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South African Films at London Film Festival

There is plenty South African film flavour dotted across London in the next few weeks. Here are some good reasons for you to go check them out.  South African films being screened in Britain are like gold-dust. The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980), Tsotsi, which won the Foreign Language Oscar in 2005, and sci-fi District 9 are the exceptions but there’s not a huge audience here for films like Fanie Fourie’s Lobola or Leon Schuster’s comedies like Zulu on My Stoep.

However, this month there are six new South African films playing in Britain, three at the London Film Festival and two at commercial cinemas.

Why these films are important for British audiences:

1. Brits tend just to see just the beauties of Cape Town.

2. Reflections of social realism in the new South Africa and the ‘born-frees’ are hardly revealed in newspaper reports or travelogues.

3. The phenomenal amount of South African acting talent never gets seen here unless it is Charlize Theron or Sharlto Copley.

4. The South African film industry is thriving. Keith Shiri, the person who selects most of the African films that show at film festivals here comments : ‘For those who have been anticipating original and satisfying cinema from South Africa for a very long time, the wait is over.’

5. Audiences in the grey north love films with wide-open spaces, blue skies and sunny scenery.

6. The variety of languages heard in South African films, the African languages, Afrikaans and slaamse slang makes these films exotic and foreign.

South African films screened in London this month are :

*Ayanda, a Yeoville, Johannesburg, story of a young woman who inherits a rundown garage from her Nigerian father – London Film Festival last weekend.

*Leading Lady, Brandfort rom-com starring Bok van Blerk, Katie McGrath and Brumilda van Rensburg showing now at Showcase Newham.

*The Endless River, an eery tale of a French farmer in the Cape and a local girl, directed by Oliver Hermanus : Tues 13th Curzon Mayfair at 18.20 and Thurs 15th Vue Islington at 21.00.

*Necktie Youth, set in the world of contemporary Johannesburg youth : Fri 16th Ritzy at 21.00 and Sun 18th Curzon Soho at 16.00.

*Material, witty Malay comedy set in Fordsburg starring Riaad Moosa and Vincent Ebrahim of the Kumars at No 42 : Mon 18th Peckhamplex at 20.30.

*Hard to Get, Johannesburg gritty township crime actioner : Tues 27th Peckhamplex at 20.30

Article courtesy SA Good News