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First Venda movie to premiere at festival

By Zenoyise John | Jul 13, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 20 ]

Filmmaker Ntshavheni wa Luruli is riding on the crest of his success.

His film Elelwani, the first feature film in Tshivenda, is one of the most unlikely success stories in filmmaking this year.

The film will "open" The Durban International Film Festival. It is the 33rd edition of South Africa's largest and longest-running film festival.

The ground-breaking premiere takes place next Thursday. The film deals with the collision between modernity and traditionalism.

How did the movie come about?

"Elelwani was one of the four novels by renowned author Dr Titus Maumela that I wanted to adapt fortelevision," Luruli says.

"But after I was turned down several times I decided to make a feature film from a novel of the same title."

Luruli was also inspired to do the film because he feels that not only is Tshivenda marginalised in films but feels that the Venda people have always been treated as underdogs .

"We grew up despised and spat at by other groups in South Africa," Luruli laments.

"We were called names and deemed worthless. Unfortunately, this trend continues (even) today.

"Many Venda and Shangaan people were killed during the xenophobia riots," he says.

Luruli adds that making the film was not a stroll in the park.

"I did not have a script when they started production. The crew was absolutely terrified.

"Then we were rained out during the shoot. It was literally raining every day in Venda.

"The local Venda people were very generous in helping us with everything we needed, especially his majesty King Kennedy Tshivhase, who allowed us to shoot at his royal residence, which is unheard of. So to him I say, long live the king," Luruli says.

He says it was not easy to translate written narratives into film, but praises popular actress Florence Masebe, who plays the main character for carrying the film excellently.

"Luckily, she is a Muvenda, and she understands the culture very well," wa Luruli explains. "She was my choice right from the start.

"The rest are a mixture of actors and non-actors, since there are no Venda stories that are told that could help cultivate a professional acting experience."

Luruli adds there are virtually no theatre, television or movie drama scripts in Tshivenda, there is a small pool of experienced professional Venda-speaking actors.

"A handful have been able to get some kind of acting experience in a local soapie.

"So I mixed the experienced ones and non actors.

"They all did a fabulous job. You've got to see the film. The cast isabsolutely great."

COMMENTS [ 20 ]

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Wow cant wait to watch it... At least Venda people will get recognition from everybody.

Jul 13, 2012 9:51 | 0 replies

@imbabazane@comtsotsi@t-naslerethe
you guys need to do your homework before you say things you are not sure about venda culture is very diverse the least you could was to congragulate Filmmaker Ntshavheni wa Luruli for producing
the first venda movie than to do what you are doing please grow up i am proudly venda and i wont let people like say what ever you feel like saying about my culture and my people!

Jul 13, 2012 4:11 | 0 replies

yep can't wait for the movie.. tsha kale ro lindela film ya tshiVenda... il recomend subtitles for those who do not understand the my Venda Language. SO EXCITED!!

Jul 14, 2012 12:21 | 0 replies

hezwi zwi ita uri rine vhavenda ridihudze..... i am proudly venda and i really dont give a damn about wat those ignorant litle priks are saying.... big up Ntshavheni wa Luruli put us vhavenda on the map

Jul 16, 2012 9:57 | 0 replies

U have no clue of wat ur takin about u jst hd da romours have you eva bn in Venda b4 stupid ppl da only thng u knw is to drive taxis lazy to go school idiots mxm,Ur grany da in KZN der one of the bst Wicthes.datz y da is even home of witches of wich I neva heard of it in Limpopo.Can you call urslf dat ur wrking wyl ur a que marshal at taxi rank stupid ppl.if da is a place to be,is venda

Jul 17, 2012 9:28 | 0 replies

vhathu vha sina thalukanyo vha a bora... kataleya and imbabazane did u guys raised by both parents?


Jul 19, 2012 7:22 | 0 replies

Zulu pips are the one who still believe in witchcraft and ancestors,they always wear their traditional watch sphandhla or u can call it Pudi watch or self made Rolex that stink.

Jul 19, 2012 12:48 | 0 replies

warning
to those who are still using black and white televisions must quickly go and get a colour tv since these people are too too black or navy u can only hear voices if u still using b&w

the film is all about an ugly girl,ugly man,old magogo,forests,poverty and obviously uku-loya,,excuse me i dont want to watch it,,,

the film is a version of ulgy nigerians konke kuyafana,,bamnyama sengathi bayaphumela,or they all originated from ink company

Jul 19, 2012 3:8 | 0 replies

bosso ke mang......................... MZULU........................
bosso ke mang......................... MZULU........................
bosso ke mang......................... MZULU........................
bosso ke mang......................... MZULU........................
bosso ke mang......................... MZULU........................
bosso ke mang......................... MZULU........................
bosso ke mang......................... MZULU........................

Jul 19, 2012 3:24 | 0 replies

Will Mr Bundu be there ?

Jul 13, 2012 3:4 | 0 replies

@iphone

if it is then what???

we all know the most blver of witch craft are zulus. and most gays are tswana. deal with that first b4 u act all beta and very usefull while u not. ur girls are fighting for us like they want to touch jesus's cloth or something nxa

Jul 13, 2012 1:37 | 0 replies