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ZERO ONE ONE

Ziggy Hofmeyr and Batana Vundla of Joziewood Films have just completed their third feature film, a Joburg tale appropriately entitled Zero One One. A fast-paced action-comedy feature, Zero One One harnesses the talent and energy of young South Africa to produce a uniquely Joburg story.

Zero One One is the story of three Joburgers – Thebe (Thomas Gumede);Max (Brad Backhouse); and Gift (Matli Mohapeloa), who end up paying dearly for a night of excess and debauchery. The film is an apt reflection of the times we are living in, depicting South Africa’s ever popular culture of wanting to make easy money.

“It was amazing to work on a film that was written and directed by young South African talent,” enthuses lead actor, Thomas Gumede. “The energy on set was great, and the director really allowed us to bring so much to the process. Although it’s a story of a really messed-up night in the big bad city, I really think Zero One One is, in its own way, a love letter to Jozi – the crazy characters, the streets that never sleep, the friendship between the three characters – if you love this city, this is definitely a movie you want to watch.”

Filmed in various locations around Johannesburg, Zero One One enlisted the services of Jo’burgs hottest emerging talent – including Mduduzi Ndlovu as the DOP, and Ziggy Hofmeyr as director/editor. Produced by Batana Vundla, who’s previous work include the critically renowned political satire animation, Kiep Kiep & Sporro, as well as SABC3’s social satire show, Last Say on Sunday.

“For me, Zero One One is the ultimate ‘buddy’ flick” actor Brad Backhouse explains “I grew up watching movies with that theme, and I love that each character represents a little something about this mad city, the amazing people who live in it, and how we all connect with one another. There was something magical about shooting within hectic time frames, missioning from one location to another to get various scenes – it was crazy, and it resulted in an amazing movie.”

Matli Mohapeloa’s perspective gives an insight on what attracts actors to such projects in his comment that “I’ve acted in a range of productions, and what I appreciated most about shooting Zero One One was the fact that it really was an collaborative process – the writers and crew were committed to us being a real part of the film, and welcomed our input. We really gelled onset, and I really believe that everyone brought their ‘A’ game to the process. The story is fresh, the script tight, witty and completely Jo’burg – it was great to be a part of the whole thing.”

Audiences will remember Thomas Gumede from TV drama, Rhythm City; Bay of Plenty; Thomas Gumede LIVE; and Matli from his roles in A Place Called Home; Soul City; and Rhythm City.

Zero One One is the third release from Joziewood Films, who, in their three years of existence, have mastered the art of creating the low-budget/ high-production-value film. In the tradition of their previous projects, Zero One One has J.F’s signature hallmark – specifically, ‘real’ dialogue, young actors who share the screen with seasoned South African actors, and characters and situations that resonate with local audiences.

“We realised that traditional models of film making in South Africa wouldn’t work for us,” Joziewood Films, Batana Vundla explains. “We found the conventional film making business model restrictive and in many respects, inaccessible – that’s when we hit on the low-budget, collaborative film making option – and it’s worked. Our vision is to have a catalogue of work we can be proud of – low-budget doesn’t have to mean low-quality, as our films show. We’ve sold our movies to SAA; had them broadcast on Soweto TV; recently licensed them to DStv. The way we see it, as long as we can shoot movies that we can sell, that are accessible to audiences– then we’re getting the job done.”

All Joziewood titles are available at Jet music for R45.

Joziewood Films
ZERO ONE ONE

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