Ezra Mabengeza. Picture: Supplied

Ezra Mabengeza, long-time model and star of SA’s Oscar-nominated Best Foreign Language Film, 'Sew The Winter To My Skin', is at the Palm Spring Film Festival (3 – 14 January 2019). 

2018 has been something of a whirlwind for the New York-based and Port Elizabeth-born artist who also picked up his first award for Best Male Performance at the recent Africa International Film Festival’s AFRIFF Globe awards – Africa’s most important film awards - held in Nigeria last month.

Commenting on the filming process of Sew The Winter To My Skin: “Having overcome the most challenging physical and mental preparation; a 2 year process, I might add, I was able to just let the spirit of the man (John Kepe, whom the ‘Samson of the Boschberg’ legend is based on) flow through me.  On that sacred mountain in Somerset East I found my way!” says Ezra.

He adds, “What has been a revelation for me, was working with Jahmil and how quickly trust was established between us! Everybody from the cast, the production, literally everyone “bought in” and surrendered themselves to the creation of our masterpiece! I think the South African film industry is ready to boom!”

After moving to New York in 2002, Ezra has devoted his life to the arts and has worked with a number of critically acclaimed directors and producers.

His credits include the TV series E.R., movies such as Miracle at St Anna (directed by Spike Lee), Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, the film  419 as well as theatre productions A Season In The Congo (where he played the lead as slain Congolese president Patrice Lumumba) and Julius Caesar (as Mark Anthony) and has also been a familiar face in a number of top South African commercials.