Home-grown romance comes to the big screen next month, with the opening of escapist romantic romcom ‘Mrs Right Guy’, on 27 May. The film stars Dineo Moeketsi as the lovelorn Gugu Hlatshwayo. Downhearted and disappointed by love, she has grown up with the curse of being the ‘It Girl’, the most beautiful and wanted by everyone.
Having been raised by Gog’ Agnes saved her, with the older woman warning her off boys, but then she had her heart broken when she was left deserted on an island. Raising laughs as well as hope for those who have been wounded by love, the film follows Gugu as she meets two eligible young men – serial seducer Dumile (Thapelo Mokoena) and regular good guy Joe (Lehasa Moloi). One is a sure-fire way to heartbreak, and the other a guaranteed ticket to true love and happiness.
‘Mrs Right Guy’ is directed by Nigerian-born filmmaker Adze Ugah, who says he is excited about the film. “It’s the perfect vehicle for Dineo Moeketsi’s big screen debut,” he says. “The storyline about the challenges facing a strong single woman in her search for a mate is highly topical. The film reflects the complications millennials face as they try to find true love.”
Female power onscreen is matched by a team of highly experienced film and television women behind the scenes. Producer and writer Mokopi Shale began her career in the media as a radio drama actress in 1998, while completing her degree in drama and industrial psychology. She became a television presenter for Take 5, a youth magazine programme for the SABC, where she also worked as a researcher and script writer, and later as associate producer. To increase her skills in the field, Shale took on another job as a radio producer for TranxAfrica Media and produced Your Life and African Pioneers. She later became a commissioning editor in the drama unit of the SABC and was promoted to head of story.
She has worked as script editor on the popular SABC 2 thriller Thola, and was head writer on series 1 and 2 of Mfolozi Street on SABC 1. Shale was head writer and co-producer for the Mzansi Magic drama series It’s Complicated, and is the creator of the love makeover show Mokapelo, which aired on SABC 1.
After co-founding Fuze Films, Shale – along with her business partners and fellow producers Kethiwe Ngcobo and Cati Weinek – was awarded the contract for a slate of films by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF).
Producer Kethiwe Ngcobo has been in the industry for 27 years. She ran her own company, Fuzebox, for several years and produced a number of critically acclaimed programmes and series, including the documentary Project 10: Belonging (2004), 39 episodes of Thetha Msawawa, which won the UNICEF best children’s drama award in 2001, and 13 episodes of youth drama series Bubomi’ Sana (2004).
She was then appointed the first head of drama at the SABC, creating the strategy that changed the face of drama in South Africa. In 2011 Ngcobo left the SABC and became creative producer on satirical comedy feature Gog’ Helen, also directed by Ugah and released in 2012. Next she produced two TV dramas for Fuzebox productions, Thola and Mfolozi Street. In 2015, through Fuzebox, she produced the relationship drama It’s Complicated for Mzansi Magic. During 2016, she will be producing the second series of Thola, Mfolozi Street and Its Complicated.
Cati Weinek, also a producer and writer on Mrs Right Guy, is co-creator of the NFVF’s ground-breaking Sediba script development programme. She has produced a variety of important South African documentaries, including the anti-nuclear power documentary Uranium Road (2009), and Here Be Dragons (2011), about George Bizos, the human rights lawyer who saved Nelson Mandela from the gallows. She also co-created and wrote SABC’s first supernatural thriller, Ubizo, which was a SAFTA winning project.
In 2012, Weinek co-produced Gog’Helen, which was in competition at the Durban International Film Festival in 2013. She later completed production of 26 episodes of Soul City, which has been has been on screen for 20 years and on broadcast drew more than five million viewers every week. In 2015, Weinek produced Vryslag, a short film directed by Marcel Van Heerden, which won best short film and best lead at the Silwerskermfees in 2015.
“It’s encouraging to see light-hearted, upbeat films being made by a team of strong women who have had their own unique take on the script and the production of Mrs Right Guy,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, which is distributing the film in South Africa.
Indigenous Film Distribution website: www.indigenousfilm.co.za
View teaser trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj0JiEs3lj8
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