“BARAKAT” is South Africa’s Official Selection for the 94th Annual Academy Awards

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is pleased to announce that the first South African Muslim film shot in Afrikaans, (actually AfriKaapsBarakat, has been selected as South Africa’s official submission for the 94th Annual Academy Awards.

Directed by Amy Jephta and produced by Ephraim Gordon, co-founders of production companies PaperJet Films and Nagvlug Films, Barakat was released in cinemas in early 2021. The screenplay is by writing-producing team Amy Jephta and Ephraim Gordon who made their debut at South Africa’s 2017 kykNET Silwerskerm Festival with their short film Soldaat (Soldier), for which they won Best Screenplay and Best Short. 

Barakat Official Trailer

Jephta, a celebrated theatre practitioner, director and writer, also scripted South Africa’s official 2018 Golden Globes submission for Foreign Film, Ellen: The Story of Ellen Pakkies. In 2019, she was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award for theatre. Actor and director Gordon starred in Nosipho Dumisa’s critically acclaimed 2018 debut, Number 37, which premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW).

“I am so proud that this film has reached as many people as it has, and to be recognised by South Africa in this way is incredibly special,” said director Amy Jephta.  “Even after an extremely challenging year for our film industry, we’re honoured that a small story about a family has connected us.”

Producer Ephraim Gordon added: “This was totally unexpected, but it shows that everyone’s hard work on this project has paid off. This film was a blessing from the beginning and continues to be.  It is our barakat.”

‘Barakat’ is an Arabic word denoting blessings, abundance and prosperity. The film follows the trials and tribulations of Aisha Davids (played by veteran acress Vinette Ebrahim), a widow who has to preserve the peace between four sons struggling to come to terms with the death of their father two years after the fact. Her sons, Zunaid (Joey Rasdien), Zaid (Mortimer Williams), Yaseen (Keeno Lee Hector) and Nur (Danny Ross) return to their family home to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr (or Labarang, as it’s called in Cape Town), the celebration marking the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. They’ve never dealt with their father’s death or the void his passing has left. Each son’s unprocessed pain manifests in constant familial conflict, saddening their mother as she tries to move on with her own life.

The 94th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, the 27th March 2022.

Barakat was developed in partnership with MNET and funded in association with the NFVF, the DTIC, IDC as well as Indigenous Film Distribution, the South African distributor of the film.

Disney’s new movie “Jungle Cruise”

I’ve been looking forward to “Jungle Cruise” for ages, as I am a huge Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt fan.

Inspired by the famous Disneyland theme park ride, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” is an adventure-filled, rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her down-river on La Quila—his ramshackle-but-charming boat. 

Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities – possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate – and mankind’s – hangs in the balance.

Jaume Collet-Serra directs the film, which stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramírez and Jack Whitehall, with Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti. The producers are John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment; Dwayne Johnson, Hiram Garcia and Dany Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions; and Beau Flynn of Flynn Picture Co., with Scott Sheldon and Doug Merrifield serving as executive producers. The story is by John Norville & Josh Goldstein and Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, and the screenplay is by Michael Green and Glenn Ficarra & John Requa.

Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” releases in cinemas in South Africa on 30 July 2021.         

Social Media

Website and Mobile site: https://disney.co.za/movies/jungle-cruise

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyinAfrica

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneystudiosafrica

What We’re Watching on Netflix

I often get asked what’s on my streaming watch list, so I thought I’d write a series of posts for each streaming platform that I watch – starting of course, with everyone’s favourite, Netflix!

Besides discussing what’s just “dropped” I will also look at “golden oldies” such as Friends.  Can this series be considered that? I guess it can, since it celebrated it’s 25th anniversary in September 2019.

Please note that the below may contain spoilers!

First up – #BlackAF starring the creator, writer and executive producer of Black-ish, Grown-ish and Mixed-ish, Kenya Barris. By the way, Mixed-ish is my favourite of this trio, being mixed myself 🙂

The show is loosely based on his own family and life, in the sense that he plays himself, but apparently his character’s personality is the complete opposite of the real person. He has 6 kids (3 girls and 3 boys) with wife Joya (played by Rashida Jones) who is a former lawyer and never lets anyone forget that fact.

The 8 episodes cover their life and adventures as a family going through ups and downs, as only a wealthy Hollywood family can. The show is filmed “mocumentary” style and in reality format, where the characters do “diary sessions” (ala Keeping Up with the Kardashians and every other reality show). This is because the second eldest child, Drea, is using the show as her NYU Film School acceptance piece. The trailer showed the best and funniest bits, so I was expecting a lot, but at the end of the final episode, I kind of felt like I missed nothing. The only really memorable thing about the show is the opening sequence track by Jay Rock called “WIN” – which is now on my Deezer “Favourites” playlist.

That’s my 2 cents, but you can decide. Here’s the trailer:

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R1.14 Million up for grabs at Comic Con Africa 2019 & win weekend pass tickets!

 

Telkom, the official connectivity and gaming partner of Comic Con Africa 2019, has announced that R1.14 million is the combined prize pool for the teams playing in the Telkom VS Gaming Masters tournament, with each tournament getting R570 000.

 The second edition of Comic Con Africa takes place at Gallagher Convention Centre 21-24 September 2019. Comic Con Africa is an unforgettable scene to most, as each day, thousands of people walk about exploring in excitement what the festival has to offer, providing for all pop culture, comic book and gaming enthusiasts an experience of a lifetime.

Telkom VS Gaming, Africa’s largest esport league, will be hosting the largest annual tournaments, the VS Gaming Masters – for South Africa’s leading competitive games, DOTA 2, and Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO). These tournaments are the culmination of the VS Gaming esport circuit, where teams qualified online or through a physical event.

“The world of gaming, and esports respectively, is rapidly growing in Africa and platforms like Telkom VS gaming play an important role in facilitating the movement with tournaments that give gamers the opportunity to connect with each other”, concludes Wanda Mkhize Executive, Content for Telkom VS Gaming.

Esport was included for the first time globally at the inaugural Comic Con Africa last year and judging by the success of that event, Telkom VS Gaming is setting the pace in defining the African esport landscape.

Do you want to attend this weekend’s Comic Con Africa at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg, South Africa?

Sure you do! I have 30 tickets to give away courtesy of Telkom VS Gaming.

All you need to do is follow @mishkah7 on Instagram and enter here.

The first 30 followers to do this will be emailed a ticket on Friday, 20 September 2019 by the sponsor’s PR company. Each ticket is a weekend pass and is worth R500. Competition closes at noon on Thursday, 19 September 2019. Travel is not included in this giveaway.

 

For more Information visit www.telkom.co.za for exclusive Comic Con Africa deals and competitions.

Interested in playing in the league? Register here: https://digitalgamingleague.co.za/register

To watch the streamed matches go to:

CSGO September 21: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwnW2m3YUyU

CSGO September 22: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI-9fwLW3_E

Dota 2 September 23: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BycPAgxpm-g

Dota 2 September 24: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKb9gz6iIRw

Avengers: Endgame (Not a Review)

I saw Avengers: Endgame yesterday, like the rest of the planet. Am I a comic book fan? No. But I had such severe FOMO that I was compelled to go see it.

I had to watch its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War to quickly catch up with the story line. That done, hubby and I popped off to the IMAX in CradleStone Mall – because how else are you going to watch Avengers Endgame if not on a gigantic screen with surround sound, hey? He is the one who watches more comic book movies and TV series, but I wound up answering his questions about “Who is that character again?”

I am not going to risk “life and limb” by doing an actual review of the movie because … did you see that Facebook story about the guy in Hong Kong who was beaten up because he shouted out spoilers to a line of waiting patrons who were about to see the movie. Instead, here are some interesting facts and figures about the box office takings thus far in South, East and West Africa, for Avengers Endgame.

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