As the Toronto International Film Festival continues, more worthy films are screened in front of the movie-going crowd before heading to the general public. Although it already had its first public screening on September 10, Umbrella Men airs multiple times at TIFF this week as part of the festival’s Contemporary World Cinema slate. Viewers won’t want to miss the South African heist comedy, directed by John Barker (Bunny Chow: Know thyself, Isibaya) as well as co-authored by him and Philip Roberts.
From Known Associates Entertainment and ETV, Umbrella Men is a caper that follows in the footsteps of predecessors such as Italian work and Ocean’s Eleven. It centers on a group of musicians who must rob a bank in the middle of Cape Town Carnival in order to save the nightclub that serves as a spiritual home for their community. Naturally, the music is an integral part of the film, which is why South African jazz pianist Kyle Shephard took charge of its creation.
Screen Rant is proud to show an exclusive clip of Umbrella Men, presented by Known Associates Entertainment and ETV, which opens with the Cape Town Carnival in full swing and performers playing their instruments in a lively and colorful scene. Aunty Valerie (June Van Merch) delivers a letter from Jerome (Jaques De Silva) to Keisha (Shamilla Miller) at the bank before rushing off, with the message that Keisha is “very pretty and very smart.” This disturbing statement leads to the next sequence, which shows Jerome underground with his fellow thieves, Mortimer (Keenan Arrison), Loukman (Dann-Jacques Mouton), Monkey Boy (Brendan Murray) and Tiger (Joey Rasdien) – they are all ready to make their way into the bank’s vault. Watch the full video here:
Keisha reads Jacques’ letter, telling him she was right that he lied about the bank but not about his feelings for her, allowing him to escape just as Cope (Rob Van Vuuren) arrives at the above ground. He puts on his mask before throwing smoke grenades into the crowd, causing chaos among staff and several people falling unconscious. As the thieves break into the vault, they find gold bars and bags of cash waiting for them. Whether that will be enough to save the nightclub, or whether they can even get away with it, remains to be seen.
Umbrella Men has a duration of 117 minutes, with dialogues in English and Afrikaans. The comedy film is sure to give audiences a taste of the bustling heart of Cape Town, the Bo-Kaap region, as well as the fabulous musical styles of South Africa. For a full trailer, see below:
Umbrella Men will have three more public screenings at TIFF on September 14 and 16, as well as two more for the press.