Local Gay Themed Film Premiere in Soweto

On Tuesday, 29th September 2015, a gay themed local film called When You Werent Looking held its premiere at Ster-Kinekor Maponya Mall in Soweto. . 

I had intended to do a full film review but have decided not to because the gripes I have with the film will expose the film plot and might ruin the experience for some of you who might want to go see the film.

I can share though, that actress Petronela Tshuma hugely surprised me. `The woman looks like a movie star and she commands the screen like any Hollywood A-lister would. What a talent!

Tshuma delivers such a riveting performance that you forget that you watching people acting but are instead arrested by her sweet youthful naiveté as Asanda.

While hers is not the most compelling performance on the film, Camilla Waldman, Lionel Newton and Fezile Mpela deliver solid performances too, Tshuma fills the screen with her stunning looks and some honed acting chops that most people would be surprised by.

The film is definitely worth seeing on the big screen. The production quality and the soundtrack are very impressive. We know these sort of film mostly run on low budgets and can come across as amateurish but I will put my neck out and say this is probably the first proper gay themed film to grace our big screen.


As for the launch of the film at Maponya Mall, I was disappointed by the lack of support from the local television media. Only ANN7 cameras were at the premiere. I don't know if SABC and ETV were not invited but I doubt that.

If SABC and ETV were invited and simply decided not to send any of their crews, this is highly disturbing. It is not enough to have gay characters on soapies. Television channels ought to be more inclusive and reflective of the diversity in our society more than that.

I was also perturbed by the absence of familiar faces at the event. Where were the celebrities who enjoy a massive support from the gay community? Are gay people only good for these celebrities when they support them on Twitter?


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