London (ANI): A film starring kids from the townships of South Africa has been touted as the country"s Slumdog Millionaire. iZulu Lami, which means My Secret Sky, is the story of Thembi, 10, and her eight-year-old brother Kwezi, who are left alone in their rural homestead after their mother"s demise. The only thing they have is a traditional Zulu mat she had made to enter in a craft competition.
Both brother and sister head to Durban for the competition but run into a gang of street kids. The film is mainly optimistic, but there are violent scenes, including one in which Thembi, played by Sobahle Mkhabase, narrowly escapes being raped.
According to the Guardian, Mkhabase is among seven kids plucked from poor backgrounds who have won appreciation for their roles in the film. The 11-year-old has already bagged best actress award at the Tarifa festival in Spain, where the film was also honoured. It won further prizes at African film festivals in Cannes and Zanzibar.
The film, shot in a month on a budget of 350,000 pounds, receives its first domestic screening on Thursday at the Durban international film festival. "They all come from really poor homes. They are at school living in various degrees of difficulty. They are all tremendous kids and learned a lot from the process," the Telegraph quoted Jeremy Nathan, the film's producer, as telling the paper.
"I don't think the premiere will be anything on the scale of Slumdog or Harry Potter, but in a small South African way I hope there will be some glitz and glamour for them to experience. They're amazing little people." "The story is told from a children's point of view on the world. Without them it wouldn't work at all," he added.