TV preview – When Skroef met Sexy

2014-11-05 18:45

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uSkroef noSexy is an upcoming feature film that’s already become a TV series. Siyabonga Sithole visited the set

In a first for South Africa, a yet-to-be-released feature film has been picked up as a TV drama series. It will premiere next week, ahead of the film.

uSkroef noSexy by Uzanenkosi Mahlangu, one of the creators and producers of the award-winning TV series Intersexions, will be showing on eKasi+ and each episode will be repeated on a few days later.

Mahlangu is putting the final touches to the film version before he releases it through his distribution network, Kwenze Kwenzeke.

At the centre of uSkroef noSexy are strangers-turned-friends Skroef Manyoba (Khaya Mthembu) and Sexy Mashishi (Given Khumalo), who after a feud involving a woman named Nomalizo (Lulu Nxozi) end up staying together at Sexy’s modest paradise in Kliptown.

Watching the film at the Ants Multimedia offices in Linden, after seeing the two actors in action during the TV shoot in Orlando East, both the drama series and film could easily pass for comedy.

The humour hangs in the air every time Skroef tries to convince Sexy of his latest money-making scheme.

Skroef is an ideas man and a Jim-Comes-to-Joburg, while Sexy is a Soweto boy who knows all corners of the township. As the pair struggles to chase that South African dream – money and hot women – beyond the immediate environment of the township, we gradually admire their self-determination and belief that they can escape their hopeless situation to make things happen for themselves.

This could be the actors’ big break. They’re relative newcomers who share an effortless charisma and a chemistry built over three years – they worked on the feature film from 2011.

“I always try to shy away from pitching my characters way above the actors, as this means I have too much explaining to do. But when you pitch the character closer to the actor, it becomes a conversation with the actor and the acting is not as obvious,” says Mahlangu, the man who likes shooting his films in winter.

He says he specifically chose to work with an unknown cast. “I could have taken any leading actor. Because of the long-term strategy for the film to become a franchise, I had to go with dynamic, young actors who could bring their individuality and truth to the story.”

Mahlangu is already planning the sequel as he plots how to grow the actors as brands.

His work will be made easier by their professionalism and genuine talent, both of which shine through in a shoot constantly interrupted by planes flying overhead and neighbourhood noise.

An assistant director calls out for the actors to take a break until the noise dies down, only for a truck to roar past the street once it does. They don’t once lose their characters when the cameras are rolling again.

“These days I’m so busy filming that I am lucky to even get a chance to see my friends and family,” says Khumalo as we sit on the porch and wait for another plane to pass.

Mthembu has new problems of his own. He often refers to himself as Skroef, finding that the character is becoming really hard to shake off when the cameras stop rolling.

uSkroef noSexy premieres on OpenView HD’s Kasi+ channel on November 6 at 9pm and will be repeated on on November 10 at 9pm. It will run for 26 weeks

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