Shot on location in only seven days and on a shoestring budget, Ernest Nkosi's Thina Sobabili ('The Two of Us') is set in Alexandra, one of Johannesburg's main townships.
The movie tells the story of schoolgirl Zanele and her protective and petty criminal brother Thulani, both of whom are weighed down by emotional baggage after they were abandoned by their mother.
Faced with few opportunities to escape their grinding poverty, Zanele wonders if a charming older man could be a chance to escape the township.
Director Ernest Nkosi's gritty film scooped up the audience choice awards by an overwhelming majority at Johannesburg's Jozi Film Festival and the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles, early this year.
The prize for the PAFF – organised by Hollywood actor Danny Glover – includes a deal to screen the movie at eight cinemas in the US.
The film has a haunting soundtrack by Mpho Nthangeni and gripping performances from Busisiwe Mtshali as Zanele and Nkosinathi Gweva as Thulani.
Combining intelligent storytelling and rich, multi- layered characters, Nkosi has created a powerful narrative. ●