SA film to feature at Toronto International Film Festival

South African film The Number will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada in September.

The Toronto International Film Festival recently revealed a selection of 48 films from across the globe for this year’s event in the Contemporary World Cinema category, and a South African film has made the cut.

“Each film in Contemporary World Cinema offers a much-needed look at another part of the world through the eyes of a storyteller embedded in that culture. Taken together, these four dozen films invite us all to expand and deepen our picture of the world,” artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival Cameron Bailey said in a statement.

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The Number is a local film directed by Khalo Matabane and looks at the life of a Cape Flats prison gang leader, Magadien Wentzel. It’s based on a novel by Jonny Steinberg.

“A young inmate’s murder confirms Magazine’s misgivings about his life inside, so he decides to join a reform-minded warden’s efforts to improve the prison, eyeing it as a path to early release,” Bornfree Media said in a statement.

“Gaining fulfilment and self-worth, he becomes a valued partner in the prison reforms, before explosive gang resistance forces a deadly choice between the gangster he was and the changing man he’s now becoming. After he leaves prison, his life is irreversibly changed and he becomes a strong anti-gang proponent.”

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The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, which contributed to the funding of the film, has expressed its pride at the film’s selection for the international festival.

The Number spent over 70% of its production budget in the province and created employment for local filmmakers and providers of related services. With the film being screened internationally, this will go a long way in establishing KwaZulu-Natal as a choice film destination,” the commission said in a statement.

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