New South African crime thriller to hit local screens

1 July 2014

Cold Harbour, the new South African crime thriller from the producers of Jerusalema, will have its world premiere at the Durban International Film Festival on 19 July before opening in cinemas countrywide on 25 July.

The film stars Tony Kgoroge as Sizwe, an ambitious policeman from Khayelitsha who uncovers an abalone smuggling scheme while investigating a Triad (Chinese mafia) murder, and Fana Mokoena as Specialist, Sizwe’s comrade from apartheid struggle days, who went on to choose a life of crime rather than joining the police force.

According to producers Ten10 Films, Kgoroge and Mokoena were in fact comrades together in the 1980s, when they spent time together on the run from the apartheid authorities, so they share a real back story with their characters in the movie.

Kgoroge has a big international profile as an actor with co-starring roles: as the love interest of British star Naomie Harris in The First Grader, opposite Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo in Skin, and as ANC icon Walter Sisulu opposite Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

In 2010, he made Variety’s list of “South African talent poised to break out” after a fiery performance as Nelson Mandela’s bodyguard opposite Morgan Freeman in Clint Eastwood’s Invictus.

Remarkably, though, Cold Harbour marks his first lead role in a South African feature film, along with his transition to an action hero.

“This is a very different role for me,” Kgoroge said in a recent statement by Ten10 Films. “It must be every actor’s dream to be the action hero; it’s something I’ve been dying to do for years.”

Kgoroge does all his own stunts in the film, even taking on former world muay thai super-middleweight champion Quentin Chong in one scene.

Mokoena, for his part, co-starred in World War Z opposite Brad Pitt, Machine Gun Preacher opposite Gerard Butler, Hotel Rwanda opposite Don Cheadle, and as ANC stalwart Govan Mbeki in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

Deon Lotz (Faan Se Treine, Verraiers, Skoonheid) and Thomas Gumede (Otelo Burning, A Place Called Home) round out the cast, alongside Chinese star Yu Nan (Expendables II) and Freshlyground lead singer Zolani Mahola.

Cold Harbour also marks the feature film debut of writer/director Carey McKenzie, whose documentary about nuclear weapons, Original Child Bomb, won the Grand Jury Prize at Silverdocs, one of the world’s most prestigious documentary festivals, and whose associated short film, B is for Bomb, won the Cannes 2006 Short Film Corner competition.

Ten10 Films’ Tendeka Matatu (Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema, Material) produced Cold Harbour with support from the National Film and Video Foundation, the Industrial Development Corporation, the Department of Trade and Industry, Next Entertainment and the City of Cape Town.

SAinfo reporter