TF1 Studio/ Newen Connect has picked up international sales rights to “Sarafina!,” the iconic South African musical-dance-drama that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992.
“Sarafina!” was the first major film to be made in South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela from his 27-year prison term. The film tells of the strength of the young women who made their mark during South Africa’s long journey to freedom.
A restored version of the film will play in the Cannes Classics section this Sunday. It is a digitally remastered ‘producer’s cut’ which was created in partnership with Imax and includes never-seen-before footage.
The film was produced by Anant Singh through his Videovision Entertainment and directed by Darrel James Roodt from a screenplay by Mbongeni Ngema and William Nicholson. It stars Whoopi Goldberg, Leleti Khumalo, Miriam Makeba, Mbongeni Ngema, John Kani and Somizi Mhlongo.
“ ‘Sarafina!’ is as entertaining and remains as relevant today as it was when it was released thirty years ago,” said Singh. “We are privileged and thrilled that ‘Sarafina!’ has notched up another first by becoming the first South African film to be selected twice by the Cannes festival.”
“It is great to continue the relationship which began through our 1992 partnership with Les Films Ariane, which is now part of TF1 Studio, a Newen Studios subsidiary, with the film now being distributed by Newen Connect,” said Singh. “Today, there are many opportunities to release the film including in Imax, and also with students and schools, which gives us access to a whole new generation of audiences.”
Nathalie Toulza-Madar, TF1 Studio CEO, said, “The outstanding beauty of the film and the values it promotes will enchant new audiences, especially young ones. The glorious return of this great film to Cannes is the beginning of a wonderful adventure.”