotsi’ and ‘State of Violence’ fame) havebeen partners in the police force for eight years. After they make a riskyarrest, their corrupt superior refuses to give them the reward they are due.Enraged, Chili realises that honesty does not pay and reluctantly sets aboutinfiltrating a gang of armoured car thieves. The film boasts an oddball cast that brings comic relief to the ruthless thuggery.
“This is a top-quality film with outstanding performances,” saysHelen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, which is distributing ‘iNumberNumber’ in South Africa. “It recently won the audience choice award at the JoziFilm Festival, which indicates what a great crowd pleaser the film is. S’dumoshines in the lead role and it’s not hard to see why he’s becoming so popularwith local audiences. He’s a talent to watch.”
Producer Harriet Gavshon agrees. “As a heist movie, the film has anintricate plot and S’dumo delivers on every level. Chili is an essentially goodguy who is disappointed because the system he believes in lets him down. Tornbetween participating in the caper and saving Shoes, Chili attempts to do both.When it becomes clear that innocent guards are going to be killed during the heist, Chili must decide if he is going to let the heist go down or not. S’dumo captures Chili’s struggle as the film reaches its climax.”
‘iNumber Number’ is South African director Donovan Marsh’s fourthfilm. An award-winning director, writer and editor, Marsh has worked in thelocal film industry since 1992. He wrote and directed the feature films‘Dollars and White Pipes’, ‘Spud’ and ‘Spud 2: The Madness Continues’.
The film had its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival inSeptember 2013. Los Angeles-based production and distribution company WrekinHill Entertainment has acquired the North American rights to ‘iNumber Number’and is looking toward a US nationwide theatrical release of the film in thespring of 2014. In addition, Universal Pictures optioned the remake rights to ‘iNumber Number’ at the end of last year,
“It’s a major coup for us as filmmakers because it highlights thequality of the film,” says Gavshon. “The international film market is highly competitive and securing a US release and a remake are big wins.”
iNumber Number was produced by Marsh, Quizzical Pictures’ Harriet Gavshon, JP Potgieter and Mariki van der Walt, and executive produced by Nim Geva and Owen Kessel.