Yesterday, the first ever isiZulu feature film, produced by Anant Singh has its World Premiere last night when it opened the 25th Durban International Film Festival with its, writer/director Darrell James Roodt, and its lead stars Leleti Khumalo (Sarafina!), Kenneth Kambule (Backstage, Generations, I Dreamed Of Africa), Camilla Walker and child star Lihle Mvelase in attendance. The film was shot on location in the Bergville region of KwaZulu-Natal and the guest of honour at the event was KwaZulu-Natal Premiere, Sbu Ndebele.
Set against the awesome, harsh landscapes of South Africa, Yesterday is a story of courage, compassion and hope. It is an eloquent, unsentimental film that quietly builds an overwhelming emotional force.
The capacity audience of over 600 people were deeply moved by the film and broke out into several spontaneous applauses at the end of the film. Yesterday took the audience on a journey through one woman’s life and highlighted her courage and determination to overcome insurmountable odds.
Apart from being the first-ever isiZulu feature film, Yesterday is also the first feature film to have the support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation which will use the film as a resource across in its Social Development Programme. The film also received support from the National Film And Video Foundation, M-Net, Media Film Service and Kodak.
Through a recorded video message transmitted by satellite, Mr Mandela commented, “The script to the film Yesterday is truly inspiring. Yesterday shows the commitment of the private sector to move beyond the conventional HIV/AIDS rhetoric, towards real action and active engagement with the pandemic and its devastating impact. Yesterday will also contribute to 46664, our global awareness campaign…..Yesterday is a story of courage, compassion and hope�”
Premiere Ndebele, in his address to the audience said, “In celebrating African film, we are celebrating Africa’s culture, tradition, people and history. We are celebrating the African way of life and showing the world through film, that no more can South Africa be discounted.” He also added, “promoting the film industry is a vital component of the economic potential for the KwaZulu-Natal region.”
Producer, Anant Singh said, “We are proud to have made the first ever, feature-length film in IsiZulu. We are proud that a product of KwaZulu-Natal that was shot mostly in our province, is having its World Premiere in our home town, Durban, Yesterday, as you will soon find out, is an amazing story. I fell in love with its simplicity, its honesty and its profound strength, especially the spirit of the women of our land.”
Yesterday will be released at cinemas in South Africa on Friday, 20 August 2004.
Yesterday is a Videovision Entertainment production in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, M-Net, The National Film And Video Foundation, Distant Horizon and Exciting Films. Yesterday is executive produced by Sudhir Pragjee and Sanjeev Singh, produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring and written and directed by Darrell James Roodt.
Pictured: At the World Premiere of Yesterday are producer, Anant Singh; CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, John Samuel; National Minister of Transport, Jeff Radebe; Premier of KwaZulu Natal, Sbu Ndebele and Mrs Ndebele; and Leleti Khumalo – star of Yesterday.