As South African cinema continues to grow, comes yet another call to #FillUpTheCinemas as the Altovise Lawrence and Atandwa Kani rom com, 'Love By Chance', opens up in cinemas across the country tomorrow.
Filming began in Atlanta in late 2016 and culminated in a glittering red carpet premiere that went down last week. The film’s American stars, Terri J. Vaughn, Desi Banks and Ja’el Robeson were flown to SA and clad in designer threads for the premiere along with the movie’s director, US based, Samad Davis.
Those in attendance at the premiere were then treated to a pre-screening of the film which we watched with it’s stars. Alongside Kani and Lawrence viewers can expect to see Skeem Saam’s Nicholas Nkuna and Generations’ Denise Zimba playing fellow actor and sassy, supportive, sexy friend respectively.
‘Love by Chance’ is a film about two aspiring actors from South Africa who are independently chasing their dreams in the US, trying to break into an extremely difficult and over saturated Hollywood industry.
They meet by chance (yup, there's the title) in Atlanta, Georgia, the ‘Hollywood of the South’, aka ‘Hotlanta’, but between the everyday struggle of auditioning, dealing with daily rejection, self-doubt, financial hardship, crazy friends and a mad dating scene, there is little time for love.
If you’re wondering why the film is set in the states, it’s creators say this decision was intentional. Love By Chance’s producers, Dumi Gumbi, Cati Weinek and Samad Davis, reportedly agreed on the intent to reverse the conventional storytelling approach by showing how black South Africans could own the limelight in the United States as well as at home.
“As an African-American, I am fuelled by my vision of bridging cultural gaps between Africa and the United States through the power of film and television,” says director Davis.
“Our ultimate aim is to make films that South Africans love and can be proud of, so we hope South Africans will show their support at the box office in the coming weeks.” added co-producer Gumbi.
How did we feel about it?
If we’re being honest, it didn’t live up to all expectations, mostly because it felt as though Kani and Lawrence were basically playing themselves.
Bailey (the main female love interest played by Lawrence) is a girl from Joburg who studied Performance Art at Wits and is in The States trying to make it while her parents bankroll her lifestyle. She also only speaks English and Afrikaans.
Chance Xolani Crawford (played by Kani) is the goofy, funny, charismatic guy who wins people over with his charm and has to work part time in order to afford to live in Atlanta (where he sleeps on a friend’s couch).
The only time the acting became super impressive was when the couple fought as that felt like the most believable part, it no longer felt like we were watching fictional versions of Kani and Lawrence but like we were watching a real fight between Chance and Bailey.
Another cute-ish, more believable part was the end but we refuse to tell you exactly why, you’ll just have to go see it, decide for yourselves and let us know what you think about the film.
‘Love by Chance’ opens in South Africa on 5 May 2017, and is distributed by Indigenous Film Distribution. This will be followed by a theatrical release via AMC Independent in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and other key cities America.
You can watch the trailer here:
Main image credit: supplied