World Premiere
Cheval Noir Competition


Directed by Harold Holscher

Hosted by Director Harold Holscher, Producer Jac Williams and Associate Producer Jacomina Fourie



Harold Holscher


Harold Holscher


Chris April, Inge Beckmann, Garth Breytenbach, Keita Luna, Tshamano Sebe


Jac Williams


David Pienaar


Jacques Le Roux


Man Makes a Picture Production

Official website

South Africa 2019 105 mins OV English Subtitles : English
Genre HorrorFantasy

William Zeil is returning to his old family farm that he inherited from his father after suffering a crippling bankruptcy. With him he brings his wife Sarah and their young adopted daughter, Mary, hoping for a fresh start. They soon meet Lazarus, an old farmhand who looked after William’s father, who takes an immediate, almost paternal liking to Mary. It becomes evident that the local tribal leader has a considerable problem with Lazarus, as do many in the community. On his end, Lazarus has no shortage of his own problems — his wife having died in childbirth, his daughter later perishing in a fire, he is tormented in this terrible place of wounding memories and unrestful souls. Lonely… but, as the Zeil family will soon discover, never alone.

As South African cinema continues its inspired wave of genre film re-inventions, following last year’s brilliant NUMBER 37 and FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES, the time has come for a work of full-fledged folkloric horror. Steeped in themes of death and transfiguration, 8 drips with dreamy atmosphere and a vivid sense of iconography that will cast a spell on you from its chilling opening frames, the mysticism at its core made frighteningly tangible through the strength of its compelling screenplay and performances. A commanding presence, Soweto-born Tshamano Sebe is the tortured soul of the film as Lazarus, delivering a uniquely poignant performance that utterly captivates. Writer/director Harold Holscher’s direction conjures an aesthetic that is alternately visually sumptuous and forcefully visceral, taking heightened uncanny flight through a consistently clever use of sound. Evocative in ways of Richard Stanley’s Namibian occult classic DUST DEVIL, undulating with spectral poetry, 8 will unsettle you. It just may break your heart. Whatever the case, count on it returning to you in dreams. – Mitch Davis