Siyabonga (We Are Thankful)

  Feature film, Docufiction, South Africa, Digital, 5.1, 93 mins (2018).

Download Press Kit:

“After sending out a newspaper article looking for people to participate in a film I was planning to make, I was contacted by a young man, Siyabonga Majola, who was very keen to help and so we agreed to meet. A few days later we sat down to talk and I was so moved by this man that I threw away all my previous plans and decided right there to make a film about him."   

      

                                                                                                 - Joshua Magor

 

 

Siyabonga (english title: We Are Thankful), named after the film’s main character Siyabonga Majola, is a docufiction film set in the KwaZulu Natal region of modern day South Africa. It makes use of footage from both the narrative and documentary tradition.

In the film we follow Siyabonga, a young man making plays in the township of Mpophomeni. One day he hears the surprising news that a movie is to be made in a nearby town and makes it his mission to be a part of the film. From conspiring with a maid to steal wifi from the umlungus (white people) so he can write an email to the film producers, to rebuffing a friend’s urgent plea for him to improve his luck by making use of witchcraft, Siyabonga’s journey takes him down many surprising paths that lead him to a meeting with the film’s director. Here we observe the conversation that caused the film we are watching to come into existence.

A film based on real events, re-enacted by those who lived through them, we follow this extraordinary man as he does all he can to try and improve his life and take control of his fortune. Siyabonga’s past echoes in his present in much the same way that South Africa’s own history seems to have left an indelible mark on the people and places of the film. Time moves differently in such spaces. Places never confined to just the here and now, but rather some kind of eternal memory. 

Main Credits: 

 

Director: Joshua Magor

Writer: Joshua Magor

Cinematography: Cem Demirer

Camera Operator: Joshua Magor

Editor: Lorenzo Nera

Sound: Tiago Cardoso and Dinis Henriques (Pulsar Studios)

Assistant Director: Thembalihle Mncadi

Producers: Joshua Magor, Bronwyn Coburn

Co-Producer: Thembalihle Mncadi

Production Manager: Leoné van Niekerk

Location Sound Recordist: Heikki Simppula

Focus Puller: Robyn Price

Gaffer: Cameron Ward

Grip: Michael Struwig

Colour Grading: Ludovic Roussaux (OKAY STUDIO)

Production Company: Other People

Main Cast: 

 

Siyabonga Majola

Sabelo Khoza

Xolani “X” Malinga

Amanda Ncube

Percy Mncedicy Zulu

Ntokozo Mkhize

Sibusiso “Sbu” Nzama

Luthando “Cminzah” Ngcobo

Mancane Dlomo

Nkanyiso Ndumiso

Nonduh Zuma

Mondli Ndlovu

Thembalihle Mncadi

Joshua Magor

The People of Mphopomeni Township

The People of Howick

Awards and Selections:

⁃ Official Selection 71st Locarno Film Festival 2018

⁃ Nominated for The Golden Leopard for Filmmakers of the Present 71st Locarno Film Festival 2018

⁃ Nominated for Best Emerging Director 71st Locarno Film Festival 2018

- Nominated for the FIPRESCI Prize 71st Locarno Film Festival 2018

⁃ Nominated for Special Jury Prize 71st Locarno Film Festival 2018

⁃ Nominated for The Swatch First Feature Award 71st Locarno Film Festival 2018

⁃ Nominated for The Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award 71st Locarno Film Festival 2018

- Nominated for the Label Europa Cinemas Award 2018

- Nominated for the Cinelab Award 2018

- Official Selection Cape Town International Film Market & Festival 2018

- Tatham Art Gallery 2018

- Official Selection Slamdance Film Festival 2019

- Winner Best Performance (Siyabonga Majola) Slamdance Film Festival 2019

- Winner Best Feature Film Santa Cruz International Film Festival 2019

- Winner Best Narrative Feature 46th Athens International Film & Video Festival 2019

- Official Selection Sarasota Film Festival 2019

- Official Selection Sudan Independent Film Festival 2019

- Official Selection Barbican Chronic Youth Festival 2019 

- Official Selection Festival De Cine Africano Tarifa 2019

- Official Selection Festival International du Film Panafricain Cannes 2019

- Official Selection Annual Copenhagen Film Festival 2019

- Official Selection Vancouver South African Film Festival 2019

- Official Selection Mashariki African Film Festival 2019

- Official Selection Harlem International Film Festival 2019

- Official Selection Chicago International Film Festival (Summer Screenings program) 2019

- Official Selection Durban International Film Festival 2019

- Official Selection Newark International Film Festival 2019

- Winner Best Feature Massachusetts Independent Film Festival 2019

- Winner Best Director Massachusetts Independent Film Festival 2019

- Winner Best Cinematography Massachusetts Independent Film Festival 2019

- Winner Best Actor Massachusetts Independent Film Festival 2019

- Official Selection Nòt Film Fest 2019

- Winner Best Foreign Documentary 24th Indie Gathering 2019

- Official Selection Hilton Arts Festival 2019

- Official Selection Seoul International Film Festival 2019 

- Winner Best Feature Cuidad del Este Independent Film Festival 2019

- Official Selection Toronto South African Film Festival 2019

 

 

© Joshua Magor 2018