Kagiso Modupe and his daughter Tshimollo Modupe. Picture; Supplied

South African filmmakers are telling stories that enable viewers to see themselves as part of the narrative, the narrative that’s challenging the status quo, and competing on global stages. We highlight some of the movies that have proven to be a hit with local audiences in 2019.

"Losing Lerato"

Penned and produced by actor turned filmmaker Kagiso Modupe, the film tells a painful story of a successful young father who, after losing everything takes matters into his own hands to get back the one thing that matters to him most, his daughter. 

"Losing Lerato", a tear-jerking, thought-provoking film couldn’t have come at a better time, when the country is facing an alarming rise of women and children abuse. Modupe plays Thami alongside his own daughter Tshimollo Modupe (the newcomer who steals the show). 

"Keeping up with the Kandasamys The Wedding"

Picking up from the 2017 box office hit, "Keeping Up With The Kandasamys", the sequel "Kandasamys: The Wedding", celebrates the richness of Indian culture.

The story is built around the week leading up to the colourful grand Indian wedding. 

This film is a feelgood, fun and heartwarming family rom-com – and mothers will get that additional “aha” kick out of it. 

"Knuckle City"

 A gritty raw film by Eastern Cape-born writer and director, Jahmil XT Qubeka. The film explores inherited toxic masculinity and the underbelly of the fighting world. It is a riveting exploration of the psychology of a fighter from the Mdantsane township known as the boxing mecca of South Africa. It was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2019 Toronto

International Film Festival. The film has been selected as South Africa’s official submission for the 2020 Oscars.

"Moffie"

A British-South African LGBTQI+ biographical drama, war film written and directed by Oliver Hermanus. The plot of the film revolves around two gay characters: Nicholas van der Swart and Dylan Stassen who attempt to come to terms with their homosexuality.

The film is based on an autobiographical novel by André Carl van der Merwe. 

The film is set in 1981 South Africa and presents the story of a gay teenager completing his compulsory military service with the South African Defence Force on the border with Angola.
The film had its world premiere release at the Venice International Film Festival in September.

"Zulu Wedding" 

The film tells the life of Lou, played by Nondumiso Tembe, a 28-year-old who was betrothed to a Zulu king in order to repay ancestral debt. Lou left South Africa and her Zulu-Sotho heritage behind to become a dancer in America, and when she falls in love with Tex (Darrin Dewitt Henson), she knows he’s the man to marry.

But when she brings Tex home to meet her family, she discovers she’s been promised since birth to a Zulu king. Lou has to come to terms with who she is so she can fight for what she wants.

"Love Lives Here"

The film tells the tale of a woman caught between two worlds, the township and the bourgeois lifestyle.

Thando Thabethe and Lungile Radu team up in Love Lives Here, a movie about love, loyalty, friendship and family. The star-studded cast also includes Zola Nombona, Andile Gumbi, Motlatsi Mafatshe, Nomalanga Shozi and Nkanyiso Bhengu.

Filmed in KwaZulu-Natal and directed by Norman Maake, it tells the story of Zinhle Malinga (Thabethe), a hard-working modern woman with strong traditional values who has been burnt by love. Luckily, she has her two best girlfriends, Baphindile (Shozi) and Afiya (Nyokabi Angela Gethaiga) to cheer her up

"Kings of Mulberry Street"

A charming, nostalgic story of two young Indian boys who have to find a way to overcome their differences and unite in order to defeat the bullying local crime lord who’s threatening their families. 

A delightful and hilarious adventure, with universal themes that will appeal to the whole family, the film also pays tribute to classic 80s Bollywood movies and their heroes. Visually colourful and vibrant, the film is touching and heart-warming.  The film is set in the 80s, in the fictional town of Sugarhill District in KwaZulu-Natal.

"Back Of The Moon"

Thirty years after making Freedom Square and Back of the Moon, a hard-hitting documentary about Sophiatown, award-winning director Angus Gibson decided to revisit the subject in his new movie.

Set in 1958, takes the audience down memory lane with its bitter-sweet love story between Badman (Richard Lukunku), a powerful gang leader in Sophiatown, and singing sensation, Eve (Moneoa Moshesh).

"Salvation"

A directorial debut for Carmen Sangin, the film follows a journey of three characters who are at a crossroads in their lives, and their interaction with each other leads them to the realisation that they need to forgive the people from the past for them to move forward in their respective lives.

Set in Joburg, the film touches on issues of faith, sex, social and financial challenges, love, redemption and forgiveness.

"Blessers"

In the comedy-drama, Blessers, which stars legendary Kenneth Nkosi in the role of Jacob Molefe, a wealthy businessman and his equally successful and no-nonsense wife Michelle Mofokeng (played by veteran actress Sonia Sedibe) suddenly get bored in their marriage and decide to branch out. 

With each trying out new and unconventional ways to kill boredom in their sexless, arranged marriage, fate plays a very cruel joke on both of them, when a shocking secret is revealed. 

Directed by Rea Rangaka and executive produced by media personality and businessman Tbo Touch, "Blessers" highlights the challenges that come with the glitz and glam of a wealthy lifestyle.