Director Matabane’s Gang Thriller ’28’ Launches Production in South Africa

Matabane's Gang Thriller "28" Launches Production

Principal photography is under way on acclaimed South African helmer Khalo Matabane’s gritty new prison drama “28.”

Based on the award-winning book “The Number” by Jonny Steinberg, the film is a hard-hitting exposé of the origins of the vicious gangs operating in the South African prison system.

Pic stars Mothusi Magano (“Tsotsi,” “Hotel Rwanda”) as Magadien, a hardened career criminal who swears a blood oath to members of the 28s gang. Faced with a sudden change of heart, he decides to risk his life and break his bond to the brotherhood, whatever the consequences.

While researching the film, Matabane (“State of Violence,” “Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon,” “Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me”) spent years with the real-life Magadien Wentzel in Cape Town, and also immersed himself in the lives of ex-prisoners to better understand gang language and culture.

“It is a story of a man struggling with himself, in turmoil,” says Matabane. “He has done terrible things in his life and is searching for forgiveness from his family.”

Along with Magano in the lead role, Matabane and casting director Moonyeenn Lee assembled a cast of top local talent including Warren Masemola, Sibusiso Msimang, Presley Chwenegyagae, Lemogang Tsipa, Kevin Smith, and Deon Lotz. Acclaimed activist, storyteller, poet and playwright Gcina Mhlophe plays Magadien’s mother.

The production team is headed by producers Carolyn Carew and Tsholo Mashile. Anant Singh’s Videovision Entertainment are co-producers, and will also distribute the film.

Pic marks the first co-production between South Africa and Reunion Island’s Tiktak Prods. The film received funding support from the KZN Film Commission, the National Film & Video Foundation, and the Dept. of Trade and Industry.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety