The team behind "u-Carmen eKhayelitsha" – a modern remake of Georges Bizet’s classic 1875 opera "Carmen," shot entirely in Xhosa (one of South Africa’s official languages), with an all-black South African cast, combining both music from the original opera with traditional music – have done a similar thing with Giacomo Puccini’s classic 1896 opera, "La Boheme."
Directed by Mark Dornford-May, and starring Pauline Malefane (who also starred in "u-Carmen eKhayelitsha"), the upcoming "La Boheme" adaptation is titled "Breathe – Umphefumlo."
The film was shot in Khayelitsha Township, near Cape Town (where "u-Carmen" was also shot) last year, for a 2015 bow, making its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February.
It is produced under the relatively newly-formed F&ME/Isango banner. F&ME chairman is 3-time Academy Award nominee and Tony Award winning director Stephen Daldry, who is also executive producer of the project.
With this new partnership between F&ME and Isango, a slate of similar South Africa-set film adaptations of known works of opera are expected, in addition to "Breathe – Umphefumlo," made with the support of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in partnership with Isango Advantage, the UK’s F&ME and Germany’s Propeller Film.
Dornford May and Vlokkie Gordon of Advantage Entertainment produce.
By the way, a previous film made under the above partnership – "u-Carmen eKhayelitsh" – is available here in the USA on home video.
Fortissimo Films acquired worldwide rights to "Breathe Umphefumlo," but no release dates announced yet.
Below you’ll find the first trailer for "Breathe – Umphefumlo."