Safe Bet - not necessarily the official movie poster!
Click on image to view larger version. (CAUTION: this may NOT be the official Safe Bet movie poster! The official poster is due to be revealed online at 08:00 on 30 October 2015 - visit Safe Bet Film on Facebook.)

Made-in-Gauteng action comedy Safe Bet won festival audiences over at its North American premiere at the 2015 Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF) in Mountain View, San Francisco on 16 October, coming away with an Achievement in Narrative Feature Film award.

Safe Bet screened in-competition as an official selection at the festival, which seeks to give US audiences "a lens to the real Africa".

This was the third official selection that the film has racked up so far on its international festival run: it had its European premiere as part of the official selection at the Comedy Cluj International Film Festival in Bucharest, Rumania on 17 October, and will screen at the 2015 BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta, Georgia in November.

Directed by Bonginhlanhla "Mr B" Ncube, Safe Bet tells the story of Frank (Wandile Molebatsi) and Khaya (Godfrey Thobejane), who between them decide to "borrow" their boss's money and spin it on a fixed boxing match.

The film was produced by Sukuma Media with support from the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC), and was shot predominantly in Pretoria, with additional scenes in Johannesburg.

'A different side of South Africa'

Also starring Luthuli Dlamini (as the none-too-pleased boss) and featuring original songs by up-and-coming local rapper Sean Digga, the movie promises to show a lighter side of South Africa as it enters its third decade of democracy.



"I am very happy that I can showcase a film that shows a different side of South Africa, a non-violent, non-apartheid movie, a movie that does not portray us as a poverty stricken, hungry or violent community," Ncube said in a statement afterwards. "I think it's time for us filmmakers to start painting a new Africa as a whole."

Ncube said he was amazed that the San Francisco audience "actually got the jokes".

Eliciana Nascimento, a Brazilian living in the US, commented: "It's a funny movie, I was telling [Ncube] how amazing it was because it's so hard to make a comedy, it's so hard to make people laugh, and especially if you have a film from a different culture, show it to people who don't understand South Africans that much, and we were able to laugh and get the jokes and enjoy the film."

Safe Bet will be released in South African cinemas - as well as in Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe - in the first quarter of 2016.

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission