It was all the way back in 2011 that we first came across the South African filmmaking duo of director Michael Matthews and writer / producer Sean Drummond. The occassion was their fabulous retro scifi short film Sweetheart - you can check that original post, including the trailer, here - which at the time was a trigger point in convincing me that, hey, maybe there's more going on in South Africa than just District 9 and Tsotsi, an opinion I have become only more convinced of in the years since.
Already in 2011 Matthews and Drummond had big plans for their debut feature - a contemporary, township set western - and how they wanted to forge a new path for South African films. And while they've had false starts along the way and had to struggle uphill to convince people that there was a different way of doing things than they were used to in the local industry but the pair refused to give up and are now in their first week of principal photography on their debut feature, Five Fingers For Marseille.
Twenty years ago, the young ‘Five Fingers’ fought for the rural town of Marseilles, against brutal police oppression. Now, after fleeing in disgrace, freedom-fighter-turned-‘outlaw’ Tau returns to Marseilles, seeking only a peaceful pastoral life. When he finds the town under new threat, he must reluctantly fight to free it. Will the Five Fingers ride again?
Shooting entirely on location in a small community on the Eastern Cape and in local languages, Five Fingers nonetheless has a definite eye cast on international audiences with US based producers Asger Hussain (Precious) and Yaron Schwartzman of Game 7 Films involved from the early days as well and XYZ Films [where, yes, I am also involved so file away under 'conflict of interest conspiracies' should you choose to do so] involved to help bring the film to market.
But enough talk, I promised pictures - and pretty ones, even - and you can find those below along with a further selection on the film's official Facebook page.