South African Paranormal thriller Coming to the Big Screen
Supernatural thriller The Tokoloshe, directed by Jerome Pikwane and starting Petronella Tshuma, was screened at the first ever Comic Con Africa, at the Kyalami Convention Centre, which was hosted between the 14th and 16th of September. The three-day event showcased comic books, science fiction and fantasy films, as well as television and all things supernatural.
The South African film tells a tale about a terrifying predator, around the story of Busi, played by Tshuma, a young woman who is desperate for money and takes the night shift at the local hospital. When she starts working there, she befriends a young girl, Gracie, portrayed by Kwande Nkosi, who believes that she is being terrorised by a supernatural being called the Tokoloshe. When the children start being taken, Busi is forced to ask if the Tokoloshe is responsible…
Pikwane, who has just returned from its European premiere at Frightfest in London, the UK’s largest international horror film festival, says the film has generated a great deal of interest at various fantasy and horror festivals globally. Audiences have responded positively both in the UK and at the world premiere of The Tokoloshe in South Korea. He continues by saying that the language of film is universal adding that people are not only entertained, but they also think the story is very relevant. The film deals with a young woman who fights back against an evil that has pursued her all her life. The Tokoloshe is after all a diminutive, mythological spirit, evoked for the purposes of evil and most commonly associated with sexual plunder.
Producer Dumi Gumbi believes that the strategy of taking the film to festivals is paying off. He mentioned that film reviewers in the UK have given The Tokoloshe a ‘4 out of 5’ rating, which means a lot to them, coming from horror experts. They are hoping hope that South Africans will love seeing how this film deals with a scary South African mythology.
The Tokoloshe will be travelling to film festivals in Portugal, Sweden, Spain and Belgium before it releases on 2 November at cinemas in South Africa, just in time for Halloween. Earlier this year it opened the Durban International Film festival. The film, which has already seen several international sales, was funded by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and M-Net Movies, and will be released by Indigenous Film Distribution.
Helen Kuun , MD of Indigenous Film Distribution says they are excited to be releasing a genre film like The Tokoloshe. She cites that people love scary films and sensation-seekers especially find pleasure in the feelings of relief that follow after intense fear.
Kuun notes further that they are also really excited to be releasing the fifth film produced by Dumi Gumbi and Cati Weinek and that the ongoing partnership has proved to be really successful, with them being proud of the great local content that is being distributed to audiences all over the world.