Award-winning local film for SABC

2012-12-06 14:51
Charl Blignaut
On Saturday night local TV audiences will finally be able to watch a South African film that has the world talking.

Inside Story is a pan-African soccer actioner that also cunningly serves to educate young audiences about the science of HIV.

It stars Fana Mokoena, Hakeem Kae-Kazim and a dazzling cast of young talent.

It has already been showcased at 12 film festivals around the world and has gathered six awards – three of them for best feature film.

Apart from its local broadcast debut, Inside Story is also set for a major roll-out across the continent.

Director Rolie Nikiwe says it is his goal for the film to be seen by 80 million Africans.

“Don’t laugh,” he told City Press after Inside Story’s theatrical debut at the Durban International Film Festival earlier this year.

“It’s entirely do-able, especially by using Africa’s network of TV stations and by targeting schools.”

To achieve the biggest reach possible, Inside Story will be made available in English, French, Swahili and Portuguese.

Last week it had its theatrical premiere in Nigeria, where it will be screened in eight cinemas from December 14. This month it will also be seen on NTV in Uganda, Canal 2 in Cameroon and MN CON in Congo-Brazzaville.

Nikiwe is best known for his directing work on the award-winning local series Intersexions. This is his debut feature and he is the antithesis of most young directors, refusing to indulge in obscure, artistic projects.

“I want my films to be seen,” he says. “I want them to be entertaining. We need to close the gap between filmmakers and the audience.”

Produced by the non-profit Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership with local production house Quizzical Pictures, the film responded to research about the education needs of young Africans around HIV and Aids.

What emerged was that a new generation is very aware of safe sex – but don’t know enough about how the virus works in the body.

So Inside Story tells a tale of rivalry on the pitch and love on the side while the virus becomes a graphic character that lives inside the hero Kalu’s body.

This happens through a series of stunning animations created by local company Masters & Savant.

The film features Kenyan, Nigerian and South African actors and was shot in Nairobi and Johannesburg.

It has bagged a Jury Award at the Kenya International Film Festival; Zuku Awards for Best African Film and Best Actor at the Zanzibar International Film Festival; a Special Jury Award – Narrative Feature at the Pan African Film Festival and was named Best Narrative Feature at the Montreal International Black Film Festival.

Nikiwe is currently finishing off work on Intersexions 2 before embarking on his second feature.

Called Identity, it tells the story of Kabelo Thibedi, who held Home Affairs hostage in a desperate bid to be given an ID document.

» Inside Story will be screened at 8pm on SABC1