JOHANNESBURG: Recently MultiChoice Group (MCG) hosted its second annual media showcase, under the theme ‘Africa’s most-loved storyteller’, in Johannesburg.
Media representatives from across the African continent got an opportunity to watch some of the featured films, amongst them being the hard-hitting Knuckle City, which South Africa has submitted for the International Feature Film category at the Oscars.
The film already had its international premiere in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the Toronto Film Festival. It was shown for the second time in SA after opening the 40th edition of the Durban Intl. Film Festival few months ago.
This is a great film whose greatness was underlined by Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa’s congratulatory message for the team behind the film on Twitter on September.
The film follows the journey of Dudu Nyakama, a down- and-out ageing boxer who not only aspires but also struggles to attain the one fight that he believes will uplift his fractured family. Contending that the underbelly of the boxing world is rife with criminality, Dudu unwittingly enlists the help of his reckless but resourceful, gangster brother who’s coming out of jail. Haunted by the ghost of their father, Dudu soon finds that the fight at home is far more challenging than any opponent he can face in the ring. Knuckle City is director Jahmil X. T. Qubeka’s fourth feature film. Knuckle City’s Bongile Mantsai won the best actor prize for his portrayal of Dudu at South Africa’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).
Addressing the media after the movie screening, Qubeka said when making the film to him it was like going back home. He said he grew up around the boxing culture and he had always observed that boxing is one of the most disciplined sports and boxers are able to apply so much discipline to their sport.
“It was great making this film and I had 70% of the cast ready before I wrote this,” he said.
Angela Sithole who plays the role of Minky (Nurse yellow bone) in the film said it was such a pleasure working with Qubeka.
A member of the cast, Sivuyile Ngesi who plays Goatee also said it was quite interesting to be in that environment and experiencing how everything is.
He commended Qubeka for taking them into that world. The movie budget was R9.8 million.