Three black women determined to live out their dreams
Renate Stuurman, Mmabatho Montsho and Khanyi Mbau: three black women determined to live out their dreams - CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION. (Image: Happiness is a Four-Letter Word on Facebook)

Highly anticipated romantic drama Happiness is a Four-Letter Word will have its world market premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on 15 February before opening in South African cinemas on Friday, 19 February.

The film had its local premiere in Johannesburg on 11 February, just ahead of Valentine's Day - apt timing for a movie described by actress Khanyi Mbau as "a Sex in the City meets Devil Wears Prada type of chick-flick".

Official sales agent AAA Entertainment said it had invited over 1 000 international buyers to the film's screening at the Berlin International Film Festival's market, the European Film Market (EFM).

The Berlin International Film Festival, or Berlinale as it is better known, attracts more than 20 000 professional visitors from 128 countries, including more than 3 700 journalists.

"We are really thrilled to have its international market premiere at such a prestigious event as the Berlinale," AAA Entertainment's Pascal Schmitz said in a statement last week. "The film is a perfect example of the high quality of feature films currently being produced in South Africa."

The screen adaptation of Cynthia Nozizwe Jele's award-winning novel, Happiness is a Four-Letter Word tells the story of three friends - glamorous housewife Zaza, perfectionist lawyer Nandi, and trendy art gallery owner Princess - trying to find happiness while maintaining the image of success and acceptability.



Khanyi Mbau, who stars in the movie alongside Mmabatho Montsho and Renate Stuurman, said in an interview with Sowetan that Happiness was the first film of its genre to be produced in South Africa.

"This is the first of its kind to compete with international movies such as Why Did I Get Married 1 and 2. A Think Like a Man kind of a film," she said, adding that audiences could expect "international values in terms of production value, the picture, the quality, and even the writing, the storyline behind it".

Montsho, speaking to Eyewitness News last week, described the movie as "nice and tentative. It's something that every women can watch and reflect about a certain stage in their life that they have been at or the questions they have asked themselves about what makes them happy".

Filmed in and around Johannesburg, Happiness is a Four-Letter Word was produced by Blingola Media with support from the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Part of the NFVF/Junaid Ahmed Productions slate of movies that aim to develop key areas of black talent in the local industry, the film was directed by Thabang Moleya and produced by Junaid Ahmed and Helena Spring, along with first-time feature film producer Bongiwe Selane.

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission