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New local flick tells the true story of a prisoner who became a storyteller

2016-05-24 06:33
 

Johannesburg - South African cinema audiences can look forward to the release of Daryne Joshua’s directorial debut, Noem My Skollie, which releases countrywide on Friday, 2 September 2016. 

The film, set on the Cape Flats and in Pollsmoor prison is based on the life of scriptwriter John W. Fredericks.  

What it's about

Noem My Skollie tells the story of four teenagers, AB (Austin Rose) and his three best friends Gimba (Ethan Patton), Gif (Joshua Vraagom) and Shorty (Valentino de Klerk) who grow up on the impoverished ganglands of Cape Flats in the 1960s. Despite their circumstances, the children try to avoid the gangsters who infiltrate their daily lives but when AB goes through a traumatic experience they decide to form a gang to protect themselves.  

 “The Young Ones” – From left to right: Joshua Vraagom (Young Gif), Valentino de Klerk (Young Shorty), Ethan Patton (Young Gimba)
 Austin Rose (Young AB)

The four friends, now like brothers, do not commit serious crimes, but the police keep a close watch on them as they grow from teenagers into popular young men. Eventually the now older AB (Dann-jacques Mouton) and Gimba (Gantane Kusch) are arrested whilst breaking into a shop and sentenced to two years in jail. It is here, in the vicious world of prison, that AB decides to use his storytelling talent to entertain the hardened prisoners and raise his status whilst his friend, Gimba engages on a very different path to ensure his own safety.      

When AB is released from prison he picks up on the relationship with his beautiful childhood sweetheart, Jenny (Tarryn Wyngaard) and so tries to focus on writing his stories to impress her, but his gang friends persuade him to join them one last time, a decision that leads to shocking consequences for all of them.   

Tarryn Wyngaard (Jenny) and Dann-Jacques Mouton (AB)

Viewers will be spellbound

Noem My Skollie is a true big-screen cinematic experience that will keep viewers spellbound in a world that has never before been depicted in such an authentic way. The film is beautifully shot with intricate attention to the detail and mood of the 1960’s period and presents convincing performances from a host of celebrated South African actors and refreshing new talent.  Most importantly the film is engaging and entertaining throughout and delivers a massive emotional impact. 

The film explores themes of friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, acceptance, the desire for a better life, hope and love.  The title of the film plays on the old adage that one should not judge a book by its cover and promotes the view that everyone has a gift even if sometimes hard to find and even if that gift comes at a price.   

John W. Fredericks, left school as a teenager and spent many years of his youth in jail and yet he has managed in his sixties to write a major world-class screenplay. 

The cast includes: Christian Bennett, Gershwin Mias, Oscar Peterson, Abdu Adams, Peter Butler, Charlton George, Jill Levenberg, Denise Newman, Sandi Schultz, Andre Roothman, Paul du Toit and Irshaad Ally and a stellar performance by newcomer David Manuel who plays the jail-boss and who was still serving his parole whilst the film was being made. 

(Photo Credit: Lindsey Apollis)

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