OTELO BURNING A Film by Sara Blecher Opens in NYC NOVEMBER
Directed by Sara Blecher
Winner! Best Drama at UK’s One World Media Awards
Winner! Two Awards at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards
OTELO BURNING makes its U.S. theatrical premiere THIS FALL at New York City’s new MIST Harlem Cinemas
“You will be mesmerized by the top?notch production here and the cinematography.
It’s a sight you don’t see often ? Black young men surfing!” –Vanessa Martinez, IndieWire.com
New York, NY (August 27, 2012) City of God meets Blue Crush in OTELO BURNING, a beautiful, coming-of-age drama by award-winning filmmaker Sara Blecher. The new South African feature film presents a gripping story of township kids as they discover surfing – a newfound freedom through water. The film will make its U.S. theatrical premiere at New York’s new cinemas at MIST Harlem on NOVEMBER, DATE – TBD, by Autonomous Entertainment and The Turner Group.
OTELO BURNING arrives following acclaimed screenings at such prestigious film festivals at the BFI London International Film Festival and the Busan International Festival in Korea. At the Durban International Film Festival, OTELO BURNING was chosen as the Opening Night selection, and at the Seattle International Film Festival, it was nominated for the Golden Needle Award. The film was further honored at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards, where it won two of 13 total nominations, including the prize for Best Cinematography and Best Child Actor (Tshepang Mohlomi). OTELO BURNING also won the Golden Owl Audience Award for Best Film at Cinerama BC Brazil and Best South African Film at the Cape Winelands Film Festival.
Based on true events, the story unfolds as three teenage friends – Otelo, New Year, and Mandla – look for an escape through a time of turmoil within the township of Lamontville, South Africa and discover freedom through the joy of surfing. Shot in picturesque Durban, OTELO BURNING is a strikingly dynamic portrait of hope and growth for a group of proud adolescents and a nation itself.
Sara Blecher is an award winning documentary director and producer with numerous projects under her belt including “Bay of Plenty,” an award-winning 26-part drama series chronicling the lives of a group of Zulu lifeguards on the Durban beachfront. In 2011, she released “Surfing Soweto,” a documentary following the lives (and deaths) of a group of so-called ‘train surfers’ in South Africa. And in 2009, she produced and directed the South African version of the popular television reality series “Who Do You Think You Are?” OTELO BURNING is Blecher’s first feature film. Kevin Fleischer is the film’s Executive Producer with credits including White Wedding (Stepping Stone 2009) and Paradise Stop (Stepping Stone 2011), with White Wedding being the South African entry to the Foreign Language category of the 2010 Academy Awards.
Trailer available online at: http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi2521670169/
ADVANCE SCREENERS ARE AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW CONSIDERATION
ARTWORK AND ADDITIONAL MATERIALS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
INTERVIEWS WITH CAST AND CREW ARE AVAILABLE
OTELO BURNING – Synopsis
Shot in Durban, South Africa, Otelo Burning tells the story of a group of township kids who discover the joy of surfing. When 16?year?old Otelo Buthelezi takes to the water for the first time, it’s clear that he was born to surf. But then tragedy strikes. On the day that Nelson Mandela is released from prison, Otelo is forced to choose between surfing success and justice. Jealousy, betrayal and political turbulence impact the lives of these young boys in ways that will change them forever. This is a beautifully made, insightful and entertaining film that captures a turbulent time in the history of South Africa.
MIST Harlem (My Image Studios) is New York City’s long-anticipated new cultural entertainment center that’s poised to become a leading showcase for independent black and Latino cinema from around the world. Designed by A. Jay Hibbs of Hibbs Architects in Wappingers Falls, New York, MIST Harlem boasts 20,000 square feet with three state-of-the-art theaters-two with 92-seats each and a third with 164 seats to present film, music, live spoken word, and theater from African and Latino Diaspora. The new venue also features a 130-seat restaurant named Harvist, a lobby bar, as well as an outdoor bar and dining area. OTELO BURNING will be the first film to premiere at the venue and in conjunction with the film’s release, MIST Harlem will feature a series of South African cultural events including live performances, celebrity appearances, and South African food and wine. For more information on MIST Harlem, contact Taneshia Nash Laird at email@example.com.
Autonomous Entertainment is headquartered in New York City with a comprehensive unit focusing on communication, strategic marketing, and distribution consultation for independent media. The company’s mission is to present high quality film projects that are both entertaining and informative modules with integrated engagement campaigns.
The Turner Group, a New York based branded entertainment, integrated marketing and events agency. For additional information, please contact Michelle Materre at Michelle@AutonomousEntertainment.com or Dolly Turner firstname.lastname@example.org. Autonomous Entertainment in association with The Turner Autonomous Entertainment are the film’s US representatives and are managing the New York theatrical release and marketing.
OTELO BURNING will open at MIST Harlem located at 46 West 116th Street, New York, New York on NOVEMBER DATE TBD 2012. http://www.myimagestudios.com/
Autonomous Entertainment / The Turner Group
Official Website: http://www.oteloburning.com/
Official Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/otelo.burningus
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/oteloburning
Director/Producer: Sara Blecher
Executive Producer: Kevin Fleischer
Writers: James Whyle, Sara Blecher
Cast: Jafta Mamabolo, Thomas Gumede, Sihle Xaba, Tshepang Mohlomi, Nolwazi Shange
Running Time: 95 minutes
Format: 1.85:1 widescreen
Sound Format: Dolby Digital
Country: South Africa
Language: Zulu with English subtitles