Award-winning short film The Letter Reader now streaming online

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Bahle Mashinini in 'The Letter Reader.'
Bahle Mashinini in 'The Letter Reader.'
Screengrab: YouTube/Indigenous Film Distribution
  • The Letter Reader, directed by Sibusiso Khuzwayo, is now streaming on Netflix and Showmax.
  • The film won the Shnit Worldwide Short Film Festival Best Short (South Africa) in October 2019, as well as the Golden Horn Award for Best Short Film.
  • It also won a YouTube short film competition titled 'I am Africa'.
  • The movie tells the moving tale of a boy who discovers the power of words.

The Letter Reader, directed by Sibusiso Khuzwayo, is now streaming on Netflix and Showmax.

The award-winning short film tells the story of Siyabonga, a 12-year-old boy from Johannesburg who is sent to a village in KwaZulu-Natal and is inspired by Thabo Mbeki's biography, The dream deferred by Mark Gevisser.

It won the Shnit Worldwide Short Film Festival Best Short (South Africa) in October 2019, as well as the Golden Horn Award for Best Short Film and a YouTube short film competition titled 'I am Africa' in Los Angeles.

"Everyone who believed in the film and the filmmaker Sibusiso Khuzwayo felt that their sacrifices were well worth it," says producer Cati Weinek.

"Short films don't always get seen on our screens as they are perceived as calling cards for new directors, but this beautiful tale has been sold to major streaming platforms."

When Siyabonga is sent to his grandmother while his parents deal with their marital problems, the city boy struggles to adapt to rural life. He discovers the power of words as he reads letters that put a smile on people's faces, until one day, a letter with bad news lands in his hands.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:

Although the film cannot be screened in cinemas during the pandemic, Sibusiso is determined that it will one day be seen by its original and first audience.

"When we were filming in the village up in the mountains, I realised that I had written this film as a homage to the spirit, love and grit I saw around me in the people of that village, so I want to go back into these communities to show my film," he says. "Once the peak of Covid-19 is over, the film team will be returning to screen it in communities around KwaZulu Natal."

WATCH IT NOW ON SHOWMAX AND NETFLIX

Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht (Source: Indigenous Films)

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