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Friday, July 4, 2014


Between Friends, a South African university reunion movie in the tradition of The Big Chill and Peter’s Friends, will screen at the Durban International Film Festival, South Africa's largest and longest-running film festival, which is in its 35th year. The festival will run from July 17 to 27, 2014.

This year, the ten day celebration of world class cinema will see over 200 screenings of new films from South Africa, the continent and the world, with a number of world premiere screenings of local and international films.

“The festival is a key event for the African film industry and we are delighted that Between Friends has been selected for the programme,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, which is distributing the film in South Africa. “The film is a charming comedy-drama that looks at the strains and old rivalries between a group of friends who have grown up a lot since they last met.”

Between Friends is directed by Zuko Nodada, who has directed a number of films, theatre shows and drama series for SABC1, including the hit drama series Intersexions and Bay of Plenty. Nodada is also a graduate of the Durban University of Technology, where he studied drama.

The film tells the story of a group of five university friends who reunite at an upmarket game lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, seven years after graduation. Haunting their reunion is the secret of a wild night they spent together at the very same lodge some seven years ago. Long buried secrets shared by the old friends are eventually exposed, causing tension to arise in their current relationships.

Between Friends features a cast of familiar faces. Thapelo Mokoena plays Nkanyiso, a suave, successful entrepreneur who is reluctantly attending the reunion with his gorgeous trophy girlfriend, Nisha, played by Amanda Du Pont. Mokoena starred in 2013’s Nothing for Mahala, played Elias Motsoaledi in Long Walk to Freedom and appearing in the Hunters Dry advertising campaign. He is also a familiar face on television, having starred in Intersexions,, and hosted Fear Factor SA for a season. Amanda Du Pont was cast in Intersexions, End Game and Task Force in 2013, and currently presents RGB on SABC1.

In the role of the older and wiser Njabulo, Nkanyiso’s more laidback brother and manager of the game lodge, is Siyabonga Radebe. Radebe is best known for his role as Cassius in the SABC 1 drama series A Place Called Home. He has also appeared in Intersexions, the SABC1 mini-series uGugu no Andile, the ITV drama Wild at Heart and the SABC1 legal drama series Sokhulu & Partners. He also played the role of Obesandjo's 1st Lieutenant in the award-winning South Africa science fiction film District 9, in 2009.

The films also stars Lihle Dhlomo, who won Best Newcomer at the 2012 Mercury Durban Theatre awards and is well known on the Durban stage, best known for his role as Dumisani Shabani in the SABC1 soapie Generations, and newcomer Madisa Nduna, who made it the final four of Class Act 2. She has had leading roles in Mzansi Magic’s Devil in the House and Uninvited Woman and is described as a household name in Loxion Bioskope. This is her first feature film performance.

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