Five Fingers for Marseilles (BRICS Film Fest) and The Story of '72 for DIFF



After rave reviews and over two months in cinemas, Durban FilmMart’s ‘Best South African Project in Development 2013’ winner, Five Fingers for Marseilles, returns to Durban.  The film, starring Vuyo Dabula and an acclaimed ensemble cast, will represent South Africa in-competition in the BRICS Film Festival line up.


Five Fingers premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2017 and has remained on the festival circuit since, screening at BFI London, Busan, Fantastic Fest, Palm Springs, Fantasia, Munich, New York African Film Festival and others. “The response to the film both in South Africa and abroad has been amazing and we’re excited to bring it back to Durban, where it first caught attention,” say writer and director respectively, Sean Drummond and Michael Matthews, who also produced through their own Be Phat Motel Film Company, in co-production with Game 7 Films, in association with Above the Clouds and Stage 5 Films, supported by the NFVF, the DTI and Dupa Films.


Drummond and Matthews, with South African producer Stevan Buxt, are also co-producers of Nepali feature Kathaa '72 (The Story of '72). A visually stunning, lyrical family drama set in the peaks surrounding Kathmandu, the film tells the story of a mother and son as they reconnect on a pilgrimage to a remote mountaintop lake, in the aftermath of the cataclysmic earthquake that shook the country in 2015. The film world premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and continues to Durban for its African premiere. 


“Shot on real locations through a series of ruined villages and jaw-dropping vistas, the film is a meditation on life, family, love and regret,” says the team. “It’s written and directed by an exciting new voice in Prabin Syangbo. We hope this opens doors for future coproduction between Africa and Asia.”


Be Phat Motel have an exciting slate of projects in development, maintaining a global outlook while focussing on South African stories. They, in collaboration with Stage 5 Films in South Africa, Canadian production houses Redlab Digital, The Magical Illusion Factory and First Generation Films and LA-based XYZ Films, produced the SAFTA-winning short film ‘Apocalypse Now Now’, written by Drummond and directed by Matthews. Based on author Charlie Human’s novel of the same name, the feature length version is currently scripting. “It’s a twisted urban fantasy that centres around a porn-peddling high school kid who's in search of his kidnapped girlfriend,” says Matthews. “He partners up with a supernatural bounty hunter as they get pulled deeper into an increasingly bizarre Cape Town underworld of creatures and lost mythology."


Drummond and writer-director Sheetal Magan are currently developing TV drama series, Acts of Man, a psychological thriller with supernatural elements. Set in a small former missionary town, the series examines mass hysteria and the legacy of religious colonisation, in the aftermath of a murder. A coproduction between Be Phat Motel and Atman Media Lab in South Africa, Cave Painting Pictures in Canada and Blazing Griffin in the UK, with XYZ Films repping the project, it aims for production in late 2019.


Five Fingers for Marseilles screens Monday 23 July in the BRICS South African section. Kathaa ’72 African premieres Sunday 22 July. Filmmakers in attendance for both.

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