South African audiences continue to flock to cinemas to watch director Daryne Joshua’s debut feature film, Noem My Skollie, which opened in cinemas across South Africa earlier this month.
The inspirational and heart-warming film is based on the life of the scriptwriter, John W. Fredericks. Over 26,000 tickets were sold in the first three weeks and three new cinemas have been added to show the film this weekend.
Critics have described the film as impressive, fearless and head and shoulders above the rest:
“If Tsotsi won the Academy Award for best foreign film (2006), then this film stands unreservedly head and shoulders above it.”
“You must bear in mind that when it comes to movies I’m a massive fan of Steven Segal so for me to be passing judgment on any movies is probably just wrong, except in this case I know I’ve gotten it 100% right.”
“It is world class, it really is, the writing, the directing, the actors, and shot impeccably.”
“The most haunting, harrowing, powerful, evocative movie I’ve seen for a long time.”
“A true story, absolutely brilliantly told and brilliantly cast.”
“This is one of the most impressive, most fearless and relevant African films since Jans Rautenbach entered the field in the sixties…”
Noem My Skollie is not a gangster film but rather a cautionary tale about a young man who decides not to join the number gangs and instead finds a way to raise his status in prison as a storyteller. It is also about four boys coming of age on the Cape Flats, about friendship and betrayal. It is about the coloured male rites of passage and perhaps more than anything it is about the power of love, telling the story of how the lead character gets the girl of his dreams and who in real life has recently celebrated forty years of marriage to.
The film opened at the Silverscreen Film Festival (Silwerskermfees) in Cape Town on the 24th September and was incredibly well received by the mostly white Afrikaans audience even though the film is all about coloured people in a coloured environment. But this is clearly a film for all South Africans and will also compete internationally. It is written in the Cape Afrikaans dialect with English sub-titles. The ‘word of mouth’ has been incredible with audiences responding on all social media platforms. The Facebook site has 30,000 ‘likes’ and the trailer has 63,000 plays on Youtube.
Audiences are seeing beyond a “coloured story” and beyond the “gang tale” and most importantly, telling others…
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 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 while 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.
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.
Noem My Skollie delivers on the 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. This film will resonate with all South African audiences, but particularly those who are able to confront the violent reality of the world of the story and are willing to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit.
The powerful score was composed by internationally renowned Cape Town musician, Kyle Shepherd – winner of the Standard Bank young artist of the year award in 2014.
The cast also comprises, among others, 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.
Noem My Skollie was produced by David Max Brown and Moshidi Motshegwa (Maxi-D Productions) in association with M-Net, kykNET the NFVF and the DTI and distributed by Ster Kinekor Entertainment.
Link to the Behind the Scenes – The Composer – Kyle Shepherd (3mins):
Link to the Behind the Scenes film (13 mins):
Link to the MUSIC VIDEO by Hemelbesem:
Herewith the list of Cinemas where the film will be showing from Friday 23rd September (new cinemas marked with an asterix):
Ster-Kinekor cinemas include: N1 City, Blue Route, V&A Nouveau, Parow, Promenade, Somerset West, Tygervalley, Cape Gate***, Eikestad (Stellenbosch), The Bridge (Port Elizabeth) and Rosebank Nouveau (Johannesburg)
Nu Metro cinemas include: Canal Walk and Worcester
Independent cinema sites include Atlanta Cinemas (Swakopmund)***, Ster Kalahari (Upington)*** and Mini Max – (Paarl)