There are so many reasons to see the movie Felix. It’s a feel good South African family film about a 14 year-old Felix Xaba’s dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, but his mother Lindiwe thinks jazz is the devil’s music.
When Felix leaves his township friends to take up a scholarship for grade eight at an elitist private school, he defies his mother and turns to two aging members of his father’s old band to help him prepare for the school jazz concert.
Felix has recently been selected for the 57th BFI London Film Festival, one of the top 11 film festivals in the world by The Guardian 2012.
Felix will screen alongside some of the most eagerly-anticipated films from around the globe, including Saving Mr. Banks, with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney; Gravity, with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney; and new films from the likes of Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), Stephen Frears (Philomena), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Jason Reitman (Labor Day), and the Coen Brothers (Inside Llewyn Davis).
“The programmer saw Felix at Durban International Film Festival, where we won the Audience Award for Best Film, and called me about the wonderful audience response,” says director Roberta Durrant. “Being selected for Britain’s premier film festival is a huge honour and hopefully we’ll be able to announce a cinema release in London soon.”
Felix has also been selected for three other major international film festivals: Vancouver International Film Festival in Canada and Lucas International Children’s Film Festival and The Hamburg FilmFest in Germany.
Roberta has been invited to all four festivals, which start with Lucas on 22 September and end with London on 20 October 2013.
Roberta, a South African Film and Television Award Lifetime Achievement (SAFTA) winner, was the creative producer on the International Emmy-nominated TV series Home Affairs, Stokvel and Sokhulu & Partners, but Felix is the first feature film script she has chosen to direct.
Shirley Johnston’s screenplay won Sithengi’s Writer’s Forum Award; was a finalist in the US Specscriptacular Competition; and reached the quarter finals of both Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest and the Moondance Screenwriting Competition.
Felix boasts a number of firsts for the South African film industry.
It’s the most female-empowered film since South Africa’s democracy, with a female director, writer, editor (Maryke Kruger), cinematographer (Natalie Haarhoff), line producer (Kate Schalk), art director (Surisa Surisa), wardrobe stylist (Ayesha Khatieb) and hair and make up artist (Islyn Goliath).
It’s the first film fully financed by Sabido Productions, the production arm of Sabido Investments, a South African media group with holdings in a variety of broadcasting, content and production businesses, including e.tv, e.Sat, YFM and Cape Town Film Studios.
And it’s also the first South African feature film for Johannesburg-born Oscar nominee Dame Janet Suzman; the first film for South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) Best Actress winner Linda Sokhulu (Isidingo); and the first lead for Hlayani Junior Mabasa, cast in the title role from over 500 auditions across South Africa. Fleur du Cap winners Andre Jacobs and Nicholas Ellenbogen co-star.
Musical director Murray Anderson, who has recorded Gold and Platinum records for the likes of Abdullah Ibrahim, worked closely on the infectious jazz soundtrack with former Standard Bank Young Artists of The Year Mark Fransman and Bokani Dyer, as well as triple 2012 South African Music Awards nominee Lwanda Gogwana.
To celebrate the upcoming release, until 13 September 2013, Felix is giving away four songs from the soundtrack, including a remix by The Kalahari Surfers, at http://soundcloud.com/
A Penguin Films production for Sabido Productions, distributed by Crystal Brook Distribution, Felix will be in 40 cinemas across Southern Africa on 13 September 2013.
Watch #Felixthemovie trailer at .
Watch #Felixthemovie – Behind-The-Scenes at .
You can also visit http://www.felixthemovie.com for more information.
Here are a few reasons to watch Felix in South Africa and beyond (#FELIXTHEMOVIE REVIEWS).
“Felix is one of the most delightful film experiences I have had in years.” – Anton Dekker, News24
“A coming-of-age story of courage, ambition and letting go, not only for Felix but also for his mother… A worthy contender with any Hollywood blockbuster. It’s a witty, well-executed feature that will entertain and inspire.” – Danica Hansen, City Press
“A film that reflects the South African ‘love for life.’” – Lucas International Children’s Film Festival
“A South African equivalent of Billy Elliott… a lovely, vibrant, feel-good film about a young township boy intent on following his dreams.” – Peter Machen, Durban International Film Festival
For more social media reviews of Felix, visit http://www.