‘GENiAS’ is the first feature film offering from KHINC STUDIOS, an exciting new local film, television and distribution firm, headed by writer, director and producer Khalid EL – Jelailati.
Three young friends, Rassi (Shelton Salie), CJ (Richard Lukunku) and Dylan (Danny Ross) with a serious desire to become famous musicians are thrown into the deep end. When Dylan proposes turning to crime to help their aspirations, they soon discover that they aren’t cut out for a life of criminality.
This dark adventure thriller from Director/Writer/Producer, Khalid El-Jelailati serves as a meditation on the evils of cheap ambition in pursuit of fame and wasted talented. A spiraling narrative that delves into the world of white-collar crime expertly mixed with the grit of an urban cautionary tale.
This project is a first of its kind that is a fully independent, no budget film and all those involved are doing so as a testament to the script, story and the vision to develop the local independent film industry.
This is a 100% South African independent feature film.
“The idea is to develop and evolve the local independent film industry by effectively changing the paradigm with this impassioned team working on this venture” says El-Jelailati who makes last minute notes for the edit.
The team at KHINC STUDIOS have amassed an all-star local cast and crew with the aim of proving that creating a no-budget, quality feature film is possible.
“In South Africa our independent film industry is practically cyclical, slinging monotone content at viewers behind the walls of main broadcasters, film funding firms and local film companies” El-Jelailati continues. When he speaks you can tell that he means business, this young talent burns with passion and exuberance, it is as if he consumes filmmaking delight in each word of praise he heaps onto the medium. A quality that is so tangible, El-Jelailati has managed to surround himself with a treasure trove of talent namely, up-and-comers Shelton Salie, Danny Ross, Richard Lukunku, US/SA actress Sarah Kozlowski, the dapper Charlie Bouguenon, Garth Breytenbach and the chiseled Craig Hawks.
The team highlighted the challenge early on; the problem is that the local industry is focusing on sustaining film houses and not really to promote, establish or in even initiate projects for up and coming filmmakers, especially those with concepts outside of the scope of what is deemed a ‘South African story’. This limitation on artistic liberty and creativity has resulted in stagnation in the industry where films like ‘GENiAS’ could never flourish. When asked if ‘GENiAS’ was somehow an allegory for the filmmaker’s woes with the South African film industry, El-Jelailati simply smiles from the corners of his well-groomed beard and asks wryly, “Now wouldn’t that be GENiAS?”
GENiAS will be making rounds at the local and international film festival circuit, so be sure to check it out.