It's finally here! The USA theatrical run begins TONIGHT for award-winning filmmaker Sara Blecher's "City of God meets Blue Crush" South African coming-of-age drama Otelo Burning – a gripping story of township kids as they discover surfing, set in late 1980s, against the backdrop of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

It stars some familiar South African actors whose names have been mentioned once or twice on this site, attached to previous films, like Kenneth Nkosi, who also starred in Paradise Stop and White Wedding (South Africa's entry in the 2009 Oscars in the foreign film category).

Otelo Burning opens this evening, with a 7pm premiere at New York’s new cinemas at MIST Harlem, and yours truly will be there to host the Q&A with the filmmaker, and the star of the film, Sihle Xaba, that will follow. So get there early. It should be a jam-packed affair!

The film arrives following acclaimed screenings at such prestigious film festivals at the BFI London International Film Festival and the Busan International Festival in Korea. At the Durban International Film Festival, it was chosen as the Opening Night selection, and at the Seattle International Film Festival, it was nominated for the Golden Needle Award.

The film was further honored at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards, where it won two of 13 total nominations, including the prize for Best Cinematography and Best Child Actor (Tshepang Mohlomi). It also won the Golden Owl Audience Award for Best Film at Cinerama BC Brazil and Best South African Film at the Cape Winelands Film Festival.

Vanessa reviewed the film positively HERE.

So come to MIST Harlem cinemas this evening, see the film, and stay for the discussion that follows, with the filmmaker, star and myself.

Trailer below: