WINTER 2017 UPDATE
Season’s greetings from the London Recruits team!
2017 has been a great year for London Recruits. We’ve discovered and restored never before seen archival film from private collections worldwide, uncovered historical reports of the London Recruits activities from major UK and South African newspapers, recorded and edited all core interviews with key figures and voices in the story, secured investment and further production funding, raised the profile of the project at several key events throughout the year and welcomed Robyn Slovo to the London Recruits team as Executive Producer. The New Year will see reconstruction scenes shot and then on to post-production.
All of above would have been quite impossible without you – so a big thanks from all of the London Recruits team for getting us this far!
The following information is from The Morning Star newspaper:
FELICITY COLLIER reports:
“ACCLAIMED producer Robyn Slovo is joining the team to tell the “spellbinding” tale of the brave young Brits who helped topple apartheid, Welsh production company Barefoot Rascals announced yesterday.
The Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy producer, whose father Joe led the South African Communist Party during the final years of white racist rule, has signed up as an executive on London Recruits, bringing their heroism to the big screen in 2018.
The volunteers, initially recruited in London from the Young Communist League or as students from the LSE by Ronnie Kasrils from the late 1960s onwards, risked their lives in undercover missions in apartheid South Africa.
Able to escape racist coppers’ attention because of their white skin, they let off “leaflet bombs”# and tape recordings on behalf of the ANC, buoying the morale of the anti-apartheid forces. Three were captured, tortured and imprisoned for their efforts.
Ms Slovo said she was “delighted” to be a part of the film.
“London Recruits is a spellbinding thriller of espionage, death-defying missions and bravery told for the first time,” she said.”
The South African Communist Party, at its congress in Boksburg, (…) honoured the London Recruits with its Special Recognition Award. Ken Keable went to the congress, as a guest, to accept the award on behalf of all the Recruits and was introduced by Ronnie Kasrils.
The NUT Annual Conference gave time and support to the new London Recruits Film that is to be released soon. A book signing session sold copies of the London Recruits book and a bucket collection raised £2000+ towards the film production costs.
The London Recruits Film Team offers their thanks:
Ronnie Kasrils is a former South African Freedom Fighter and then Minister. He worked with the London Recruits in the struggle to overthrow apartheid.
Over 1000 delegates were in the assembly hall at the end of a morning’s session of the NUT Annual Conference, when the London Recruits trailer was played alongside a message of thanks from Ronnie Kasrils, London Recruits organiser.
There was a bucket collection to assist with film funds, representative of the incredible support for the London Recruits film project from the labour movement and unions including the NUT who have really got behind it.
Film maker James Barrett said “We are as ever indebted for their support and encouragement.”
Newham Teachers’ Association Secretary, Peter Smith, helped organise the event alongside Gordon Main, film maker. Kevin Courtney, NUT General Secretary supported the event.
On Thursday 6th April 2017 I attended the BFI showing of the film Mandla Dube’s “Kalushi” covering the life and execution of South African freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu:
and do not forget to watch the news following the trailer.
It is a simple construction of the short life of Solomon told in such a way by film that it becomes a crystal clear reminder of the objective of the armed struggle conducted by MK [uMkhonto we Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, “Spear of the Nation”); the armed wing of the ANC] when you look at the events in South Africa today. It has the advantage of using young South African black actors to tell the story of the lives of young South African black people of that time and for me directed the emotions involved in a positive political way in that I have no doubt it will help the young black people of South Africa find their way forward today.
The colonial law, guilt by association, used to impose the death penalty on Solomon is still South African law today is stated in writing at the end of the film.
Kalushi poster Download [▼]
Peter Smith, NTA Divisional Secretary. One of the London Recruits
and demobbed from MK in 1997 following twenty years of assistance.
Brilliant feature film coming soon. The sensational story of the young women and men who undertook missions for the ANC during the bleakest years of the apartheid regime.
The latest trailer video from the London Recruits Film Team:
Newham Teachers’ Association, the NUT and the TUC have all supported the production of this film through publicity and donations.
Peter Smith, NTA Secretary, was a London Recruit.
From: Peter Smith [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 15 March 2017 20:49
Subject: FW: Kalushi
My name is Wale Ojo and I am responsible for the screening of KALUSHI at the British Film institute on the 6th April 2017. I saw the film at the Film Africa festival in November last year and was immediately struck by its potency and beauty. I immediately made plans for the film to be featured at the premier venue for cinema in the country, namely the National Film theatre at the British Film institute. I am on a steering committee at the BFI called the AFRICAN ODYSSEYS and we are responsible for putting on films of educational content for an eager and demanding audience.
Please feel free to spread the word to all you know. I have included a poster of the film and here is a booking link “Kalushi” . Please note that booking for seats will be available from March 14th.
I look forward to seeing you on the 6th April for what promises to be a cinematic and landmark event.
This video was shown at the 2016 NUT Annual Divisional Secretaries briefing at Stoke Rochford. Peter Smith addressed the meeting indicating that not only was he proud to be a London Recruit but also proud to be a member of the National Union of Teachers, the first British Trade Union to make a donation to the film project.