The Durban International Film Festival (July 17 – 27) has announced that the opening film at DIFF 2014 will be “Hard To Get” from first-time feature director Zee Ntuli, and producers Junaid Ahmed and Helena Spring – the first of a slate of films from the producing pair which they say will showcase the talent of previously marginalized black filmmakers in South Africa.
The film tells the story of TK, a handsome young womanizer from a small community who falls for a sexy, reckless young thief named Skiets. Thrust into Joburg’s criminal underworld, TK realizes that his best bet is to trust her and hang on for the ride she takes him on.
The action romance explores the universal theme of love in the very specific context of contemporary South Africa. At its heart, it’s a story of two young South Africans embarking on the universal adventure of falling in love, set against the unpredictable backdrop of Joburg’s criminal underworld.
Pallance Dladla, Thishiwe Ziqubu, Israel Makoe, Paka Zwedala and Jerry Mofokeng star in the film.
Says director Zee Ntuli, “The criminal gauntlet parallels the emotional journey of TK and Skiets, providing a metaphor for how scary falling in love can be. Ultimately it is a hopeful story, one which carries the message that love is worth fighting for.”
Durban International Film Festival Manager, Peter Machen, added, “I am very excited about Hard To Get. It’s a beautifully made film that works on every level and will satisfy commercial and art-house audiences alike. I also think that it’s going to make instant stars of its two leads Thishiwe Ziqubu and Pallance Dladla, who are both electrifying, as well as director Zee Ntuli, who is virtually guaranteed a bright future on the global filmmaking stage on the basis of this first feature.”
Machen continued, “With the production team of Helena Spring and Junaid Ahmed behind the film, I have a strong suspicion that this is going to be the one that cracks open local audience’s desire to watch strong local film products. I have no doubt that audiences will walk out of the theatre electrified, and will be filled with excitement about the rest of the festival. All of this makes Hard To Get the perfect opening film for DIFF 2014. Co-producer Helena Spring said, “Junaid and I are thrilled to be launching major new talent with Hard to Get. We are incredibly proud of the work that director Zee Ntuli, his team and cast, have delivered. There is already a great deal of buzz around the film and we have no doubt that a bright future awaits them.”
The Durban International Film Festival takes place from July 17 – 27, 2014. The festival will include more than 200 theatrical screenings and a full seminar and workshop program, as well as the Wavescape Film Festival, the Wild Talk Africa Film Festival, and various industry initiatives, including the 7th Talent Campus Durban (in cooperation with the Berlin Talent Campus), and the 5th Durban FilmMart co-production market (in partnership with the Durban Film Office).
For more information go to www.durbanfilmfestival.co.za
No trailer yet, but check out the poster for “Hard to Get” below. But for a glimpse at what director Ntuli can do, check out the short film the filmmaker directed a couple of years ago, which I coincidentally featured on S&A earlier this morning HERE.