Mama At Artscape Theatre

Chenal Kock in association with Vulture Productions and the Artscape Theatre Centre invites you to experience Mama at the Artscape Arena from 10 to 13 April 2019. Mama is a character-piece directed by Jeremeo Le Cordeur, showcased through poetry and physical theatre, choreographed by Alfonzo Freemantle and Yaseen Manuel, that focuses on the Afrikaaps dialect.

The character communicates through body language accompanied by musical performance poetry and spoken word by the “mixed but not fixed” creative artist, who portrays the character as a vessel to confront reality. The work fuses Mama’s physical confidence with Chenal’s vocal confidence in order to freely express herself. Her stories confront issues such as rebirth, language, cultural and self-exploration, freedom of expression and the state of being.

The production was adapted for the stage when Chenal and Jeremeo were selected to represent the Artscape Theatre Centre at a program called EVS (European Volunteer service), based in Liverpool in the UK. One of their tasks was to create a short piece that represented their country. “Chenal is passionate about physical theatre and poetry and I am a visual person who is passionate about directing and producing” says Jeremeo. “We tapped into our different art forms – and with our powers combined – Mama was born.”

Chenal explains: “This story is Important because it is based on my life experiences as an artist and woman of colour. I believe that the stories and poems explored within Mama are relatable. It comes from my experiences, from a place of authenticity and my sense of truth and that is something no one can take away from you, your story. “

The production showcased a 30 minute extract at the very first Fringe festival within the Woordfees program, in Stellenbosch. ”The Woordfees Fringe experience allowed us to experiment with our concept and ideas, it was the first opportunity to bring our script to life.” Says Chenal. “The experimental platform allowed our project to grow and be improved upon, and the location was also significant, because Stellenbosch is one of the 3 primary locations in the story.”

Tickets cost R45 per person and are available at Computicket. Click here for more information about the production and the artists involved.


‘Love Lives Here’ Movie To Celebrate Its Film Location In Durban

Highly anticipated South African rom-com, Love Lives Here, will host two premieres, including a premiere in Durban, to celebrate the beautiful province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the location where the movie was filmed.

‘The rom-com features a star-studded cast, with actress Thando Thabethe as its lead, alongside Lungile Radu, Zola Nombona, Sihle Ndaba, Nomalanga Shozi and Nyokabi Gethaiga, Motlatsi Mafatshe as well as KZN’s shining stars, Nomalanga Shozi, Nkanyiso Bhengu, and Andile Gumbi.

Set in KZN, the film tells the story of Zinhle Malinga (Thando Thabethe), a jaded romantic, who’s quests for that picture-perfect prince charming have left her disillusioned about the idea of true love. Like most successful young women, Zinhle is ready to settle down but is yet to find a man who wants the same thing and has resigned to putting her search for love on hold. When she meets Nathi Shange (Lungile Radu) everything changes, and she sets out to get a commitment from him in the form of a ring. But Nathi has sworn off marriage, and this brings Zinhle to the beginning of her journey to understanding the true meaning of love and ultimately finding the love she deserves.

The movie also explores many themes including money and relationships, sexuality, self-love, friendship and family!

“We wanted to showcase parts of South Africa that are seldom explored, and the picturesque locations that KZN offers felt like the right space and back drop to tell this authentic South African love story,” says the film’s executive producer, Dumi Gumbi.

The movie will have a premiere in Johannesburg on the 28th of March, followed by a premiere in Durban on the 4th of April, the night before the movie can be watched at cinemas across South Africa on 5th of April 2019!


SA Women Make Their Mark In Internationally Acclaimed Short Film ‘Escala’

As we affirm women across the globe honouring International Women’s Day last Friday (8 March), we applaud the team who birthed Escala – a carefully-crafted US-made short film which boasts a 100% female crew … (and five South Africans!) and has been officially selected for six international film festivals since its world premiere in July last year.

Three South African women have been instrumental in the creation of Escala: editor Eileen de Klerk, co-writer Tammy-Anne Fortuin and sound designer and music editor Reanne de Klerk. Escala is a multi-award-winning short film featuring SA actor Nick Boraine.

Last week, Escala was announced as an official finalist for the Utah Film Festival which means that it is a nominee in at least one award category. Categories were announced on Saturday 9 March, and the film has nominees in two categories: Best Score (Miriam Mayer) and Best Editing (Eileen de Klerk). The festival awards will take place in Utah on 6 April and the team will be attending the festival.

Escala has been screened to rousing public and critical acclaim at five leading industry showcases thus far. It had its world-wide premiere at the LA Shorts International Film Festival in July last year which ranks among the most prestigious and largest international short film festivals in the world.

In September it was screened at the Tops Shorts International Film Festival. At the festival, the film walked away with three accolades: Eileen de Klerk was winner of the award for Best Editing, Reanne de Klerk won Honorable Mention for sound design. Winning the Inspiring Woman in a Film category was Jy Prishkulnik, who played Amalia in the film.

The year wrapped up in California with an official entry to the Culver City Film Festival in December. So far this year, Escala was screened at the World-Wide Women’s Film Festival in February in Arizona as part of the official selection. The film returned to Arizona to be screened at the Sedona International Film Festival last month. Next up is the Utah Film Festival scheduled for early April.

Escala tells the story of Amalia, a teenage violinist torn between tolerating the inappropriate advances from her music instructor and winning the competition of a lifetime to change the future for her and her father. It features South Africa’s Nick Boraine as Dereck; James C Burns as Gustav and Jy Prishkulnik as Amalia.

“The film is only 16 minutes long – so every frame, every gesture, every nuance counts. Oftentimes it is more of a challenge and far more intense to communicate a story in a few minutes, rather than the more typical format of a full-length movie or series,” considers editor Eileen de Klerk.

“Being part of this amazing production has been the most astonishing journey,” “The critical acclaim has been extraordinary, hugely affirming and quite unexpected,” she adds.

Reanne de Klerk concurs. “For us as South Africans working really hard to develop careers in the hugely competitive American film market, we are especially chuffed to have our film, and in particular our individual contributions to the film, being so affirmed by the global film industry.”

“It is reassuring that South Africans – and in particular South African women – can find their place in the global marketplace. Our experience and journey in South Africa have set us up to allow us to do what we love with like-minded creatives who have amazing skills, tenacity, vision and commitment to make great work.”

Durban-born Reanne has been playing music since the age of five. She has performed with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra; Night of 100 Stars; KickstArt’s productions of Cabaret and Chicago, Platform Jazz, and Pastiche Jazz Orchestra. Now based in LA she is a composer, sound designer, music editor and assistant editor for features, short films and TV series and is currently working on the Warner Bros Studios Lot. Reanne is also currently working on a solo album with South African composer Anthony Costandius – once the album is recorded, she will premiere the album with a concert tour throughout South Africa.

Eileen is originally from Pretoria, moved to Cape Town in 2005 and is a former teacher for special needs children. She moved to Los Angeles in 2016 and has worked as a script supervisor and editor on film projects in South Africa and the States. She has worked on documentaries, shorts, features, music videos and series. She has also just edited a short film, LA Hustle, for one of six up-and-coming female directors who were chosen for the AWD (Alliance of Women Directors) Shoot-Em Up Film Series, with director Charissa Sanjarernsuithikul

The feedback from Escala has been amazing: “Escala is a disturbing and absorbing film that pulls you in with fantastic editing and sound design. Every moment is precisely paced in a very cinematic way. The sound is elegant and ethereal, bringing to life Amalia’s moving story,” said Doobie White, Editor: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Polar.

“Escala is unquestionably an award-winning masterpiece. I never thought that a fifteen-minute short film could make such an emotional impact on me… This short film is a must-see for all.” Utah Film Festival.

“A powerful and important film that violates the senses and one’s sense of self. Poignant, gripping, escalatory,” Charissa Sanjarernsuithikul, Director: LA Hustle, Playing it Straight.


‘Long Shot’ Starring Charlize Theron & Seth Rogen In SA Cinemas 24 May 2019

LONG SHOT (previously titled “Flarsky”) is the new laugh-out-loud comedy starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen – scheduled for release in South African cinemas on 24 May 2019.

Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is one of the most influential women in the world. Smart, sophisticated, and accomplished, she’s a powerhouse diplomat with a talent for…well, mostly everything. Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a gifted and free-spirited journalist with an affinity for trouble. The two have nothing in common, except that she was his babysitter and first crush. When Fred unexpectedly reconnects with Charlotte, he charms her with his self-deprecating humour and his memories of her youthful idealism. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte impulsively hires Fred as her speechwriter, much to the dismay of her trusted advisors. A fish out of water on Charlotte’s elite team, Fred is unprepared for her glamorous lifestyle in the limelight. However, sparks fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance and a series of unexpected and dangerous incidents.

From the celebrated team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, creators of outrageous comedy hits, including THIS IS THE END, KNOCKED UP and NEIGHBORS – LONG SHOT also features O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Ravi Patel and Alexander Skarsgård. The film was directed by Jonathan Levine. Screenplay by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah. Story by Dan Sterling.


Meet Ticky And Baboo – The Little Kings Of Mulberry Street

Once in a lifetime comes a story of true greatness such as the epic tale of Baboo and his best friend Ticky. That story is ‘Kings of Mulberry Street’, the new feature film written and directed by acclaimed director and producer Judy Naidoo.

Feisty Ticky (Aaqil Hoosen) is the archetypal Indian artful dodger – cheeky and daring with a streetwise swagger and little respect for rules. He escapes the realities of his 80s Sugarhill District existence by living in a Bollywood dream world where he’s an unbeatable action hero. Rooftops are his kingdom.

When chubby, timid Baboo (Shaan Nathoo) moves into the neighbourhood with his snooty, academic dad, Ticky thinks he’s the biggest loser he’s ever seen – but soon the two boys are drawn together by the shared threat of local bully and crime boss, Raja.

Aaqil Hoosen and Shaan Nathoo

These two nine-year-old misfits decide to rid their community of the evil Raja. Their plan –emulate the antics and mannerisms of Ticky’s Bollywood heroes. The battle between escapism and harsh reality is not even remotely matched, yet these heroes share a loyalty so special that they can conquer all. In the sugar cane fields of KZN, and the poor but vibrant and bustling streets (and rooftops) of Sugarhill District, the two unlikely comrades learn about life and overcoming obstacles, prejudices and their own deepest fears in this charming and hilarious adventure.

“We had an extensive casting search for both the child actors as well as the adults,” says Naidoo. “I was hands-on throughout the process. We found the Baboo character quite early in the casting process. However, we couldn’t find Ticky. We had to go to public schools in KZN and we found him after a really long process and many call-backs. I’m delighted that Aaqil happens to be from my home town, Verulam.”

Delving deeper into the characters of the delightful boys, Naidoo explains that Ticky Chetty’s petty criminal, father expects his son will follow his lead. Ticky’s mother’s incessant panic and his bizarre granny all give the young boy good reason to do what he does best – ignore reality and escape into fantasy.

“Ticky has a knack for switching roles in the blink of the eye and without a hint of irony. He looks upon Baboo as a ‘case’, a rescue mission. His motive: he needs a partner to bring down the man who has enslaved his dad. Of course, Ticky believes he himself is a true Bollywood-style hero.”

In real life, Aaqil loves watching his favourite series ‘Naruto’, playing fetch with his dog and mastering chess with his little sister Naajiya. He is drawn to the ocean and is fascinated by sea creatures. He hopes to become a marine biologist one day. He also has a keen interest in archaeology, and likes to study things from the past. He hopes this will take him to different continents when he’s a little older.

“Harold Singh, nicknamed Baboo, is a plump, nerdy nine-year-old,” Naidoo says. “He wishes he could go through most social situations being invisible. Incredibly smart, he can spell almost any word in the English dictionary but is clueless about survival on the streets. He has no stomach for anything physical and panics at the first sign of risk. After experiencing a life-altering setback, his father moves them to his late grandmother’s house on Mulberry Street. Moving into his late grandmother’s place on Mulberry Street is both a curse and blessing for young Baboo. The former because, as Ticky points out, Baboo hasn’t got a clue about how to be an Indian.

Shaan Nathoo, who plays this charming young fellow, is 9 years old. He loves drawing comics, animals, playing with Lego, cycling and having imaginary nerf gun wars with his friends.

Catch ‘Kings of Mulberry Street’ in cinemas on 28 June 2019