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’Before 8am’ – KZN’s thrilling film

Published Nov 12, 2021


A star studded cast, many from Durban, will feature in award-winning film producer and director Valencia Joshua’s movie on Covid-19 tonight.

Joshua has worked on a philosophical drama in conjunction with The Dream Lab, to produce Before 8am, which premieres tonight at 9.30pm, on BET Africa/DStv Channel 129.

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The film follows lead actor Zahir Bassa as Trevor Adams, who loses hope and is left without direction after the untimely passing of his wife due to Covid-19 complications.

Adams encounters two strangers that would embark with him on a life changing journey.

Throughout the journey, Adams is forced to face his fears and subsequently change his life.

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“I researched Adams’ state of mind in grieving the loss of his wife to Covid-19 and how she had to suffer.

“This leads to his grief turning into anger towards life and God.

“Being on set can be demanding but we utilised beautiful locations around KZN adding to the majestic splendour of the world of the story.

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“It was an honour to work on a project with a skilled cast and crew, and being under the guidance and direction of the talented Valencia Joshua who played multiple roles in ensuring her vision was brought to life.

“An amazing experience, one that makes me proud of being part of such a growing industry in KZN,” said Bassa

Cameras zoom in on the distressed character, Trevor Adams, as he drowns himself in his sorrows having fallen off life’s track after his wife’s tragic death. Picture: The Dream Lab Productions

The film features some of the country’s most prominent actors including Zahir Bassa from Homeland; Kwenzo Ngcobo famous for his role in Imbewu and on Showmax’s, The Wife; Celean Nacken from both Durban General and Imbewu and Rizelle Januk who acts in Kings of Mulberry Street and HBO’s Around the World in 80 Days.

“The film is generated keeping in mind the perils of people facing grief and trauma related to issues of the heart such as bereavement, loss, anger, pain, regret, heart break, confusion and illness with hopes of providing a platform that helps them address their internal pains and provide a means of solace,” said Joshua.

The crew on set in Thompson’s Beach in Ballito, Durban. Picture: The Dream Lab Productions

Before 8am was produced and shot this year in the KwaZulu-Natal.

It is a 30-minutes long philosophical and or faith-based drama.

Collaborators and Investors include Channel BET Africa Productions and KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission.

Actress Rizelle Januk said her favourite place was being on set.

“The premise and the character of Zoe was something I’ve never dealt with or played before and felt privileged to convey her message to the audience in general.

“I know that so many of us have lost loved ones during this pandemic and I trust this story resonates with audiences,” said Januk.

The Dream Lab Productions’ company was established by Joshua and is 100% female owned.

The company’s mandate was to zoom into universal themes using film and media and spicing things up with a local outlook in order for those within the industry to create world class content.

“It is a great honour to be able to produce a story that aids those bereaving the loss of loved ones.

“This virus has taken more than lives; it has shattered faith, hopes, dreams and hearts.

Before 8am is my letter of love and comfort to those hurting and feel lost.

“May you find solace in knowing that you’re not alone.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted: Matthew 5:4,” said Joshua.

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