Wednesday, 25 October 2017

SHE CAN’T ESCAPE HER TRADITION, OR HER HEART



ZULU WEDDING is the much anticipated romantic-comedy from producer/director, Lineo Sekeleoane. It’s a first for South Africa to have a black female producer and director, who also created the concept for the film. Unashamedly romantic, glamorous and hilarious all at the same time, the film pays loving tribute to the richness of African culture. It acknowledges the, sometimes schizophrenic, reality of many urban South Africans who live sophisticated modern lives which are nonetheless shaped by their family cultures, traditions and expectations.  The film is set to open at cinemas nationwide on 23 February 2018. 

Feisty choreographer, LOU “LUNGILE” (Nondumiso Tembe), will do anything to avoid falling in love. Even more to avoid going home to South Africa, where she’s traditionally engaged to a king. However, when she meets her soulmate TEX (Darrin Dewitt Henson) she is forced to confront the tradition she’s been running away from since the death of her parents, when she turned 18, and the ancestral debt they left her. She hatches a plan to confront the King and convince him to forget about her, but when she prevails upon handsome royal advisor ZULU (Pallance Dladla), to help her get into the Royal Compound, he proves to be a dangerously seductive charmer, one who seems to represent all the best aspects of her background.

Tex, his wise-cracking best friend NATE (Carl Payne), Lou’s eccentric traffic officer sister MABO (Makgano Mambolo), and her tell-it-like-it-is alcoholic best friend SAM (Bubu Mazibuko), set off to ‘the rurals’ to rescue her while the shifty UNCLE PHINEAS (Jerry Phele), his sexy wife YVONNE (Kelly Khumalo) and “The Basotho 10,” (lead by TKZee Family’s Gwyza) stay behind. The stage is set for hilarity, hi-jinks and heartbreak.

According to Sekeleoane, the film was 10 years in the making. “The idea started in the emergency room of a hospital as I formulated a joke scenario for an actress friend of mine. She liked the scenario and the character, an insane traffic cop by the name of MABO who never takes off her uniform. As I started to shape that character’s world, the focus of the narrative shifted to her sister, LOU, and ZULU WEDDING was born,”  Sekeleoane. “MABO remains an important character though, and is brilliantly brought to life by Makgano Mamabolo. The entire cast was amazing. After doing castings in New York, Los Angeles and Johannesburg and seeing hundreds of people over several years, I can truly say that we were blessed. Every person brought something special to the project,” she adds.

With an effervescent screenplay by Julie Hall and stunning cinematography by award-winning Lance Gewer of Tsotsi-fame, ZULU WEDDING promises a lush, playful, escapist experience which should appeal to fans of films like Happiness is a Four-letter Word and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

The star-studded cast includes Nondumiso Tembe (True Blood, King Kong The Musical); Darrin Dewitt-Henson (Soul Food, Lincoln Heights, Stomp The Yard); Pallance Dladla (Tempy Pushas, Isibaya, Hard To Get); the hilarious Carl Payne (Martin, The Cosby Show); Bubu Mazibuko; Kelly Khumalo; Lorcia Cooper; S’thandiwe Kgoroge; Treasure Tshabalala; Kole Omotoso and Makgano Mamabolo, with cameo appearances from DJ Tira; Carolyn Steyn and many of South Africa’s best-loved celebrities.

NOTABLE FACTS:
-    SA’s hottest Wardrobe Designer, Sheli Masondo, pulled wardrobe from some of our most prolific Fashion Houses which included: Thula Sindi, Sheldon Cooper (Naked Ape), Paledi (Palse), Laduma (MaXhosa), David Tlale;
-    Art featured in the movie created by award-winning Cape Town artist, painter and illustrator, Loyiso Mkhize;
-    Music from the soundtrack features Maggz (HipHop – SA), Kelly Khumalo (Soul - SA), Joseph Benjamin (R&B – Nigeria,) Goapele (R&B – USA) and many more;
-    ZULU WEDDING is launching a national youth development initiative with Brand LAIKI & DBE;
-    ZULU WEDDING movie’s release will be preceded by Zulu Wedding the Novel written by Dudu Busani-Dube - author of the Hlomu Series and followed by a Zulu Wedding - The Fairytale Children’s Book Series, written by Makgano Mamabolo and illustrated by Cape Town Artist and Kwezi Comics Founder and illustrator, Loyiso Mkhize. It will be translated into various African languages;
-    Movie release date: 23 February 2018;
-    The Luju Pictures Film was produced in association with Brand Contact, the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI), The National Film and Video Foundation (The NFVF), The Kwa Zulu Natal Film Commission (KZNFC), The Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) and Tsoga Afrika;
-    All Star Cast: Nondumiso Tembe (SA), Darrin Dewitt Henson (USA), Pallance Dladla (SA), Carl Payne (USA), Makgano Mamabolo (SA), Jerry Phele (SA), Kole Omatoso (SA), Treasure Tshabalala (SA), Bubu Mazibuko (SA), Lorcia Cooper (SA), S’thandiwe Kgoroge (SA), Kgomotso Christopher (SA), Carolyn Steyn (SA), DJ Tira (SA) and Kelly Khumalo (SA);
-    Language: English. 

ABOUT THE LEAD ACTORS:

NONDUMISO TEMBE (Lou Sabata)
Born in Durban, South Africa, multi award-winning actress/singer-songwriter/dancer Nondumiso Tembe is well on her way to becoming one of Africa’s brightest international stars. She was raised in New York City, where her parents were the first black South Africans to study Music at the Juilliard School. Tembe holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the famed Yale School of Drama. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and Political Science with a focus on Africa from New York’s New School University and spent a summer studying Classical Theatre at the British American Dramatic Academy at the illustrious Oxford University in England. Tembe made her TV debut in HBO’s True Blood. She has also starred in GenerationsSix and Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland, and has appeared in America’s number 1 hit TV show NCIS and on ABC’s hit detective drama, Castle. Most recently, she has wowed audiences reviving the Miriam Makeba role in SA’s first ever black musical, King-Kong.

DARRIN DEWITT HENSON (Tex Wilson)
Darrin Henson is a renowned actor, author and choreographer and is best known for his role on the hit TV series Soul Food. He also starred for three seasons on the ABC family TV series Lincoln Heights and the Lifetime TV series Black Magic opposite Vivica Fox. Henson can also be seen in such films as The ExpressTekken, and Stomp the Yard. On the stage, he has starred in David Talbert's play Fabric of Man. In 2016, Henson lectured in Johannesburg and Durban. He has also taken his lectures to the U.S. The multi-talented Henson directed the film Violation, and has choreographed music videos and concerts for such popular music artists as New Kids on the Block, Jordan Knight, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, NSYNC and the Spice Girls. He has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

PALLANCE DLADLA (Zwelibanzi ’S’thembiso' Zulu)
Pallance Dladla came into the public eye as the runner-up of the second season of the SABC1 reality competition television series Class Act, in 2011. Born and raised in Soweto, Pallance developed a love for acting at an early age. He won awards for his self-penned play Milk and Bread and was runner-up in the 2010 nationwide DALRO scholarship competition. He also won the Parktown Boys High Original Script Award along with The Best Actor Award at school. Dladla has starred in the e.tv drama series 4Play: Sex Tips for Girls, the Mzansi Magic telenovela isiBaya, and the SABC 1 drama series’ Tempy Pushas and Intersexions. He also starred in the eTV soap opera, Rhythm City. Pallance has received international acclaim as the star of break-out South African film, Hard To Get.

This Luju Pictures Film was produced in association with Brand Contact, the DTINFVF, M-Net Movies and Tsoga Afrika, and will be released in cinemas nationwide by Ster Kinekor Entertainment on 23 February 2018.

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