Otelo Burning, the Sara Blecher-directed drama set in South Africa in the late 80’s, was one of the highlights screening at American Black Film Festival over the weekend (see my review HERE).
The film will have it’s U.S. theatrical release this September 2012 at My Image Sudios (MIST) in Harlem NY. MIST houses films from African and Latino Diasporas, where Otelo Burning will be one the first films to premiere in.
Otelo film premiered in the U.S. at The Seattle Film Festival’s New Directors Showcase and was nominated at the San Francisco International Film Fest for the Golden Needle award. Otelo will also screen at the Chicago International Film Festival, which runs October 11-25.
See the rest of the press release below:
Otelo Burning has already made headlines at international festivals, garnering the following awards and official selections: Best Cinematography and Best Child Actor, as well as nominated for Best Film at the African Movie Academy Awards in Lagos, Nigeria in April 2012; received the Drama Award, at the 24th annual One World Media Awards in London, England; an official selection of the 34th Annual Durban International Film Festival; an official selection of the BFI Film Festival in London; and received the Golden Owl Audience Award for Best Film at Cinerama BC in Brazil.
Shot in Durban, South Africa, Otelo Burning tells the story of a group of township kids who discover the joy of surfing. When 16-year-old Otelo Buthelezi takes to the water for the first time, it’s clear that he was born to surf. But then tragedy strikes. On the day that Nelson Mandela is released from prison, Otelo is forced to choose between surfing success and justice. Jealousy, betrayal and political turbulence impact the lives of these young boys in ways that will change them forever. This is a beautifully made, insightful and entertaining film that captures a turbulent time in the history of South Africa. Filmed in isiZulu with English sub-titles.
“The U.S. festival selections are particularly thrilling because this is a young, vibrant African story that has already been acknowledged by the continent’s own film industry buffs,” says Sara Blecher, director of Otelo Burning. “Few people can imagine young black kids surfing in the late 80s, which actually happened and so the narrative is based on a series of true stories. That’s what makes it so striking, so unique and so local.”
In the U.S., the film screens next in its U.S. Theatrical release, at MY IMAGE STUDIOS (MIST) in Harlem, New York (MIST), the new home for cinema from the African and Latino Diasporas. Otelo Burning will be one of the first films to premiere as one of MIST Cinemas’ grand opening events in September, 2012. (New York Times).