ELELWANI

ELELWANI

Synopsis

Elelwani and her boyfriend are in love and plan to spend the rest of their lives together. They are both educated and live urban lives with aspirations to travel abroad. After the University graduation Elelwani returns to her family in the rural countryside to introduce her boyfriend and announce their future plans. But the weight of tradition bears heavily on her family and they refuse to accept the union. The father wants his daughter to become the wife of the local king, despite her insistent refusal. What unfolds is a secret hidden by the royal family from the community and Elelwani is destined to uncover these mysteries and deceptions.

Technical Information

2012; South Africa; Drama, Women; 103 minutes; DCP, HDCAM-SR; 1:2.35; 5.1 mix; Original Language: Tshivenda; Subtitles: English

DIRECTOR

Ntshavheni Wa Luruli

WRITER

Ntshavheni Wa Luruli

D.O.P.

Lance Gewer

EDITOR

Aryan Kaganof

MUSIC

Christopher Letcher

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Ketso Gordhan, Florence Masebe

PRODUCTION COMPANY

Shadowy Meadows Production Blackboard Trust

CO-PRODUCER

Jyoti Mistry

PRODUCER

Florian Schattauer

Elelwani

Florence Masebe

Vele

Ashifashabba Muleya

Thovhele

Vusi Kunene

NTSHAVHENI WA LURULI

After completing a BA in Dramatic Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Ntshavheni went on to study a master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting and Directing at Columbia University under the tutorship of Milos Forman. Winning the Paramount Picture Writing Award in 1989 with Rambani, Ntshavheni then worked as assistant director to Spike Lee on features including MALCOLM X, and Jungle Fever. Ntshavheni wrote THE RAINBOW CALLABASH, a feature -length film for SABC in 1994 and was Head Writer for 26 episodes drama series SUCCESS/KGATELOEPE, for SABC in 1996. He directed Chikin Biznis in 1999 for M-Net. Ntshavheni is also a lecturer at the Department of Journalism, Film and Television at the University of Johannesburg. In 2004, his film THE WOODEN CAMERA won the Crystal Bear at the Berlinale for Best Youth film.

 

Selective Filmography

Feature Film

2003 The Wooden Camera

1999 Chikin Biznis: The Whole Story!

 

TV Series

1994 Soul City

2017

6TH AFRICAN FILM WEEK ATHENS

Mar 16 – 22

1ST AFRICAN FILM WEEK THESSALONIKI

Feb 16 – 22

2014

 

Los Angeles –

ACADEMY AWARD

South Africa Academy Award Entry

Dec 24

KINO AFRIKA

Sep 10 – 14

 

AFRICA MOVIE ACADEMY AWARD

Achievement In Production Design

Apr 01

 

AFRICA MOVIE ACADEMY AWARD

Best Actress In A Leading Role

Apr 01

COLOURS OF THE NILE INT. FILM FESTIVAL

Mar 24 – 31

CINEMA AFRIKA – KINEMATHEK KARLSRUHE

Mar 06 – 08

2013

AFRICAN DIASPORA INT. FILM FESTIVAL

Nov 29 – Dec 15

TALLINN BLACK NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL

Nov 15 – Dec 01

NEUE FILME AUS SÜDAFRIKA

Sep 19 – 22

AFRIKANISCHE KINOWELTEN

Sep 18 – 18

FESTIVAL “CINÉMAS D’AFRIQUE”

Aug 22 – 25

NEXT FUTURE CINEMA CIRCLE

Jul 03 – 04

INT. FILMFEST EMDEN-NORDERNEY

Jun 05 – 12

AFRICAN CARNIVAL

May 24 – 26

MOOOV FILM FESTIVAL

Apr 17 – 28 (in competition)

LUXOR AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL

Mar 18 – 24

FESPACO – PANAFRICAN FILM & TV FESTIVAL

Feb 23 – Mar 03

 

BERLINALE FORUM

 

Feb 14

2012

DURBAN INT. FILM FESTIVAL

Jul 19 – 29

Vandals Took The Handle (Blog)

A decade of work and passion had gone into making something that will become an important milestone in South African cinema history. […] This film is a window into Venda culture. […] As much as it is a cultural expose, it really is a brilliantly told story, beautifully shot, with solid performances from the key characters. A couple of unexpected plot developments and one or two rather well conceived twists make the film a joy to sit through.

2012-07-21

Vandals Took The Handle

The Witness

Ntshaveni wa Luruli’s film Elelwani is a textured cinematic benchmark that comes in the wake of years of steadily building momentum. From the onset the film operates on a premise that is both shaky and interesting. It is the first feature film in Tshivenda which means already-at least socially the film bares the responsibility of taking the battle to ligitimise this language into the South African mainstream-to the next level. […] This however is not a film that is part of what I often call voucher cinema – aiming to tick all the right boxes on route to box office returns without making a dent in the cultural landscape. Refreshingly it is also not a manifesto for liberal values taking place in a rural setting; rather it is a comparative study about how two eras of a culture are at loggerheads as they battle for relevance in the contemporary. […] Elelwani is a film that South Africans deserve. A mastered film that is relevant without feeling too self-consciously and quintessentially South African.

2012-07-21

Sihle Mthembu

Durbanisyours (Blog)

Elelwani, is a look into a culture that many of us really don’t know much about […] The issues of gender inequality and cultural significance in the modern world are incredibly relevant to this country at this time. Although this is one of those films that deals with “issues” and will probably go down as an important film in South African film history […]

2012-07-21

Durbanisyours

City Press

A film that will […] hold its own in the decades to come.

2012-07-21

Charl Blignaut

Umhlanga Life

[…] Beautifully shot by Cinematographer Lance Gewer one gets a different viewpoint of the cultures and traditions of the Venda people. There is some wonderful music in this movie and the soundtrack is brilliant. It really does add another dimension. You almost find yourself in a surreal landscape. Almost as if David Lynch went to Africa.

2012-07-23

Fred Felton

Screen Africa Magazine

[…] Director Ntshavheni wa Luruli, a humble and unassuming personality, has not only made history, he’s made a beautiful film. If you’re a film lover, it’s difficult not to feel euphoric when you have a great cinematic experience.

2012-10-01

Joanna Sterkowicz