South African film industry has seen quite a boost in the last 5 years, giving our local stars a new platform to showcase their talent. Former Generations soap stars Katlego Danke and Sello Maake team up for a film that promises to take viewers on an emotional journey around Mzansi.
Danke and Maake lead a cast as a daughter of dying alcoholic and her godfather on a trip that is about closure but ends up open their lives to new discoveries about themselves.
The film, titled Farewell Ella Bella, tells the story of a young woman living in a small town and nursing her ailing alcoholic father. She’s emotionally stuck, blaming the past for her failings in her present. But when her father dies, she and her godfather embark on a road trip to bury not only her father but also the ghosts of her past which have stopped her from finding true happiness. It is an empowering story about forgiveness and self-actualisation which showcases the beauty of the South African landscape and the complexities and quirks of its people.
Tsholo Mashile serves as the producer of the project while Lwazi Mvusi (27) is the writer and director. After working as a writer on several television projects for SABC, Etv and Mzansi Magic and writing and directing a short film which has screened in several festivals including in New York, this will be Lwazi’s first feature film.
The script was written when Lwazi was doing her Masters’ degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. To finally see it come to fruition years later, is a dream come true for her and her family who have been unwavering in their support of her career.
The project is funded as a part of the Emerging Black Filmmakers Programme which is under a partnership between the Industrial Development Corporation, National Film and Video Foundation and Department of Trade and Industry. These three organisations are funding the film in their determination to empower and develop young black filmmakers by giving them the opportunity to produce a feature length film which will be shown in cinemas country wide.
The film also stars Noluthando Meje, Jay Ansteys and Lionel Newton.
Pre-production on Farewell Ella Bella started this month (October) and the film is slated for release in 2017 via Sterkinekor.