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South African film ‘Face Deep’ exposes the lies in the hunt for love. 

The South African thriller film ‘Face Deep’ delves into the deception and betrayal often found in the pursuit of love.

Directed by Vuyani Bila and produced by Mathabo Bila, the independently made movie tackles themes of love, trust, secrets, and family that resonate with audiences both online and in real life.

The film introduces us to the picturesque lives of lovebirds Luna (Lerato Makala) and her older partner Noah (Phillip Tindisa), enjoying their bubble of love. When Noah’s estranged daughter Bonnie (Mohau Sonny) arrives and cracks their bubble, and with Bonnie come a lot of secrets as she reconnects with her father. 

Noah (Phillip Tindisa) and Luna (Lerato Masala) in a scene from ‘Face Deep’. Picture: YouTube/Face Deep.

Soon enough, as Bonnie digs deeper into her father’s past, Luna becomes increasingly anxious and paranoid, and soon strange things come to light when old memories are evoked.

Desperate to cling onto the remnants of her bubble, Luna starts to manipulate situations and people in an attempt to protect her relationship with Noah and the life they have built together. The tension between the three of them builds, leading to dramatic confrontations that change the characters.

Noah (Phillip Tindisa) and daughter Bonnie (Mohau Sonny). Picture: YouTube/Face Deep

“Through stunning visuals and gripping storytelling, we are excited for viewers to experience our latest work on the big screens. This project has been a labour of love, working with some of the best talent in the country,” said Vuyani Bila, Face Deep Film Director.

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“We are also grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the two biggest cinemas in the country, Ster Kinekor and Nu Metro, in telling uniquely South African stories that we can take to the world,” Bila adds.

Adding to Bila’s statement, it is evident that Lerato Makala’s in-depth research into the character of Luna in ‘Face Deep’ has been recognised globally, with the film winning prestigious awards and being nominated for more. 

Makala’s portrayal of Luna truly captures the essence of an antagonistic persona, showcasing her talent and dedication to her craft.

A promotional poster of Lerato Makala as Luna in ‘Face Deep’. Picture: Supplied

‘Face Deep’ was recognised as the Best International Feature Film at the Cuckoo International Film Festival in India and has been nominated for three international film awards: the Liverpool Indie Awards, the Luminax International Film Festival 2024, and the US-based Denver Monthly Film Awards.

“The nominations we’ve received are a tremendous honour and a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in bringing this story to life. They also stand as a testament to the film’s exceptional quality and its ability to resonate with audiences across cultural and geographical boundaries,” Bila said.

The film has contributed to the growing conversation around South Africa’s recovering film industry, which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions, but has gained development and infrastructure support from the government and private production houses contributing to the growth of employment in the sector and the stories told in front of the camera. 

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Following the Jo’burg Film Festival, Brand South Africa said through a statement: “The South African film industry extends beyond captivating storytelling and breathtaking cinematography; it’s also a thriving ecosystem that fuels economic growth and cultural enrichment. 

“Beyond the glitz and glamour, the South African film industry stands as a formidable economic force, driving job creation, infrastructure development, and cultural representation. 

As the world turns its eyes to the stories emanating from visionary South Africans the world over, the business of creating films continues to play a pivotal role in shaping South Africa’s narrative on the global stage,” they said. 

Watch the trailer for ‘Face Deep’ here.

By Mpho Rantao