A Penguin Films production for Sabido Productions, distributed by Crystal Brook Distribution. Script by Shirley Johnston. Directed by Roberta Durrant.
Starring: Hlayani JR. Mabasa, Linda Sokhulu, Thapelo Mofokeng, Royston Stoffels, Elvis Mahomba, Janet Suzman Synopsis: 13-year-old Felix Xaba dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, but his mother Lindiwe thinks jazz is the devil’s music.
When Felix leaves his township friends to take up a scholarship for grade eight at an elitist private school, he defies his mother and turns to two aging members of his father’s old band to help him prepare for the school jazz concert.
Felix‘s all-star cast includes Joburg-born Oscar-nominee Dame Janet Suzman in her first South African film; South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) Best Actress winner Linda Sokhulu (Isidingo, Generations) in her feature debut; and newcomer Hlayani Junior Mabasa, who was cast in the title role from over 500 auditions across the country.
Described as “Billy Elliott with African jazz,” Felix is based on Shirley Johnston’s acclaimed script, which won Sithengi’s 2004 Writer’s Forum Award; was a finalist in the US Specscriptacular Competition; and was a quarter-finalist in both Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest and the Moondance Screenwriting Competition.
SAFTA Lifetime Achievement winner Roberta Durrant directs, while musical director Murray Anderson, who has recorded Gold and Platinum records for the likes of Abdullah Ibrahim, worked closely on the soundtrack with former Standard Bank Young Artists of The Year Mark Fransman and Bokani Dyer, as well as triple 2012 South African Music Awards nominee Lwanda Gogwana.