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Monday, June 16, 2014


(Producers Helena Spring & Junaid Ahmed)

Hard to Get, a feature film directed by Zee Ntuli and produced by Junaid Ahmed and Helena Spring, will open the 35th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), which takes place from July 17 to 27 at the Tsogo Sun hotel on the Durban beachfront.

The film tells the story of a young philanderer from a small community who falls in love with a young and attractive thief. The young man, who soon finds himself in Joburg’s criminal underworld, realises he is out of his depth and needs to trust the thief.

 “The criminal gauntlet parallels the emotional journey of TK and Skiets, providing a metaphor for how scary falling in love can be,” explains Ntuli. “Ultimately it is a hopeful story, one which carries the message that love is worth fighting for.”

Peter Machen, DIFF Festival Manager, adds: “I am very excited about Hard to Get. It’s a beautifully made film that works on every level and will satisfy commercial and art-house audiences alike. I also think that it’s going to make instant stars of its two leads Thishiwe Ziqubu and Pallance Dladla, who are both electrifying, as well as director Zee Ntuli, who is virtually guaranteed a bright future on the global filmmaking stage on the basis of this first feature.”

Ntuli studied at AFDA, the School Of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and won the Best Film award in each of the four years of his studies. His work in the local film industry includes writing for the award-winning show Intersexions, working on Soul City and Mshika-shika as well as directing adverts and music videos. Though Hard to Get is his first feature, Ntuli has gained recognition for a number of his short films including winning the Best Fantasy Film award at the New York International Film Festival for his 24 minute short film, Bomlambo (Those of the Water).

Hard to Get is the first of a number of films which feature the talent of previously marginalized black filmmakers in South Africa, produced by Ahmed and Spring.

Spring remarks, “Junaid and I are thrilled to be launching major new talent with Hard to Get. We are incredibly proud of the work that director Zee Ntuli, his team and cast, have delivered. There is already a great deal of buzz around the film and we have no doubt that a bright future awaits them.”

Machen concludes: “With the production team of Helena Spring and Junaid Ahmed behind the film, I have a strong suspicion that this is going to be the one that cracks open local audience’s desire to watch strong local film products. I have no doubt that audiences will walk out of the theatre electrified, and will be filled with excitement about the rest of the festival. All of this makes Hard to Get the perfect opening film for DIFF 2014.”

For more information, visit the DIFF website at