Cape Town - A local film in which the xenophobic attacks in South Africa act as backdrop is to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
A news photo from 2008 inspired writer-director Akin Omotoso’s new film, Man on Ground
- the photo shows Mozambican immigrant Ernesto Nhamuave who was burnt alive while bystanders stood laughing.
The film tells the story of a young Nigerian man who goes in search of his brother after he disappears during the attacks in South Africa.
Omotoso calls his movie "A strong call for healing in (South Africa)".
Hakeem Kae by-Kazim and Fabian Adeoye Lojede plays the lead roles of Ade and Femi. Fana Mokoena plays Femi's former boss. The film plays out like a thriller and highlights the lives of immigrants in South Africa's cities and informal settlements.
Mokoena is currently playing opposite Brad Pitt in World War Z
, a post-apocalyptic drama that is being filmed in Glasgow.
Omotoso was born in Ibadan in Nigeria, and completed his studies at the University of Cape Town. He is known for the documentaries Jesus and the Giant
as well as Scattered Cousins
.South African offerings
Another local film screening in Toronto is Lucky
, The film deals with the life of a boy named Lucky, who is orphaned after both his parents die of HIV/AIDS.
Lucky has to go and live with his uncle in Durban, where he befriends an old Indian man and neighbour. Even though they cannot understand each other's language, they find solace in their friendship. Director Avie Luthra based the film on his own experiences in post-apartheid Durban.
Other South African films showing at the Festival is Oliver Hemanus' Skoonheid
and Darrel James Roodt's Winnie
, the biographical film about Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
The Toronto International Film Festival runs from 8 – 18 September.Watch the trailer of Man on Ground here: