Local TV series wins at international film festival


Story about young Langa boxer’s rise to the top

Photo of woman receiving award
Lucilla Blankenberg of Community Media Trust received the award for best TV series at the Zanzibar International Film Festival for JAB, which she co-directed. Photo: supplied

Community Media Trust’s drama series, JAB, won the award for best TV series at the Zanzibar International Film Festival on 15 July.

JAB is a 13-episode woman’s boxing drama series produced by CMT that was broadcast weekly on SABC1 from February to April 2016.

It is an uplifting drama set in the world of competitive boxing. It tells the story of Bee Sondlo, a young black woman from Langa in Cape Town. Bee is a 19-year-old living with her nurse mother, Gladys, and her disabled brother, Mandla.

Living in a crime-ridden community infested with drugs and gangsterism, Bee’s dedication to boxing is her only consolation. The threat of losing her home due to financial issues forces Bee to grow a thick skin, leaving her no other option but to fight for money. She surprises everyone with her skill and ferocity, sparking an unlikely journey to the top in the dangerous world of professional fighting.

JAB was written by the late Paul Ian Johnson in 2008 and produced by Lucilla Blankenberg and Meesha Aboo, and co-directed by Blankenberg and Laddie Bosch.

This is CMT’s first win in this category. It competed against 20 finalists from all over the world, including some of South Africa’s most popular TV series, such as iNumber Number, Umlilo and Hard Copy.

“The category was very tough as were up against other top international TV series,” said Blankenberg. She added that CMT is proud to have won the award.

The next project that CMT is working on is a comedy drama for SABC2 titled The Riviera. It is set during the state of emergency in 1989 in Lotus River on the Cape Flats, through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl.

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TOPICS:  Arts and culture

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