As a South African first, the psychological horror film The Tokoloshe has to date been selected for four of the most prestigious global horror film festivals – starting with its world premiere at Bifan in South Korea. Directed by Jerome Pikwane, who co-wrote it with South African novelist, Richard Kunzmann, the film promises to thrill horror fans. The other festivals will be revealed as soon as we are allowed to announce them.
Producers, Dumi Gumbi and Cati Weinek, agree that being selected for the South Korean film festival is a feather in their cap as South Koreans are specialists in horror. “They are innovative while never letting go of their cultural integrity…and then two years later you will see a US company remaking their films,” says Cati Weinek. The writers of the film developed the script over a number of years, so clearly this film is a passion project for director Jerome Pikwane. Pikwane who studied at the New York Film Academy and has won several awards as a TV commercials director in South Africa, intentionally created a film where ‘drama does not spring from CGI, special effects, a large cast or epic settings. It remains tightly focused on character and the unfolding relationship between them.”.
Producer Dumi Gumbi states that making a commercially viable film in South Africa also requires keeping an eye on what the global market wants. “We make films first for South Africans and then for the rest of planet!” While the horror genre has only a small target audience in South Africa, it has a very large and dedicated audience across the globe. Genre films like ‘Paranormal Activity’ grossed $ 193 355 800 worldwide (yes, 193 Million US Dollars) and smaller, culturally unique horror films like the Australian The Babadook may only have grossed $258000 at home in Australia but still ended up making $ 7,5 Million globally. Clearly there is a hunger for good horror films.
The film stars acclaimed actors Petronella Tshuma, Dawid Minnaar, Yule Masiteng, Harriet Manamela and Kwande Nkosi, who was also a child star of ‘Mrs Right Guy’ (2016, dir Adze Ugah).
Finance for the film came from the National Film and Video Foundation, M-Net, Gauteng Film Commission and the DTI. Indigenous Film Distribtion and Evolutionary Films are working together for a simultaneous theatrical release both in SA and the UK for November 2018 and other territories across the globe.