Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

When 16 year old Otelo Buthelezi, his best friend, New Year, and his 12 year old brother, Ntwe, are invited to the beach-house of their new friend, Tau Modise, they step into a world ... See full summary »


1 win. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ayanda (2015)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In a community vibrant with migrants from across the African Continent, against the backdrop of unspoken love, a young woman tries to navigate a path for herself. But this is a world where ... See full summary »

Director: Sara Blecher
Stars: Jafta Mamabolo, Fulu Moguvhani, Nthati Moshesh
Viva Riva! (2010)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Riva is an operator, a man with charm and ambition in equal measure. Kinshasa is an inviting place. With petrol in short supply in DRC's capital, he and his sidekick pursue a plot to get ... See full summary »

Director: Djo Munga
Stars: Patsha Bay, Manie Malone, Diplome Amekindra
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

It's a jungle out there. That's how we meet our lead character Jack. It's been five years since he's seen his partner and best friend Twala. Jack did five years for a robbery gone bad. ... See full summary »

Director: Charlie Vundla
Stars: Menzi Ngubane, Terry Pheto, Rapulana Seiphemo
Dis ek, Anna (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A successful businessman from Bloemfontein, South Africa, Danie du Toit's doorbell rings in the middle of the night. Outside the rain is pouring down. He puts on his gown and walks to the ... See full summary »

Director: Sara Blecher
Stars: Hykie Berg, Izel Bezuidenhout, Michelle Botha
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young hoodlum's rise from a small-time criminal to a powerful crime entrepreneur during the turbulent years before and after the fall of apartheid.

Director: Ralph Ziman
Stars: Rapulana Seiphemo, Jeffrey Zekele, Ronnie Nyakale
Avenged (2013)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An undercover cop risks his career (and life) to settle a score.

Director: Donovan Marsh
Stars: S'Dumo Mtshali, Presley Chweneyagae, Israel Makoe
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
Director: Rolie Nikiwe
Stars: Thapelo Mokoena, Marius Weyers, Mmabatho Montsho
Tsotsi (2005)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader.

Director: Gavin Hood
Stars: Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Israel Makoe
Mapantsula (1988)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Mapantsula tells the story of Panic, a petty gangster who inevitably becomes caught up in the growing anti-apartheid struggle and has to choose between individual gain and a united stand ... See full summary »

Director: Oliver Schmitz
Stars: Thomas Mogotlane, Marcel van Heerden, Thembi Mtshali
Sarafina! (1992)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

South African teenagers fight against apartheid in the Soweto Uprising.

Director: Darrell Roodt
Stars: Whoopi Goldberg, Leleti Khumalo, Miriam Makeba
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

When an intelligence officer and a young, rebellious artist discover that they both lost somebody in the US Embassy bombing 10 years ago, they learn how to confront their fears and forgive.

Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Stars: Ken Ambani, Abubakar Mwenda, Godfrey Odhiambo
The Figurine (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The synopsis of Figurine (Araromire) shows that it is a story of two buddies and a girl...all down on their luck have their lives changed when one of them discovers 'Araromire' a mysterious... See full summary »

Director: Kunle Afolayan
Stars: Wale Adebayo, Kate Adepegba, Kunle Afolayan


Cast overview:
Jafta Mamabolo ...
Otelo Buthelezi
Thomas Gumede ...
New Year
Sihle Xaba ...
Mandla Modise
Tshepang Mohlomi ...
Ntwe Buthelezi
Nolwazi Shange ...
Kenneth Nkosi ...
Osar Buthelezi
Harriet Manamela ...
Hamilton Dhlamini ...
Motlatsi Mafatshe ...
Matthew Oats ...
Dan Robbertse ...
Potential sponsor
Neil Coppen ...
Surf shop attendant


When 16 year old Otelo Buthelezi, his best friend, New Year, and his 12 year old brother, Ntwe, are invited to the beach-house of their new friend, Tau Modise, they step into a world previously closed to them. It is exactly the opposite of their township- a place under a constant and growing threat from political violence, driven by Inkatha hostel dwellers on one side and township United Democratic Front comrades on the other. Soon, everyone recognizes that Otelo is gifted on the water, a god in waiting for his purpose. An older white man, Kurt Struely, approaches the boys, certain of their potential and invites them to his home to watch some professional surfers on video. He paints them an enticing picture of the life to be had, if they can master every kind of break - money for nothing and the chicks for free. The boys practice and, under Struely's watchful eye, become really good. Otelo outshines his teacher, Tau, who begins to resent the obvious natural talent of his friend. His ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Nation on the Crest of Change See more »





Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

30 December 2011 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Otelo - Der Preis der Freiheit  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great S.A. Film
11 May 2012 | by (South Africa) – See all my reviews

I got the honor of seeing this film at a Pre-Screening before it's release and I was very glad i got that opportunity. The film is set in the late 80's, the apartheid days in South Africa where it follows the story of the 2 boy's Otelo and New Year with their dreams to surf. The film was shot very well giving the the circumstances that some of the scenes involved shooting out at sea. I enjoyed most of the images in the film although i wished they could have shown more scenery of the locations they filmed in. Its understandable as the film is set in the 80's, but I believe they achieved what they wanted to portray.

Characters on the film where enjoyable to watch, Jafta playing Otelo could have done his scenes better as his emotion lacked in some areas of the film, his friend New Year, Narrator of the film did an exceptional job with his character and the narration of the film. The humor was quite funny an enjoyable as well. Overall the film is a fun ride as you get to experience surfing, as seen through the lives of young black teenagers.

This desrves a 8/10. Go out and see the film. Great South African Cinema.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Otelo Burning (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: