Khabonina Qubeka as Dora in Dora's Peace
Khabonina Qubeka as Dora in Dora's Peace. (Image: Dora's Peace on Facebook)

Inner city Johannesburg continues to provide fertile soil for local filmmakers, with the latest Jozi product, Dora's Peace, set to offer a grittier take on the city - and another strong role for a female lead.

Local audiences have seen more of Joburg on the big screen in the last year-and-a-half than they got to see in the decade before that. In 2015 we had Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thina Sobabili, Ayanda, Hear Me Move, Necktie Youth and Tell Me Sweet Something.

This year already we've seen Happiness is a Four-Letter Word and Mrs Right Guy. And the run is far from over: political satire Wonder Boy for President is due to open in cinemas on 29 July; Winsome, a Xhosa romance with a Shakespearian twist, is due to premiere on DStv's Mzansi Magic in August; and Nigerian-born director Akin Omotoso is in post-production on his latest offering, Vaya.

Paballo Koza and director Kosta Kalarytis on location in Hillbrow
Paballo Koza and director Kosta Kalarytis on location in Hillbrow. (Image: Dora's Peace on Facebook)

And releasing in August is Dora's Peace, about a Hillbrow prostitute on the wrong side of 40 who takes up the cause of a gifted 12-year-old boy in danger of being sucked into the world of violent crime - and in so doing, is forced to confront aspects of her humanity she thought she'd left behind her.

Directed by Kosta Kalarytis, the film stars Khabonina Qubeka - best known for her role as Nina Zamdela on SABC3 soapie drama Isidingo - as the hooker who thinks she's seen it all.

She's supported by a strong ensemble cast that includes Danny Keogh (Invictus, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder) as Stavro, the Greek bookie she once had a relationship with, Paballo Koza (Thola, The Blanket) as Peace, a fledgling artist and the son of a druggie neighbour, Hlubi Mboya (iNumber Number, How to Steal 2 Million) and Ronnie Nyakale (Jerusalema, Blood Diamond).



Kalarytis told Channel24 that, besides the underworld characters that inhabit Hillbrow, Dora's Peace also incorporates aspects of his own Greek background and culture, "which I don't think has been done before in a South African movie".

The most important aspect of the film, however, is the relationship between Dora and Peace. "We knew if we could make that work, we stood a good chance of making a great movie," Kalarytis said.

Local audiences will soon be able to judge for themselves.

Dora's Peace was produced by One Man Band in association with The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Gauteng Film Commission (GFC).

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission