Casting call for new e.tv series Matatiele

etvAuditions for new e.tv drama series in Matatiele

TX: Monday, 16 February 2015 at 11AM

e.tv is looking to unearth acting talent in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape to be part of the upcoming rural drama series, Matatiele.

Auditions will be held at the Nokhwezi Hall, eiTsokolele, in Matatiele from Monday 16 until Friday, 20 February 2015.

For the five days, auditions will start at 11AM until 2PM. The series will be shot on location in Matatiele.

The drama is a present day love story set against the backdrop of a long-standing family feud between amaXhosa and abaSotho clans that dates back to the 18th century.

Nontle Sangqu (Xhosa) and Lefa Monaheng (Sotho) meet and fall in love, unbeknown to their families. Their forbidden love affair plays out in the backdrop of cascading hills and deep valleys of Matatiele, cloaked in secrecy. The Monaheng and the Sangqu families have been at loggerheads as far back as the Mfecane warfare (1800s) among indigenous ethnic communities.

The entire story will be shot on the location where the story is set, which invariably will add to the production value and the authenticity of the narrative. The producers of the show, Branded Soul, recently held a workshop teaching local youngsters about television and film production in hopes of sparking interest in pursuing a career in the industry.

At least six young people from Matatiele will be given the opportunity to do an internship within the camera, lighting, grips, unit and the art departments for two months. The broader community will also be involved as the production will need background crowds and extras. The chosen actors from the auditions will star alongside industry veterans in the likes of Motshabi Tyelele, Charmaine Diri Mtinta and Mike Mvelase.

“e.tv is honoured to be guests in such a culturally rich part of our country. We intend producing a culturally profound local drama, as well as ensure that the spirit of the people of Matatiele shines through when the show hits the screen this April.

“We are broadening storytelling to be more inclusive of smaller provinces. This will also create dynamic story and a balanced view of life across South Africa,” enthuses Monde Twala, Managing Director for e.tv channels division.

The show will be directed by the award-winning director Rolie Nikiwe, creative director for Rhythym City alongside Zuko Nodada, a renowned director fresh from directing a local movie, Between Friends. Both Nikiwe and Nodada are Eastern Cape born.

“As a storyteller I am always on the lookout for exciting narratives that can capture an imagination and so I am very excited to be at the helm of what promises to be a groundbreaking project. It is also the first drama to be set and shot in Matatiele, which we hope will put Matatiele on the map as a beautiful location for other filmmakers to consider,” said Nikiwe.

Matatiele is a semi-town serving the farming and trading communities in the foothills of the western Drakensberg in the Eastern Cape. It is on the border of KwaZulu-Natal and 20 km from the southern frontier of Lesotho. The residents in and around Matatiele are generally bilingual in Xhosa and Sotho. Although, some also speak as a home language or as a language of heritage Phuti.

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