ll eyes were on KwaZulu-Natal this week as the Durban International Film Festival rolled out the opening night red carpet ahead of the MTV Africa Music Awards last night.
But the musos had to step aside for the film stars on Thursday night when Sara Blecher’s quirky Yeoville romcom, Ayanda, launched the country’s largest film event, wowing an audience that had to be housed in two cinemas to accommodate the crowd.
Dazzling the battery of photographers alongside the red carpet was Tsotsi star Terry Pheto, one of the producers of Ayanda, looking truly radiant in a textured white floral frock.
As the crowds swelled at the Suncoast Cinecentre, she was joined by comedian and film producer David Kau, Nigerian film star OC Ukeje, funnyman Kenneth Nkosi, actresses Nthati Moshesh, Moshidi Motshegwa, Xolile Tshabalala and Hlubi Mboya, talk show diva Kgomotso Matsunyane, and a who’s who of film producers and directors, including hotshot new kid on the block Sibs Shongwe-La Mer.
Durban actress Thandeka Dawn King was the emcee and, while she projected beautifully, she read from a piece of paper. Slightly awks.
The audience packed into the Supernova cinema was delighted that the provincial political bigwig speeches were kept to a minimum this year and the movie could kick off at a relatively decent hour. It was followed by an afterparty at the packed Havana Grill, where the wine flowed and the annual crumbed jalapeño chillies were dished up by the bucketload.