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Durban comics in formidably funny New Material

Cast members of the new movie New Material, from left, Shashi Naidoo, Rajesh Gopie and Riaad Moosa.

Cast members of the new movie New Material, from left, Shashi Naidoo, Rajesh Gopie and Riaad Moosa.

Published Nov 13, 2021

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A heart-warming South African story about family, with loads of laughs for everyone.

That’s New Material about to be launched in SA with a star cast led by funnyman, Riaad Moosa.

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It is the sequel to Material, which was a box office hit in 2012. It featured Moosa as Cassim Kaif, whose dream it was to become a stand-up comedian, while keeping his dream a secret from his strict father, Ebrahim Kaif, who wanted his son to one day take over the family shop.

Watch the trailer here

In New Material, Cassim is still pursuing his dream, with Moosa in the lead role along with Joey Rasdien and Schalk Bezuidenhout.

The trio have been described as a “formidable comedy team” in the movie ‒ supported by the likes of Durban’s Rajesh Gopie and Shashi Naidoo, as well as Zakeeya Patel, Denise Newman and Kurt Schoonraad.

In the movie, while his father has accepted his son’s career choice as a comedian, Cassim is planning to take his show on the road.

His over-eager and a touch-shady sponsor, Shabir, played by Gopie, who owns Suliman’s Chicken Bites, may (or may not) be the answer.

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In an interview with the Independent on Saturday this week, Gopie said making the movie was “one of the best experiences in my life”.

He said the film was shot in 2019 before anyone had “heard the word Covid” but the pandemic had delayed the movie’s release.

“I enjoy the challenges of a multi-dimensional character and Shabir is a bit of a bad guy. He comes across as altruistic, but has other intentions,” said Gopie, adding that during the making of the film, “I worked with some of the nicest, most decent people I have ever worked with and such a talented bunch.

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New Material is a fun movie, it’s a SA story told with heart and it’s very funny, it’s all about family dynamics,” he said.

Gopie said the entertainment industry had been “absolutely smashed” by the pandemic and paid tribute to SA’s much loved actress, Shalene Surtie-Richards, who died from Covid last year. Surtie-Richards has a cameo appearance in New Material, with Gopie saying she was an “iconic actress and a wonderful person.”

Gopie caught Covid in July and was seriously ill, as well as dealing with the loss of four close relatives.

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“I was very fortunate to survive and to be here. I think it is time for people to go out again and a lot of people are looking forward to watching New Material,” he said.

The movie is directed by Craig Fremond and produced by Robbie Thorpe.

The film was produced by Ochre Moving Pictures and Blu Blood Africa and is distributed by Indigenous Film Distribution.

Indigenous Film Distribution managing director Helen Kunn said Moosa, Bezuidenhout and Rasdien “are the very best in homegrown talent”.

“Between them, they have no shortage of material and they also have an incredibly diverse and enthusiastic loyal following, so we are really excited about the film,” said Kunn.

The film officially releases on the big screen around the country on November 26.

The Independent on Saturday

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