Asinamali, the film based on Mbongeni Ngema’s multi-award-winning musical, will screen for seven days at Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank Johannesburg, from Friday, September 22 to Thursday, September 28.
This will ensure the film is eligible for submission for the 2018 Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film. The Academy stipulates that a film must play theatrically for seven consecutive days to qualify for entry.
Asinamali will be released in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution.
Produced by Dual Films and Committed Artists. Written and directed by Ngema, the film version of this seminal musical has Oscar-nominated director Darrell James Roodt as a technical director, as well as an all-star cast.
Roodt shared his directing knowledge and skill, and worked alongside Ngema who is at the helm of a production to which he has dedicated many years of his life. Asinamali features an original soundtrack by Ngema.
“This has been a bumper year for South African films and we are excited to be releasing one of the most anticipated new films of the 2017,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution. “South African audiences need to play their part and watch this timeless story during the short release so that it will be eligible for the Oscars.”
The narrative follows a group of prisoners in the 80s as they think back on their pasts and the events leading to their arrest. The hardship of prison life is told through the experiences of the inmates, whose lives are made even more difficult by sadistic prison warder Sergeant Mgwaqaza (Boitumelo Chuck Shisana).
At the same time, the prison authorities are under pressure to accommodate Comrade Washington (Mbongeni Ngema), an exiled MK soldier working for Amnesty International, who is running drama workshops with the inmates at the notorious Durban Central Prison. He is thwarted at every turn by Mgwaqaza.
Comrade Washington has an additional agenda, to see the love of his life Soweto (Danica de la Rey), who is languishing in the Female Section of the prison, soon to be transferred to death row in Pretoria for her MK cross-border activities.
Washington believes in the power of music and theatre to transform the lives of people: the political activists, the criminals and even the hardened servants of the apartheid regime.
Through sheer determination he outsmarts the prison authorities, manipulating those around him into allowing him to create a play which depicts how they came to land in prison. It represents triumph over adversity, with the theatrical musical explosion becoming their ticket to freedom.
For more information check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AsinamaliFilm
Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5KWZLzLl3o&t=3s