Jozi, the new age South African comedy from Videovision Entertainment and T.O.M. Pictures will be released at more than 40 cinemas across South Africa on 26 February 2010. Audiences will also have the opportunity to watch the film prior to its release at sneak previews at 5.30 and 8.00pm on Saturday, 20 February 2010. Jozi is written and directed by Craig Freimond and produced by Anant Singh, Helena Spring and Robbie Thorpe with Akin Omotoso and Kgomotso Matsunyane co-producing. It stars Carl Beukes, Lionel Newton, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Jena Dover, Moshidi Moshegwa and Nick Boraine with a guest appearance by Tobie Cronje.
Critics have already lauded the film ahead of its release: Leon Van Nierop (You / Huisgenoot / Drum) said,“Finally a South African comedy without clichés and slapstick. Funny, absorbing and clever;” while Debashine Thangevelo (The Star) said, “A traffic jam of converging witty lines in this slice of life comedy that leaves one veering between lanes that straddle tongue-in-cheek humour and surreal drama about surviving Jozi”; Doreen Premdev (TV Plus) saying, “It was one of the best local films I have watched in a long time. I was especially impressed with the actors and the story line was unique and truly South African;” Paul Boekooi (Rapport) declaring, “The way in which an audience can relate to any film, is essential for its success. It is on this level that Jozi scores high. Anyone living in Joh’burg can fully associate themselves with what happens to the main characters – whether you like them or not…This is especially reflected in the wacky humour;” and Khetha Mkhize (Yeahbo.net) saying, Jozi paints a dappled picture of the pains and, thankfully, joys of our beloved city, in a hilarious manner.”
Jozi follows James, a successful comedy writer who feels overwhelmed by crime, politics, pessimism and a feather duster salesman. When his girlfriend leaves him for a guy who he thinks is the most boring man in the world, he loses the very spark of humour which enables him to earn his living. In a madcap journey, James travels through the highways and byways of South Africa from Daspoort Rehab to Johannesburg to try and recover his elusive sense of humour as well as his ability to love and laugh again.
Anant Singh commented, “Jozi is a funny, bittersweet comedy and we are delighted that the audience reactions to date have been exceptionally positive and we are very excited about this. It is a very original story and we look forward to the audience embracing the film and more positive reactions when the film opens nationally.”
Director, Craig Freimond said, “This is my first cinema release, so it’s a huge thing for me. I am very excited. I come from a theatre background where an opening night is a big deal, so having an opening night in 42 cinemas in forty two different places in South Africa is a quantum leap for me.”
Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies when speaking at the World Premiere of Jozi earlier this month, said, “It is a very great pleasure to be at the world premiere of a South African made film. We at the Department of Trade and Industry DTI as well as the Department of Arts and Culture have been supporting the film industry in the country for some years and I think there’s a number of reasons we have been doing this because we know that this is an industry that has potential to create jobs. It is an industry that unleashes the creative talent of our people and it is an industry which actually enables us to showcase ourselves in the outside world as a capable people that can actually show themselves through good effect through their art and culture. I want to just congratulate everyone involved in Jozi for a quality production. We look forward to other productions which are in the pipeline and rest assured that the Department of Trade and Industry will attempt to do all it can to be a reliable partner for this industry.”
The marketing of the film has also been different from other films with strong online elements that integrate social networking sites Facebook (facebook.com/JoziMovie) and Twitter (twitter.com/JoziMovie), and an interactive website (www.jozithemovie.co.za), all with exclusive content, including video clips and gags from the film. The Facebook and Twitter pages also feature competitions for their respective users while the website has a unique feature, a “Shout It Out” box where fans can post comments.
Jozi is a Videovision Entertainment release through United International Pictures (South Africa).
JOZI is a Videovision Entertainment production in association with Distant Horizon, Coral Films, T.O.M. Pictures and The National Film & Video Foundation of South Africa. It stars Carl Beukes, Lionel Newton, Nick Boraine, Moshidi Moshegwa, Jena Dover and Lindiwe Matshikiza with the Screenplay by Craig Freimond and Robbie Thorpe. It is produced by Anant Singh, Helena Spring Robbie Thorpe; Co-produced by Akin Omotoso and Kgomotso Matsunyane; Executive Produced by Sudhir Pragjee and Sanjeev Singh and Directed by Craig Freimond.