IFC Films


NEW YORK, NY (December 17, 2020) – IFC Films announced today that they are acquiring North American rights to South African Oliver Hermanus’ ravishing queer war film MOFFIE – a UK indie Portobello Productions film – set against the backdrop of the Apartheid-era South African Border War. IFC Films will release the critically acclaimed film in April 2021.

Directed by Oliver Hermanus and adapted from André Carl van der Merwe’s autobiographical 2006 novel by Hermanus and Portobello’s Jack Sidey, MOFFIE premiered in the Orizzonti section of the 76th Venice International Film Festival, where Hermanus’ previous feature The Endless River was the first South African film to be nominated for the Golden Lion. MOFFIE stars Kai Luke Brummer, Ryan de Villiers, Matthew Vey, Stefan Vermaak, and Hilton Pelser. The film is produced by Eric Abraham – producer of Oscar-winning films Pawel Pawlikowski’s IDA and Jan Sverak’s KOLYA – and Jack Sidey.

Set in 1981 South Africa, the film centers on closeted 16-year-old Nicholas Van der Swart (Kai Luke Brummer) as he begins the two years of compulsory military service required of all young white South African men, preparing to defend the Apartheid regime on the Angolan war front. The threat of communism and “die swart gevaar” (the so-called black danger) is at an all-time high. But that’s not the only danger Nicholas faces. He must survive the brutality of the army – something that becomes even more difficult when a connection is sparked between him and a fellow recruit.

Reviewing positively out of Venice, Variety critic Guy Lodge praised Hermanus as “South Africa’s most vital contemporary filmmaker” and Moffie as his “masterpiece in the true sense of the term”. Lodge hailed the film as “a director’s triumph first and foremost: a dogs-of-war hellride of Full Metal Jacket intensity, a queer coming-of-age meditation with something of Moonlight’s salt-on-skin tenderness, and a scorching evocation of South Africa’s Border War shame with no major precedent in a national cinema still working through its blind spots”, adding, “it fair takes your breath away”. Released across South Africa and in the UK (CURZON) earlier this year, MOFFIE has since been sold across Europe.

Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films, said, “MOFFIE is a brilliant cinematic vision with a powerful message that will inspire audiences and critics alike. We’re thrilled to come on board with such an accomplished film and singular directorial voice.”

Director Oliver Hermanus added, “It’s a fantastic privilege to have our film find such a wonderful American partner in IFC Films. They house the work of many of the filmmakers I greatly admire, and I am thrilled that they have taken up an interest to share Moffie with an American audience.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by President of IFC Films Arianna Bocco, with Rose Schwartz of NY legal firm Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell and Vassallo and independent consultant Julie Dansker acting on behalf of the filmmakers.



Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) and digital platforms.

Upcoming releases include Ekwa Msangi’s FAREWELL AMOR and Sam Pollard’s acclaimed documentary MLK/FBI.   Some of the company’s successes over the years have included BOYHOOD, THE DEATH OF STALIN, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE BABADOOK, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE, and CARLOS. IFC Films has worked with established and breakout filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Paul Dano, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Abdellatif Kechiche, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Abbas Kiarostami, Alfonso Cuaron, Noah Baumbach, Lena Dunham, Ethan Hawke and many more. IFC Films is a sister label to IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

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  • Laura Sok
    VP, Publicity | IFC Films | IFC Midnight
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