EXCLUSIVE: Hot off of a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer, South African drama Moffie is due to release in select U.S. theaters and on digital and VOD platforms via IFC Films on April 9. Check out the new trailer above.
Written and directed by Oliver Hermanus, the movie explores the life of a closeted young boy serving his mandatory military service during Apartheid in 1980s South Africa. An adaptation of André-Carl van der Merwe’s iconic memoir, the film exposes the psychological violence of institutionalized homophobia. “Moffie” is a potent and derogatory Afrikaans term for homosexual.
The Afrikaans- and English-language title originally premiered as part of the Venice Film Festival’s Horizons section in 2019 and later played the London Film Festival, going on to receive three nominations at the British Independent Film Awards. On Tuesday this week, Moffie’s writer/producer Jack Sidey was nominated for a BAFTA. Ida‘s Eric Abraham at Portobello Productions also produced. Hermanus co-authored the script.
Moffie is set in 1981 when South Africa’s white minority government is embroiled in a conflict on the southern Angolan border. Kai Luke Brummer stars as Nicholas Van der Swart, who, like all white boys over the age of 16, must complete two years of compulsory military service to defend the Apartheid regime. The threat of communism and “die swart gevaar” is at an all-time high. But Van der Swart must also survive the brutality of the army — something that becomes even more difficult when a connection is sparked between him and a fellow recruit (Ryan de Villiers).