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South African Actors Play Key Batswana Roles In Seretse Khama Film ‘A United Kingdom’

While Botswana President Ian Khama’s visit to South Africa this week to attend the 3rd Session of the Botswana-South Africa Bi-National Commission will focus on strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries, the South African connection with Botswana goes a step further in the highly anticipated film, A UNITED KINGDOM.

President Ian Khama on set of A UNITED KINGDOM with David Oyelowo who plays Seretse Khama.
President Ian Khama on set of A UNITED KINGDOM with David Oyelowo who plays Seretse Khama.

The film which tells of the inspirational love story of President Khama’s parents, Sir Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, stars four South Africans in key roles: Terry Pheto as Seretse’s sister, Naledi; Vusi Kunene as his uncle Tshekedi; Abena Ayivor as Tshekedi’s wife, Ella and Theo Landey who plays an American journalist. Terry Pheto’s brilliant performance in the film earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress from the British Independent Film Awards last week.

Widely acknowledged as the greatest love story never told, A UNITED KINGDOM is set in London in 1947, when Seretse Khama, the 26-year-old King of Botswana, fell in love with Ruth Williams, a 24-year-old London office worker. Their marriage was opposed not only by their respective families but also by the British and South African governments. But Seretse and Ruth defied family, apartheid and the British Empire – their love triumphed over every obstacle flung in their way and in so doing they transformed their Nation and inspired the world.

The star studded cast of A UNITED KINGODM is led by David Oyelowo (‘Selma’) playing King Seretse Khama, and Rosamund Pike (‘Gone Girl’) playing Ruth Williams, as well as popular South Africans Terry Pheto (‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’) and Vusi Kunene (‘Cry, The Beloved Country’, ‘Eye in the Sky’). Directed by BAFTA winner Amma Asante (‘Belle’) from a screenplay by BAFTA winning writer Guy Hibbert (‘Five Minutes of Heaven’, ‘Omagh’), the script is based on ‘Colour Bar’ by Susan Williams, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London.

A UNITED KINGDOM will be released in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe on 9 December 2016 by Videovision Entertainment through United International Pictures.

Videovision Entertainment’s Director of Acquisition and Distribution, Sanjeev Singh said, “A UNITED KINGDOM tells one of the most important stories in Botswana’s run up to independence from Great Britain in 1966. Its significance was acknowledged with the hosting of the African premiere of the film in Gaborone as part of Botswana’s celebration of fifty years of independence on 28 September. We at Videovision Entertainment are delighted to be distributing this inspiring film and to be sharing it with audiences in Africa.”

A UNITED KINGDOM will be released in South Africa, Botswana and East and West Africa on 9 December 2016 by Videovision Entertainment through United International Pictures.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za
And IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/