Akin Omotoso’s award-winning feature film examining the lives of a group of strangers who arrive in cosmopolitan Johannesburg to fulfil various personal missions, goes on limited release at Cinema Nouveau, Rosebank in Johannesburg this Friday, 15 September. This is to qualify for consideration as South Africa’s official entry for the 2018 Oscars Best Foreign Language Film.
Since Vaya’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, it has already screened at many prestigious international and local film festivals, including the Berlin International Film Festival, the Sydney International Film Festival and the New York African Film Festival.
Described by one critic as South Africa’s Crash, Vaya has become a favourite with critics and audiences alike. It earned high praise from Cameron Bailey, Director of the Toronto International Film Festival who said: “Many filmmakers have utilised the network narrative to relay broad social commentary, Omotoso, bolstered by brilliant performances and Kabelo Thathe’s sizzling camerawork, wisely focuses on tension, character and milieu leaving the conclusions up to us.”
Most recently, Vaya scooped Best Screenplay and Best Director at the Africa Movie Academy awards in addition to Best South African Feature Film at this year’s Durban International Film Festival.
Written by Tshabalira Lebakeng, Anthony Mafela, David Majoka, Madoda Ntuli, Craig Freimond, Harriet Perlman and Robbie Thorpe, the screenplay is based on real lived experiences of a group of homeless writers who make up the Homeless Writer’s Project.
The film stars Mncedisi Shabangu, Warren Masemola, Sibusiso Msimang, Sihle Xaba, Zimkhitha Nyoka, Nomonde Mbusi and Azwile Chamane.
Three strangers travel by train to Johannesburg, each for unrelated, personal reasons. Vaya weaves three separate plots that intersect in a gripping, edgy and deeply moving story about coming to the city and the struggles to survive in the metropolis. It is about strangers who never meet, until they share a moment when all their lives explode and change forever.
Vaya is distributed in South Africa by Times Media Films and goes on general release on 27 October 2017.