Press Release: Man On Ground

Posted on 20/08/2011

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T.O.M PICTURES

1TAKE MEDIA

HASHAYAAFRIC PRODUCTIONS

CHRISDON PRODUCTIONS

ROSIE MOTENE PRODUCTIONS

Present

MAN ON GROUND

 

 

Starring

HAKEEM KAE-KAZIM

FABIAN ADEOYE LOJEDE

FANA MOKOENA

MAKHOALA NDEBELE

THISIWE ZIQUBU

BUBU MAZIBUKO

MANDISA BARDILL

JAMES NGCOBO

JET NOVUKA

And

EUGENE KHOZA

Directed By

Akin Omotoso

Produced By

Rosie Motene

Hakeem Kae-Kazim

Fabian Adeoye Lojede

Mickey Madoda Dube

Robbie Thorpe

Kgomotso Matsunyane

Akin Omotoso

Executive Producers

A.K Tshabalala

Christian Obinna Okoene

Onwe Douglas Christian

Ekeh Kelechi Frederick

TIFF SELECTION 2011

 

MAN ON GROUND has been selected to have it’s world premiere at the prestigious TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL due to be held from the 8th-18th of September 2011. MAN ON GROUND will be showcased in the CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA category and will screen on the 12th, 13th and 17th of September.

TIFF describes MAN ON GROUND as follows:

A bold and exacting portrayal of rising xenophobia in South Africa. Omotoso casts the story of a young Nigerian man living in the African refugee tenements of Johannesburg who disappears against the backdrop of animosity against immigrants flaring into violent rioting. In the span of a single night, his brother, on a short visit from London, tries to elucidate the mystery.

 

SYNOPSIS

There are three sides to every story. Yours, mine, and the truth. No one is lying, but memories shared serve each differently.

Ade (Hakeem kae-Kazim) is a naturalized citizen of the UK. During a trip to South Africa with his wife Nadia (Mandisa Bardill), he is tasked by his mother with delivering a package to his half-brother Femi (Fabian Adeoye Lojede). Ade who has always lived in the shadow of his brother reluctantly agrees.

On arrival in South Africa, Ade discovers that his brother has gone missing. With the help of Zodwa (Thisiwe Ziqubu), femi’s fiancée. Ade embarks on a search that sees him slowly peel away at his estranged brother’s life.

Against Zodwa’s advice, femi had returned to the informal settlement ravaged by a wave of xenophobic violence and civil unrest a week earlier in search of work. In his efforts to find his brother Ade enlists the help of Femi’s employer, Timothi (Fana Mokoena), a man with his own problems. His wife Lindiwe (Bubu Mazibuko) has been acting strange since Femi disappeared, and the township hothead Vusi (Makhaola Ndebele) has been seen wielding his gun around. The last thing Timothi needs is Ade’s questions.

As another riot erupts Ade is forced to take shelter with Timothi and the journey of the night will reveal the truth of what happened to Femi and force Ade to deal with his complex relationship with his brother.

THE STORY OF A FILM

 

On the evening of Sunday 11th May 2008 a gang of young men in Johannesburg’s Alexandra township forced their way into a hostel on London Road and initiated a merciless attack on residents they deemed to be foreigners. From this spark, the murder, rape, and looting directed at the bodies and belongings of non-South Africans spread within days from Alexandra to informal settlements in Diepsloot and the East Rand, where a Mozambican man, Ernesto Nhamuavhe was burned alive while bystanders laughed. Known to the world as “The Burning Man”, Ernesto Nhamuavhe, a husband and a father, is the primary inspiration for MAN ON GROUND.

The violence generated profound national and continental shock and soul searching.

Akin Omotoso, Fabian Lojede and Hakeem kae-Kazim decided to pool their resources and commissioned a Research Study into the violence. The Research took three months and over the next couple of years, the three would discuss the best possible way to tell the story. Various drafts and possibilities were discussed until the story of a man’s search for his brother provided the perfect context to guide the story. Producer Rosie Motene joined the team early 2011.

To fund the production stage of the film, the team opted for the CROWD FUNDING approach.

Crowd Funding describes the collective, cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Local filmmakers Khalo Matabane and Tim Greene used this approach to fund their features films Conversations On A Sunday Afternoon and A Boy Called Twist.

Letters were sent to family and friends and friends of friends asking them for donations beginning at R1000 in return for an Associate Producer credit. No donation was considered too small. The first letter went out on the 1st of March and the first donation was R1,500 on the 25th of March. Additional sponsorship was provided by the equipment house Media Film services, Southern Sun Hotel Hyde Park, The Kgolo Trust, The International Organisation of Migration and The City Of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services.

Shooting commenced on the 1st of June 2011. It was a nineteen day shoot. A few days into the shoot, a key sponsor failed to come through. As the team confronted the brutal reality of shutting down the shoot, support came in the form of ChrisDon Productions and the shoot was able to go ahead. Production wrapped on the 23rd of June 2011.

THE CAST

 

HAKEEM KAE KAZIM

Ade

Hakeem kae-Kazim is best known for his roles in Hotel Rwanda, Pirates Of The Carribean: At World’s End. He has appeared on the TV Shows Lost and 24.

 

FABIAN ADEOYE LOJEDE

Femi

Fabian Adeoye Lojede is best known for his role as Bola Abayomi in the drama series Jacob’s Cross.

FANA MOKOENA

Timothi

Fana Mokoena has played leading roles in South African films and the television series Yizo-Yizo, Generations and The Lab. He also starred in Hotel Rwanda.

BUBU MAZIBUKO

Lindiwe

Bubu Mazibuko is best known for her roles as Thuli in the television series Gaz’lam and Mihloti in A Place Called Home. She appeared in the film Catch A Fire.

MAKHOALA NDEBELE

Vusi

Makhoala Nedebele has had great success as a stage actor. He starred in the gangster film Hijack Stories and appeared on the TV series Yizo Yizo 3.

 

THISIWE ZIQUBU

Zodwa

Thisiwe is an up and coming actress making her professional debut with Man On Ground.

 

MANDISA BARDILL

Nadia

Mandisa is an actress and a musician. She appeared on stage as Nala in The Lion King on the West End in London. Among her many roles are those as Michelle in SABC 1’s Nomzamo and Jesus in the short film Jesus And The Giant.

 

THE PRODUCTION TEAM

 

T.O.M PICTURES (www.tompictures.co.za)

T.O.M Pictures was founded in 2003 by Robbie Thorpe, Kgomotso Matsunyane and Akin Omotoso. The mission of T.O.M Pictures is to utilize their skills and knowledge for the purpose of telling African stories through entertaining documentaries and dramatic motion pictures. The basic ethos of the company is to make African content that reflects the true nature and complexity of African identity and also contribute to the growth of an African cinema that’s peaks to our concerns as Africans while resonating beyond the continent.

T.O.M Pictures credits include The International Emmy Nominated Series Sorted, the Award Winning TV Series A Place Called Home. Their feature films include Gums ‘N Noses, Jozi and Material (releasing 2012)

HASHAYAFRIC PRODUCTIONS

HashayAfric Productions was founded by Hakeem kae-Kazim. Hakeem is an active producer on the continent. He co-produced God Is African and other than Man On Ground, he produced Black Gold with Vivica Fox, Billy Zane and Tom Sizemore.

1TAKE MEDIA (www.1takemedia.biz)

1Take Media was founded by Fabian Adeoye Lojede and Mickey Madoda Dube. 1Take Media is a pan-African TV production. Media and marketing communications company which specializes in Documentaries, Feature Films, Advertising, TV and Social Marketing Communication. Their credits include the Award winning documentary Robert Subukwe and several successful advertising campaigns most notably the YOU campaign which is the anchor effort of the AFRICAN BROADCAST MEDIA PARTNERSHIP.

ROSIE MOTENE PRODUCTIONS

Rosie Motene Productions is made up of Rosie Motene herself. Her vision is not only to produce content for television and film but to provide education and empowerment in the form of media and presenter training as well as motivational talks on topics such as women and child abuse. Her mission statement is: “Accept nothing less than the Champion’s league”.

CHRISDON PRODUCTIONS (www.chrisdonproductions.co.za)

ChrisDon productions was formed to develop and promote film and music using fresh new ideas and working with production companies in Africa and beyond. Their film credits include Ghetto Child and Jozi Kings.

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