Director Jarryd Coetsee's multiple award-winning short film The Suit is now streaming to over 100 million subscribers in over 200 countries and territories on Amazon Prime.
Coetsee says: "Amazon Prime's vision dovetails brilliantly with ours and we're thrilled about our new partnership and its global reach. We're also so grateful to align with such a prestigious repertoire. This is just the beginning of many exciting developments to come."
The Suit's selection by the worldwide technology giant comes hot on the heels of its stellar festival run comprising over 45 film festivals including three Oscar qualifiers. The SAFTA-winning film was also selected by the Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema (France's national academy of cinema which gives France's highest honour for film, the Cesar Award) for its prestigious Les Nuits en Or (Golden Nights) event which saw the film screened in nine European capitals, 24 cities and towns across France and a gala evening hosted by UNESCO in Paris and attended by UN dignitaries and leading French actors and film-makers.
Coetsee faced significant challenges to complete the film. "So many people discouraged me from making a short film, or they simply walked away. They said it isn't lucrative and that it's a waste of time. And boy were they proven wrong. They clearly held little grasp of my motivations and aspirations. It gives me a deep sense of satisfaction that I stuck to my guns. My ambition was to tell this story in the best possible way through the medium of the short film. Incidentally, it proved to be a stepping stone to extraordinary opportunities."
Based on the classic short story by Can Themba, The Suit joins an assortment of illustrious exclusive shows, original content and a slate of first-run US TV. The NFVF-funded and AFDA-backed film is set during the apartheid regime's forced removals in 1950s Sophiatown and tells the story of a man who forces his wife to treat her lover's suit as if it were a person, making a substantial comment on the oppressed becoming the oppressor.
Coetsee says: "I think the story is thematically quite prescient. One only needs to consider the staggering oppressive acts, the extent of the abuse of executive power in South Africa, the subversion of the criminal justice system and state-owned enterprises to serve nefarious sectional interests as explosively revealed in the commission of inquiry into state capture to grasp the story's lasting relevance."
The film stars Atandwa Kani, Phuthi Nakene and John Kani and was produced by Luke Sharland of Mandala Films. Coetsee says that it is an incredible moment for everyone associated with the film. "The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the film is a testament to the enduring transformative power of the story and our successful collaboration. It's tough to make a short film in South Africa - let alone a period film. I was fortunate to have such a supportive team and together we realized my vision exactly as I'd imagined it, which rarely happens."