AFDA staff and alumni to haunt Durban International Film Festival with the “Tokoloshe - The Calling”

News, 22 July 2020

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AFDA Durban lecturer, film director, producer and AFDA Master of Arts (MA) graduate, Richard Green’s Masters degree outcome horror film, 'Tokoloshe The Calling', has been officially selected to screen at the Durban International Film Festival this year. 

‘Tokoloshe: The Calling’, co-written and produced by AFDA Durban Head of Business Innovation and Technology School, Arish Sirkissoon and Richard was shot in Durban, South Africa. The film’s diverse cast includes AFDA alumni Shezi Sibongiseni and Angela Balkovic, AFDA Durban Registra Lloyd O’Connor and Head of Live Performance School Roel Twijnstra.

The film, renamed ‘Tokoloshe: An African Curse’ for the American market, was recently released on VOD in the USA. The news was broken on the popular “Horror Society” website by their international sales agents. The press release stated the following: LOS ANGELES, CA.- Reel Nightmare Films has announced the February 14th Prime Video USA release of Tokoloshe: An African Curse, “an intriguing & atmospheric new horror feature with plenty of scares and high production value,” says Armand Petrikowski, Head of Operations of the horror/thriller distributor.

Based on the legend of the Tokoloshe, an urban myth that has terrified Africa in a similar way Americans fear the Bogeyman, the Tokoloshe is a sinister creature that haunts people’s dreams and possesses them to commit evil acts.

The film’s synopsis states that a novelist, pressured to write a new bestseller, travels with his family to an abandoned hotel in South Africa, unaware that it’s haunted by a demon known as the Tokoloshe. When the writer becomes possessed and begins terrorizing his family, a young woman experiencing supernatural visions linked to the hotel sets out to help the family and defeat the Tokoloshe. 

Richard and Arish are enjoying great international recognition with the film. It seems the world has a fascination with horror films coming out of South Africa. When asked what they thought their winning formula was, they both agreed that it was presenting and defending “unique narratives that promote escapism”. 

The Tokoloshe premiered in South Africa to celebrate the launch of the movie on Prime Video on Valentine’s Day 2020.

A massive shout out to all the AFDA Durban staff, alumni and students below that make up the cast and crew on ‘Tokoloshe - The Calling’!!!


Sibongiseni Shezi – Lead Actress

Lloyd Grant O’ Connor – Lead Actor

Angela Balkovic – Lead Actress

Sir Roelof Twijnstra – Actor

Ndabenhle Christopher Tabo – Actor

Rio Notra – Actress


Director – Richard Green

Producers – Richard Green and Arish Sirkissoon

Writers - Richard Green and Arish Sirkissoon

Executive Producer – Arish Sirkissoon

Cinematographer – Damien Tomaselli

Line Producer – LX Seth PTY LTD

Doll Design  - Genie Lagrange

Associate Producer – Resham Bansee Joshua Symons

Assistant to LX Seth and Richard Green – Edwin Chetty

1st Assistant Camera – Alice Mdluli & Nick Bartlett

2nd Assistant Camera – Katya Stacey Johnson

Still Photographer – Alice Mdluli & Stacey Johnson

Gaffer - Alice Mdluli & Stacey Johnson  



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AFDA is registered as the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is a private higher education institution which offers higher certificate and degree programmes. It is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as a private higher education institution under the the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012. Our programmes are accredited and we participate productively in the ongoing reaccreditation and quality assurance processes of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to ensure the quality of our programmes.
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