I love it when up-and-coming relatively-unknown filmmakers whose work I really appreciate, progress.
South African director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, whose controversial serial killer origins film Of Good Report, was initially banned by South African censors as it was about to make its World Premiere, will be making his USA debut with a romantic comedy titled Heaven Hath No Fury, written by Leon Chills and Chad Sanders, for New York-based D Street Pictures.
You'll recall that we announced the project in January, when D Street optioned it, and, as I recall, your reactions were mixed.
The story follows a New York playboy whose decision to break the wrong woman’s heart, knocks the world out of kilter, as men start to see the world through the eyes of women.
“It was extremely exciting to meet such extraordinarily talented young African American men who clearly understood the genre,” said D Street CEO Dexter Davis, who was first pitched the project by the writers at Cannes 2013. “I believe this film will further spotlight Mr Qubeka’s incredible talent as a well-rounded, diverse filmmaker. The brilliant film ‘Of Good Report’ is film noir and the decision to stray away from what might be expected of him is smart, courageous and brave. We have every confidence in the world that he will deliver us an unforgettable film."
“What attracted me to the project was the producers’ vision and approach to the material,” said Qubeka. “We certainly share the same ambitions for the picture. Film is a collaborative creative process and it’s very important for me to work with a team that exudes that ethos. I wanted to tackle material that had a wider audience appeal yet at the same time has the scope to be elevated beyond the conventions of its set genre.”
Without having read the script, I can say that it sounds nothing like Qubeka's past work - certainly not a genre he's worked in before (although he's made just 2 features, mostly dark dramas - Of Good Report was his last). But I do recall when I interviewed him last year, he shared his strong desire to direct films in all genres, as he wasn't married to any one. Continuously challenging himself was important.
The project is currently in development, with D Street working to package it (next stop: the Cannes film market), and a late 2014 shoot date eyed.
Sanders and Chills are graduates of Morehouse College and this is their first feature script.
Qubeka's Of Good Report - a film I saw, loved and reviewed HERE - continues to travel the international film festival circuit. Let's hope it gets distributor attention globally.