Shadow & Act has learned exclusively that South African filmmaker Jahmil X.T. Qubeka's thriller Of Good Report, will be the opening night film at this year's Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) which runs from February 6-17, 2014.
Qubeka, one of the 10 filmmakers on S&A's filmmakers to watch in 2014 list, premiered Of Good Report last year to controversy at the 34th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), in Durban, South Africa, where the film was censored following the classification refusal by the South African Film and Publications Board, citing that it "promotes child abuse & pornography," an unfounded accusation, from someone who's seen the film and loved it.
Thankfully, eventually, the South African Film Board had a change in perspective, as they reversed their decision and gave the film the US equivalent of an R-rating.
Qubeka's "serial killer origins story" Of Good Report tells the tale of a demented school teacher's attempts to get away with the brutal murder of a teenage beauty.
The film, directed steadily by an assured hand in Qubeka, demonstrates, on screen, his love and great knowledge of cinema. Call it a South Africa-set contemporary cinematic adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita (a novel already considered controversial) with its own killer twist.
While it's not confirmed yet, it's likely that Qubeka will be present for his film's PAFF opening night event next month.
Over the next several weeks, expect lineup announcements from the festival.
Previous revelations include news that the festival will honor studio film publicist Roz Stevenson of Roz Stevenson Public Relations and Jeff Clanagan of CodeBlack Enterprises during the festival’s annual Night of Tribute ceremony. Stevenson and Clanagan will receive the festival’s Trailblazer and the Pioneer awards, respectively. The Night of Tribute honors world-renowned actors, filmmakers, community leaders and fine artists for their contributions on stage, television, film, the arts and the community.
Also previously announced, actors Emayatzy Corinealdi and Tequan Richmond will be feted during the festival's 2014 event, with its annual Rising Stars actor awards. Tequan Richmond will receive the festival's annual Canada Lee Award, while Emayatzy Corinealdi will be honored with the Beah Richards Award.
The Pan African Film Festival is gearing up for its 22nd anniversary at the usual Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15, in LA's Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, running from February 6-17, 2014.
Here's a teaser for Of Good Report: