Natasha Thahane slips into the skin of the title character in Thomas Gumede’s coming-of-age film, ’Kedibone’. Picture: Supplied
Natasha Thahane slips into the skin of the title character in Thomas Gumede’s coming-of-age film, ’Kedibone’. Picture: Supplied

The pitfalls of life in the fast lane is explored in the DIFF feature, ‘Kedibone’

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Sep 16, 2020

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One of the must-see features at the 41st Durban International Film Festival is Thomas Gumede’s coming-of-age film, “Kedibone”.

It follows the story of a young and gorgeous Sotho girl, Kedibone, Born and raised in Orlando East, Soweto, her naivete as a township girl changes when she ends up with the wrong crowd on the streets of Jozi. Things go pear-shaped when Kedibone’s boyfriend gets wind of her shenanigans in the city.

On how he came to be involved with the project, Gumede revealed: The film concept is Hardy Maoto’s brainchild. He approached me to direct the film. But I am sure that he was inspired by the reality we face in SA. This type of life and the challenges Kedibone faces is probably the story of many young women and men in this country.

With SA fighting a massive battle against gender-based violence, this movie mirrors the social-ills being fought on a daily basis.

Shedding light on the casting process, he added: “I’ve written a few scripts in my time and usually I have the lead in my head and the rest are murky.

“This time around, it was the opposite, I knew exactly who the supporting cast should be but no idea who would play Kedibone.

“I must commend Nolwazi Shange who cast the film because she really brought great actresses to the audition.

“With that being said Natasha (Thahane) came through and absolutely blazed her audition, as soon as I called cut, I knew she was Kedibone.

“The cast really is a dream team, it was a real blessing to have them all available.”

Natasha Thahane in a scene from the movie. Picture: Supplied

Keneth Nkosi and Lance Gewer are included in the cast line-up.

Aside from being an actor, Gumede honed his craft as a director with reality shows for Parental Advisory Porductions. He also got to direct several episodes of Mzansi Magic’s “Abomama”.

These experience gave him the confidence to tackle “Kedibone”.

On doing justice to the film’s sensitive subject matter, he shared: “I made a conscious decision not to kindle myself or the material.

“I knew that the theme of the film is controversial but it’s also very real.

“So I had to really concentrate on every moment and also ask the actresses and my female crew members to guide me, in the sensitive scenes. It really made a difference to keep asking the ladies to help us keep the story real but sensitive.”

“Kedibone” was shot in Gauteng - mainly Soweto, Bryanston and Auckland Park - in 2018. At the moment, there is no confirmation of a big screen release.

Gumede explained: “To be honest that up to Indigenous (our distributors) to decide. It was shot for the big screen so we would be very happy if the climate allows for us to go to cinema.”

With the film being screened at this year’s DIFF, he said: “I think there are people who are going to know exactly what Kedibone is about because perhaps they have either been through what she goes through or have shared close proximity to someone who has.

“I also think there are going to be people who are seeing this type of lifestyle and it’s consequences for the first time.

“Either way, I hope that the audience resonates with the film and find it entertaining as well as informative.”

Virtually, a combination of 60 feature films, documentaries and shorts, are presented for free.

On the website, audiences can rent films and will have two days to watch them. Screenings are limited, so films may sell out during the festival.

Various Q&A's are hosted on the festival's social media channels throughout the festival.

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