It's official, two films: Joe Bullet , directed by Louis de Witt and written/produced by Tonie van der Merwe and Umbango  (The Fued), directed by Tonie van der Merwe, produced by Steve Hand which have been restored by Gravel Road Entertainment Group's Retro Afrika Bioscope initiative will be showcased at this years Forum 65th Berlinale.
The Forum completes its programme with a series of special screenings dedicated to historical films and re-discoveries as well as new films that grapple with cinema and film history.
This will be the world premier of "Umbango", arguably one of South Africa's first all-African cast Westerns (except for the "white gringo", who is dispatched almost as quickly as he is introduced, by the gun slinging baddie leader Kay Kay). The film was inspired by the popular Spaghetti Westerns of the mid 1960's and is the cliche good versus evil tale, complete with the hero riding into the sunset with his gal at the end of the film. It stars Innocent "Popo" Gumede, Hector Mathanda and Kay Magubane.
Berlin will be the European premier of "Joe Bullet". The film can be classified as one of the first South African Blaxploitation films, released at the height of apartheid in 1973, it only ver had 2 public screenings before it was banned. The film stars the late Ken Gampu, Cocky "Two Bull" and Abigail Kubeka and even features a cameo of the current Bafana Bafana (South Africa's national soccer team) coach, Shakes Mashaba as one of the soccer players.
"Joe Bullet" was showcased at several prestigious film festivals in 2014; Durban International Film Festival, To Save & Project Film Festival at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and Carthage International Film Festival in Tunsia. The film is being repped by Rushlake Media GmbH.
Writer/Director/Producer Tonie van der Merwe, together with Benjamin Cowley of Gravel Road Entertainment Group will be presenting both films at the Berlinale.
Berlin screening schedule:
Joe Bullet - 06.02.2015 - 17h00 (Arsenal 1) & 15.02.2015 - 16h30 (Akademie der Kuenste)
Umbango - 06.02.2015 - 15h00 (Arsenal 1) & 14.02.2015 - 16h30 (Akademie der Kuenste)