“Hopeville” was first developed by HEARTLINES, Curious Pictures (now Quizzical) 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.
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 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
Hopeville tells the story of Amos, a reformed alcoholic on a mission to forge a relationship with his estranged son Themba. When father and son arrive in the dusty town of HOPEVILLE, they discover a mean little community where apathy, fear and suspicion are the order of the day.
When Amos decides to restore the public swimming pool so that the young people of the town can enjoy some recreational activity, and his son can pursue a swimming career, he is met with scepticism and resistance from the town’s authorities and its inhabitants.
Through patience, determination and above all courage, Amos’ selfless act ripples through Hopeville, inspiring others to take action and to do what they know is right. Slowly but surely, good ripples through Hopeville, transforming the town and its inhabitants for good.