From light-hearted comedies, high-octane action films and provocative race dramas that were met with opposition from the apartheid government, the forgotten and discarded classics of African cinema are about to have a new life with THE RETRO AFRIKA COLLECTION from IndiePix Films. Through a partnership with Retro Afrika Bioscope, an independent label of Gravel Road Entertainment dedicated to locating, acquiring, restoring and re-releasing retro South African films from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, Indiepix will begin to release these digitally-remastered classics rarely seen outside their borders.
These Apartheid-era films, produced by and starring native South Africans, pay homage to Hollywood action in groundbreaking B-movie style, a precursor to today’s burgeoning Nollywood industry. Featuring numerous local dialects with English subtitles, the small budget vintage features have all undergone a highly-specialized digital restoration process for optimal viewing. The first three remastered classics include UMBANGO, one of the first Zulu Westerns and an Official Selection at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, and FISHY STONES and GONE CRAZY, two outsized, humorous crime capers representative of the genre. They will all be available on October 30 on DVD ($24.95 each), VOD and Digital, as well as IndiePix Films signature streaming service, IndiePix Unlimited on Amazon Channels or at IndiePixUnlimited.com.
In the wild west of KwaZulu-Natal, Jack and Owen, two friends accused of murder, prepare to fight back against KK, a cunning businessman bent on revenging his dead brother. KK forms a posse of thugs to aid in his vendetta, and when the two innocent friends learn of the gang out for their blood, they prepare to fight back and stand their ground, the old-fashioned way. A final gun-fight showdown in a five-horse frontier town brings the action-packed conflict to a head, where blood will be spilt if the friends wish to come out alive. Tonie van der Merwe directs, and the ensemble cast features Popo Gumede, Hector Mathanda, Kay Magubane, Dumisani Shogwe and Vincent Velekazi. (Zulu with English subtitles, 70 mins.)
FISHY STONES (1990)
A poorly-executed jewelry store heist finds two amateur thugs on the run from the cops. After a chase through the countryside, they desperately stash their loot in a clump of bushes, before they’re apprehended and thrown in jail. Fast forward to two teenage boys, the best of friends, heading off into the wilderness and finding a bounty of hidden diamonds on their camping expedition! Meanwhile, the two thugs make a daring escape from prison and, in a desperate search for their loot, pick up the trail of the two boys… who might need some saving. Also directed by Tonie van der Merwe, with a cast featuring Innocent Gumede, Kay Magubane and Hecor Manthanda. (Zulu with English subtitles, 70 mins.)
GONE CRAZY (1980s)
In this lo-fi summer romp, a disgruntled psychopath seeking revenge on a small town mayor steals a mega-bomb from the explosives wing of a local chemical research facility, with plans to blow up the dam and drown the town. Two police inspectors, each working a different angle of the case, team up to rescue the kidnapped professor whose special métier is now at the crux of an evil plan. Can the inspectors stop the madman in his tracks? The clock is ticking. Tony Cunnighma directs with a cast featuring Roy Dlaminim Pepsi Mabizela, Mandla Hgconya and more. (Zulu with English Subtitles; 74 mins.)
And we’re giving away three sets!
To enter, send an email with the subject header “RETRO AFRIKA” to geekcontest @ gmail dot com and answer the following question:
Who is your all time favorite black filmmaker?
Please include your name, and address (U.S. only. You must be 18 years old).
Only one entry per person and a winner will be chosen at random.
Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on November 19th, 2018.