What does a chilling drama about the heartache of a missing sister and a light-hearted comedy about a fake fiancée have in common? They are both movies created for Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) and are the direct result of M-Net’s Magic in Motion Academy started in 2014. The well-established CSI initiative, which empowers young film and television graduates through an intensive 12-month work readiness programme, is starting 2018 on a high with the release of two new movies created by current and former Academy interns proving that the company’s investment in young homegrown TV talent is delivering fresh new local programming for local audiences.
First up on February 3 at 19:30 is Umhlanga, one of four movies created by the Academy Class of 2017. Set in rural KZN, the movie tells the story of two sisters, Buhle and Ntombi, whose excitement over the upcoming Reed Dance first turns to disappointment when Ntombi decides that she won’t attend the traditional ceremony, a decision that upsets her Gogo. But events take a turn for the worse when word reaches the village that Buhle who traveled alone to attend the event has now disappeared. What follows is a web of betrayal and lies as a shattered family fight to be reunited. Notably the movie boasts a multi-generational cast including Nomsa Xaba, Dawn Tandeka King, Lihle Dlomo and Busi Mtshali.
Then on 10 February at 19:30, Mzansi Magic audiences will see the premiere of Moratuwa, a film created by alumni of the academy, A Tribe Called Story. The team is made up of three Magic in Motion Academy Alumni (Aluta Qupa, Mbalizethu Zulu and Thembalethu Mfebe) and was funded and fostered by the MultiChoice Enterprise Development Fund. Since it’s creation in 2017, the company has been hard at work producing three commissioned movies for prime-time broadcast, an impressive opportunity afforded to the young filmmakers after their potential was recognised during their internship. In Moratuwa, a young career woman Naledi fulfills her gravely ill grandmother’s wish to marry by ‘tying the knot’ with Neo, a man she hires to be her Mr Right. But when her grandmother makes an unexpected recovery, doctors warn her ‘newlywed’ grand-daughter that any bad news will be very harmful to her fragile health. For Neo it’s a chance to spend time with a lady he has always liked but for Naledi, trapped in a comical lie, life is about to get very interesting…
Speaking at a special screening held to celebrate the movies, M-Net South Africa Group GM Nkateko Mabaso congratulated the teams who completed both films on their outstanding achievement.
“M-Net invests in young TV talent because we understand that their growth is vital to our industry and to economic development of the country. And most importantly, it is because our audiences support local talent and stories so enthusiastically that enables us to continue delivering it.”
For more information on M-Net’s Magic in Motion Academy, log on to www.mnetcorporate.co.za or visit our Twitter page @MnetCorporate #MagicInMotion