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True-life South African dramas capture international interest

Two South African films about the lives of extraordinary South Africans will hit the international scene shortly. One is A Million Colours (e'Lollipop II), inspired by the true-life story of Muntu Ndebele and Norman Knox, the black and white stars of the 1976 film classic e'Lollipop. The other, Wandering Fever follows SA endurance race junkie Ryan Sandes on his three-year quest to run in some of the wildest and most desolate places in the world.
Wandile Molebatsi, Jason Hartman and Muntu Ndebele (the original child star whose life the movie is based on).
A Million Colours has been selected for two top international film festivals - the Montreal World Film Festival on 25 August 2011, as well as the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax during September. Director and co-writer, the award-winning Canadian-born Peter Bishai, says that he could not be more thrilled that the film was selected. "Being in this illustrious group of films is testament to the superb work of our entire South African cast and crew, whose artistry is truly world-class."

Actor Wandile Molebatsi (currently starring in The Wild on M-Net) portrays Muntu Ndebele, while Idols winner Jason Hartman was cast in the role of Norman Knox.

Love and friendship gets challenged

The original 1976 film classic e'Lollipop was one of South Africa's biggest box-office hits and was viewed in more than 40 countries. This film tells the story of what happened to the child stars from the original film during the past 30 plus years.

The producer and co-writer of e'Lollipop, André Pieterse, called in the assistance of Knox to find Ndebele, who disappeared without a trace for two decades. Ndebele's sister (Lindi) eventually informed them that he did not want to be found. He was embarrassed as he had fallen into a life of drugs and crime. When found amongst other addicts in Hillbrow, as a 39-year-old, he weighed only 42 kg. During three years of rehabilitation, Pieterse encouraged Ndebele to write his life story on a daily basis. For three years he wrote every day, followed by a monthly letter to "Uncle André" to keep him in the loop of what was going on in his life.

A colourful global story in the vein of Slumdog Millionaire, the film tells the story of true love and friendship that gets challenged in every way imaginable.

Running documentary portrays the extraordinary

The African Attachment began three years ago in the Namib filming Ryan Sandes as he started his ultra-marathons. The team has subsequently gone to Antarctica, the Amazon jungle, the Atacama Desert, the Blue Mountains in Australia and has just finished filming his win of 2011 Leadville Trail 100, a 100-mile (160 kms) run through the Colorado Rockies in the US. He set the third fastest time in the almost 30-year history of the race and the fastest time by a non-American.

The team is on its final leg - the Mont Blanc ultra-marathon.

Ryan Sandes
The film's director, Dean Leslie and cameraman, Grant Appleton have followed him, as his life changed from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Leslie reflects "Three years ago, we entered into the unknown, chasing a wild and reckless dream. We have faced many challenges along the way but are proud to have remained true, honest and independent. The film has grown into a project that is much deeper than I ever expected. It uses Ryan's remarkable story to raise some important questions on how we live, where we have come from, and where we are going."

The film is set for a late 2012 release.