Do­na­tion al­lows writer to re­alise dream of di­rect­ing

Cape Argus - - METRO -

LO­CAL writer Sibu­siso Khuzwayo’s dream of di­rect­ing a film came true af­ter a do­na­tion of film­ing equip­ment from the KwaZulu Natal Film Com­mis­sion, the Na­tional Film and Video Foun­da­tion, Panav­i­sion and Panalux.

When Sibu­siso Khuzwayo read Thabo Mbeki’s bi­og­ra­phy, The Dream

De­ferred by Mark Ge­visser, he was in­spired by the story about a boy who read let­ters to vil­lagers at a time in our coun­try when it suited the regime to keep black South Africans il­lit­er­ate.

Imag­in­ing the chal­lenges for a young boy of be­ing a let­ter reader, he started think­ing about the char­ac­ter he could cre­ate for a script.

Over the past three years, pro­duc­ers Cati Weinek and Dumi Gumbi, worked closely with Sibu­siso to re­alise his dream of di­rect­ing a film.

“It has been a priv­i­lege work­ing with Sibu­siso, a writer who has cre­ated the most ex­quis­ite script, and who is a beau­ti­ful vis­ual sto­ry­teller on set. So, we wanted to make sure to sur­round Sibu­siso with the best tal­ent in the coun­try, from Lance Gewer as direc­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy and stars like Andile Gumbi as the lead,” said Weinek.

The re­sult was a short film, Let­ter Reader, which was shot re­cently in a re­mote moun­tain vil­lage in the mag­i­cal Drak­ens­berg.

The film tells the story of Siyabonga, a 12-year-old boy from Joburg who is sent to a vil­lage in KwaZulu-Natal to live with his grand­mother while his par­ents sort out their mar­i­tal prob­lems.

He dis­cov­ers the power of words as he reads let­ters that put a smile on peo­ple’s faces, un­til one day, a let­ter with bad news lands in his hands – let­ter ad­dressed to Nobuhle, the beau­ti­ful 25-year old wife of a mi­grant worker, liv­ing in Joburg.

He takes one look at this beau­ti­ful woman and falls in love with her. As Nobuhle waits anx­iously to hear the words of a long-awaited let­ter, Siyabonga re­alises that the let­ter spells the end of her mar­riage. He can’t bring him­self to break her heart, so in that in­stant, Siyabonga de­cides that Nobuhle de­serves bet­ter.

Gumbi said this ini­tia­tive was part of The Ergo Com­pany’s young di­rec­tors’ pro­gramme to de­velop new voices in the in­dus­try, but like all films, it needed in­vestors. | African News Agency (ANA)

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