“Hopeville” was first developed by HEARTLINES, Curious Pictures and SABC Education as a six part mini-series which was broadcast on SABC. The mini series went on to win a Rose’Dor in Switzerland and a coveted nomination at the International Emmy’s in New York City.
The mini-series was then re-edited into a feature film, which was screened in cinemas locally, and on SABC.
The feature film has also won several awards:
- At the FESPACO film festival held in Burkina Faso, Hopeville won the best film in the Television and Video Film category. Fespaco is held every two years in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, and is a major event on the African film calendar. Lead actor, Themba Ndaba won the best actor award at the AMAA, (African Movie Academy Awards), held in Nigeria.
- In South Africa, the Hopeville feature film won two SAFTA Awards for Best Production Design (Karel Flint) and Best Lead Actor (Themba Ndaba). Other nominations included Best Cinematography, Best Editor, Best Hair/Make-up and Best Music composition.
- Hopeville was also screened at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, Afrika Film Festival in Belgium and Tiburon Film Festival in California.
HEARTLINES CEO, Dr Garth Japhet, said that he was thrilled that the film, which has a compelling message of ordinary citizens taking action for the good of the community, was reaching audiences worldwide. “With this film, and the previous series of eight award-winning values-based films, HEARTLINES is making a significant contribution to building the social fabric, not only of South Africa, but internationally as well.”
Hopeville was filmed in the picturesque town of Waterval Boven in Mpumalanga. Art director Karel Flint visited more than 70 small towns throughout South Africa, driving in excess of 11 000 kilometres in his search for the perfect site to set the mini-series in, before arriving at Waterval Boven.
Some of South Africa’s top actors including Jody Abrahams, Desmond Dube, Leleti Khumalo, Fana Mokoena, Themba Ndaba and Terry Pheto star in Hopeville.
Below is a summary of some of the main actors and their roles:
Desmond Dube (Dube on Mondays, Hotel Rwanda), is PATRICK GUMEDE the Mayor of Hopeville, a corrupt official who is planning to rezone the land where the swimming pool is into a liquor outlet.
Terry Pheto (Tsotsi, The Stick Fighter), is FIKILE, an illegal immigrant hiding her true identity – she’s Patrick’s mistress, but has deepening feelings for Amos. Her character develops as the drama unfolds as she too stands by her values and courageously does what is right.
Themba Ndaba (Generations, Streaks & Teleschool presenter) plays the main character, AMOS MANYONI, a recovering alcoholic who gets custody of his son, Themba following the death of Gloria, Themba’s mother. When Amos takes Themba to Hopeville to take up his new job as parks and recreation manager he is faced with numerous challenges that he overcomes with courage and a belief in what is good.
Leleti Khumalo (Yesterday) plays FLO RAPHOTO, Themba’s aunt who protects Themba and his mother, Gloria, from Amos’ drinking, and who continually tries to get custody of Themba – to ensure that he has all the opportunities he could have, even if this means losing his father.
Fana Mokoena (Generations, Yizo Yizo, The Lab) is WINDSOR KHOABANE the corrupt town cop who kowtows to Mayor Patrick, but who learns to take responsibility for his actions as the drama unfolds. Through Khoabane’s son, Andile, we realise that Andile’s bravado is merely a front as behind closed doors everything is not well at home, where domestic violence is always threatening to boil over. Fana Mokoena was nominated for a SAFTA award for his performance.
Jody Abrahams (Hard Copy) is PJ DANIELS – the hardened businessman who’s happy to get involved in any shady deal for a quick buck.
Jonathan Pienaar is FRED a local pub owner who is torn between pursuing selfish financial interests and his wife’s conscience.
Mary Twala plays MA DOLLY, Amos’ sobriety counsellor, who is the only person in Hopeville looking after the numerous abandoned children in the township of Halala.
Paul Luckhoff plays FELIX VENTER, who is perceived as the town racist. He lives in the past and has lost touch with his humanity and the thing that is most important: his son. Felix will learn to abandon the fear and anger that has governed his life, and discover that he still has a contribution to make, for good.
Junior Singo plays THEMBA MANYONI, Amos’ son – whose refusal to reconcile with his father and grief for his mother leads him out of the house and into some unwholesome experiences with a local gang. But through Amos’ perseveres and the courage of his convictions, Themba’s hostility is replaced by a new found respect for his dad. By giving Amos a second chance, Themba wins a father.
For FREE downloads of pictures and ringtones, catch us on your cellphone at www.heartlines.mobi
For promos and the Heartlines song, find us on YouTube (Heartlines SA)
Hopeville was produced by award winning production company Curious Pictures with Harriet Gavshon and Mariki van der Walt as the Executive Producers and John Trengove as Director. Director of Photography, Willie Nel, received a SAFTA nomination for best cinematography. www.curious.co.za