Thulile was directed by Andre Cronje and written by Megan Van Der Merwe who is also a Former AFDA student. The short film is about a young woman in Umlazi who loses her father and seeks a way to protect herself after she is mugged. She discovers that her father was a boxer and with the assistance of a childhood friend she begins to train.
The short film is part of this year’s line-up for IOL’s Youth Day Film Festival which is made up of a specially curated selection of documentaries and features about youth activism and topical issues being made available on the IOL website for on the 16th of June.Van Der Merwe said the idea for her feature film was sparked by the constant underlying fear women experience in South Africa.
“Femicide rates are at an all-time high, and I wanted to present women with a narrative where they are able to take control of their fate, harness their fear and courageously stand their ground – with positive and inspiring results,” said Van der Merwe.
IOL’s Youth Day Film Festival’s selection includes UPRIZE! by Sifiso Khanyile, Professor Siona O’Connell’s documentary The Wynberg 7: An Intolerable Amnesia about a group of high school students imprisoned in the 80s, Dayakar Padayachee’s feature Shadow exploring the psychological effects of guilt, bullying and hidden sexuality to mention a few.
The film stars Nomfundo Ngwenya, Tevin Kunene and Musa Shozi.Van der Merwe said a key crew and cast of 15 people spent 13 days filming Thulile in Umlazi and surrounding Durban. “Andre worked long hours to prepare our cast, turning them into full-fledged boxers. Our aim is to submit Thulile to other film festivals in future. We hope to reach and inspire a wide audience in this way,” concluded Van Der Merwe.