New South African film, The Forgotten Kingdom has won the Audience Award for Best feature in Oregon, US at the 2013 Ashland Independent Film Festival.
The subtitled Sesotho film tells the story of Atang as he leaves the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg and returns to his homeland, Lesotho to bury his father. He rekindles his love for childhood friend Dineo, who is now an admirable teacher, taking care of her ailing sister.
The film was written and produced by Andrew Mudge and is set in the picturesque Lesotho landscape. Both lead actors are best known for their roles on Rhythm City. Atang is played by Zenzo Nqgobe (Stone Khuse on Rhythm City) and Dineo by Nozipho Nkelemba , who is known as Charlotte on the soapie. The film boasts two distinguished supporting actors, Lilian Dube and Jerry Mofokeng.
Out of 700 young hopefuls, 12-year-old Lebohang Ntsane was cast as part of the film’s search for a new child star. He lives in Khubetsoane with his family, and is excited about the prospect of pursuing other acting opportunities in the future.
The film not only has an impressive cast but is also incredibly visual. “Vast and rugged landscapes. Horsemen wrapped in blankets moving through snow-peaked valleys. Thatched-hut villages lost in time. In The Forgotten Kingdom, I wanted to make a film that was primarily visual, told through the colours of the land and the faces of the Basotho people.” Says Mudge of his film.
The film has a distribution deal for Europe with the Little Film Company but is yet to decide on a local release date.