KHALO MATABANE’S PRISON MOVIE, ‘THE NUMBER’ CAPTURES AUDIENCE AT KZN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL

Khalo Matabane’s latest film, THE NUMBER had its South African premiere as the Closing Night Film of the 14th KZN African Film Festival (KAFF) in Kwa Mashu, Durban on Sunday night where the audience was highly engaged.  The film received a rousing ovation, and a robust Q&A which followed the screening lasted more than 40 minutes.  In attendance were the Producer, Carolyn Carew; Executive Producer, Sanjeev Singh and stars Mothusi Magano, Lwazi Ngubane and a number of supporting actors from KZN.

Commenting after the screening, director Khalo Matabane said, “It’s a special honour to have had THE NUMBER close the KZN African Film Festival, especially as we found incredible talent here and that the KZN audience was the first to see the film. We are encouraged by the positive audience response and look forward to the national release of the film early next year.”

Mothusi Magano who plays the lead character, Magadien said, “I had an amazing time in KwaMashu reuniting with old friends and seeing how the THE NUMBER affects people differently.”

Founder and director of KAFF, Edmund Mhlongo commented, “THE NUMBER is a highly engaging film, superbly acted and without compromise shows what it is like to be in jail under the shadow of gangsterism. It is well researched and the audience emotionally connected to the transformational journey of the lead character which was exceptionally executed. As KAFF we are excited to have screened the film right in the heart of an area where its impact was felt and appreciated. It will no doubt collect my awards along the way.”

The KZN Film Commission’s Simphiwe Ngcobo commented, “THE NUMBER has proven that KwaZulu-Natal is able to support productions of any size, and provide opportunities for local cast and crew. The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission is proud to be behind the success of THE NUMBER by supporting the film during production, at markets and festivals, as well as audience development initiatives.”

Executive Producer, Sanjeev Singh said, “Sitting in the audience last night, I was amazed at the different, yet positive reactions from the audience. KAFF was a good choice for the South African premiere of THE NUMBER. As a proudly KZN company, we at Videovision Entertainment are delighted to have co-produced the film and to have it filmed on location in the province. This is part of our wider strategy to develop the industry in KZN and provide a platform to profile KZN talent.”

Produced by Born Free Media and Videovision Entertainment, THE NUMBER stars Mothusi Magano in the lead as Magadien, Warren Masemola, Sihle Xaba, Presley Chwenegyagae, Lemogang Tsipa, Kevin Smith, and Deon Lotz.  The internationally acclaimed Terry Pheto and Hakeem Kae-Kazim make guest appearances.  Bringing a strong authenticity to the world of the story, 35 ex-offenders from Kwa Mashu and Wentworth performed in the film and along with the cast, gave incredible performances.

The film is inspired by Jonny Steinberg’s award-winning non-fiction book, ‘The Number’, with its big screen adaptation by Paul Ian Johnson revealing the origins of the fearsome numbers gangs that operate in prisons throughout South Africa.  THE NUMBER is the extraordinary tale of the nigh-impossible redemption of high-ranking Magadien, a Magistrate of the 28’s, one of the notorious Numbers prison gangs.  It charts his journey as a man who finds his humanity –  from being a hardened prisoner, loyal to his gang, to him turning his back on them and the criminal way of life; to choosing his family and building a relationship with his son.  

THE NUMBER will be released in South Africa in early 2018.

Still Image (click caption to download): Seen at the closing of KAFF last night were Carolyn Carew (producer), Simphiwe Ngcobo (KZNFC, head of production), Edmund Mhlongo (director of KAFF), lead actor Mothusi Magano (who plays Magadien) and Sanjeev Singh (executive producer).

THE NUMBER is a Born Free Media presentation in association with Videovision Entertainment, Distant Horizon, The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission of South Africa, The National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, The Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa, World Cinema Fund, Gebrueber Beetz Filmproduktion, Tiktak Productions,  Agenc Film Reunion and The Gauteng Film Commission.  The film stars Mothusi Magano, Kevin Smith, Lemogang Tsipa, Warren Masemola, Deon Lotz, Presley Chweneyagae and Charlton George.  It is Edited by Megan Gill, Ronelle Loots and Nick Costaras with Music by Philip Miller, Production Design by Willie Botha and Costume Design by Ruy Filipe.  Casting Directors are Moonyeenn Lee and Khalo Matabane and the Director of Photography Dewald Aukema.  It is Executive Produced by Anant Singh, Robert Naidoo, Sanjeev Singh, Tsholo Mashile and Produced by Carolyn Carew and Khalo Matabane.  THE NUMBER is based on the book by Jonny Steinberg with the screenplay by Paul Ian Johnson and is directed by Khalo Matabane.

Ends…