M’sane director celebrates EC with new film

Actors and production crew throng the set of the new film, ‘Valedictory’, at the Port Rex building along the East London harbour. Director Jahmil Qubeka, pointing, and his team have transformed the building into a green screen studio.
CREATIVE GENIUS: Actors and production crew throng the set of the new film, ‘Valedictory’, at the Port Rex building along the East London harbour. Director Jahmil Qubeka, pointing, and his team have transformed the building into a green screen studio.
Image: ALAN EASON

Acclaimed Mdantsane screenwriter and movie director Jahmil Qubeka is back in East London to direct yet another locally grounded film, this one titled Valedictory.

Qubeka wrote and directed the SA Oscar film submission Knuckle City, a boxing thriller set in East London and Mdantsane.

The gritty feature film creative said he was back to shoot on locations in and around the city to further expose the “undiscovered” gemstone that is East London.

Valedictory explores the story of four young people from Duncan Village who are matric pupils at Hudson Park High School and who are trying to find themselves.

The four pupils are played by Awethu Hlehli as Tiny, Khayakazi Kula as Cwaita, Tumie Ngumla as Nelisa and Niza Jay as Zongi.

One of the pupils steals their uncle’s taxi to take a road trip from Duncan Village to the picturesque Hole In The Wall site near Coffee Bay.

The trip comes with its fair share of hiccups along the way.

“These are four characters we get to experience and explore through the lens of the dynamics and challenges our youth are facing today.

“These experiences include pregnancy, abuse of women, molestation, sexuality and maturity.

Actors and production crew throng the set of the new film, ‘Valedictory’, at the Port Rex building along the East London harbour. Director Jahmil Qubeka, pointing, and his team have transformed the building into a green screen studio.
Actors and production crew throng the set of the new film, ‘Valedictory’, at the Port Rex building along the East London harbour. Director Jahmil Qubeka, pointing, and his team have transformed the building into a green screen studio.
Image: ALAN EASON

“The four go on a road trip where they hope to find healing. The calamities and adventures that happen along their journey teach them about themselves and how to appreciate each other,” said Qubeka.

Qubeka, along with the Yellow Bone Entertainment Film Crew, have set up camp in the Port Rex building at the East London Harbour.

They have transformed the old building into a green screen studio filled with cameras and other filming equipment.

Valedictory’s set locations also include Hudson Park High School, Duncan Village, Gwadana and Hole in the Wall.

“The film is set in locations the people of East London are familiar with.

East London is an undiscovered gem that has so much infrastructure that is laying bare and not being used,” Qubeka said.

“We want to showcase the Eastern Cape.”

Qubeka said he was grateful for the warm welcome he had received in East London.

The film will include cameo appearances from SA actors Andile Nebulane, Bongile Mantsai, Thembekile and other actors Qubeka has worked with in the past.

“We will release the film on the festival circuit and then bring it home,” he said.

Valedictory will be released in 2020.

gugup@dispatch.co.za

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