The film, directed by Aryan Kaganof and shot on cell-phones, is currently in post-production. It is due to be released theatrically in South Africa by Ster-Kinekor in mid-June, although the release may be postponed. If the film is chosen for a major international festival, DV8 will try to tie in its global release with its festival premiere.
A viral marketing campaign is already underway. The film is being released as an 80-minute feature and in an episodic, downloadable version of over 100 minutes.
SMS Sugar Man is about a pimp in Johannesburg whose life spirals out of control over an eventful Christmas Eve.
Speaking in Rotterdam (where DV8's Bunny Chow is screening in the festival's Tiger Competition), Nathan has also revealed further details of the company's forthcoming projects.
DV8 is to produce State Of Violence, the debut feature from writer-director Khalo Matabane (whose four-hour TV series When We Were Black has been winning rave reviews since being broadcast last month in South Africa and whose documentary Conversations On A Sunday Afternoon screened widely on the festival circuit.)
State Of Violence is about a successful young black businessman whose girlfriend is killed in a violent random attack. The businessman goes in search of the killers. Nathan bills the film as 'a road movie through Johannesburg today.' The journey takes the businessman from the affluent corporate world into the heart of the ghetto. The aim is to get the $2m drama, already supported by the SABC and Ster-Kinekor, into production later this year.
Also being fast-tracked by DV8 is My Secret Sky, a debut feature by Madoda Ncayiyana. This is a $1m drama about two impoverished young orphans whose parents have died of AIDS. My Secret Sky is also likely to shoot this year.
DV8's Rotterdam Tiger title Bunny Chow. directed by John Barker, recently won Best Actor and Most Promising Filmmaker awards at the Cape Town World Cinema Festival. It is being given a 16-print release by Ster-Kinekor in South Africa in the Spring. DV8 is handling sales in-house.
Meanwhile, DV8's sister company IMG Productions (which specialises in financing international co-productions) is partnering on Threes Anna's The Bird Can't Fly, starring Barbara Hershey. A Dutch-South African co-production, the film is in post-production and should be ready for Cannes. Media Luna will be handling world sales.
The partners on the project are IMG Films, 24fps Features Amsterdam, Borderline Productions Ireland and Anna Productions Amsterdam.