As the Toronto International Film Festival continues, more worthy films are presented before the cinephile crowd before making their way toward general audiences. Though it already had a first public screening on September 10, The Umbrella Men is airing several more times at TIFF this week as part of the festival’s Contemporary World Cinema slate. Viewers will not want to miss out on the South African heist comedy, which was directed by John Barker (Bunny Chow: Know Thyself, Isibaya) as well as co-written by him and Philip Roberts.
From Known Associates Entertainment and ETV, The Umbrella Men is a caper that follows in the footsteps of predecessors such as The Italian Job and Ocean’s Eleven. It centers on a group of musicians who must rob a bank in the midst of Cape Town’s Carnival in order to save the nightclub that serves as their community’s spiritual home. Naturally, music is an integral part of the film, which is why South African Jazz pianist Kyle Shephard was in charge of its creation.
Screen Rant is proud to show an exclusive clip from The 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 scurrying off, along with the message that Keisha is “very pretty and very clever.” That foreboding 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’re all ready to blowtorch their way into the bank vault. Watch the full clip here:
Keisha reads Jacques’ letter, telling her she was right that he lied bout the bank but not his feelings for her, allowing her to make her escape just as Cope (Rob Van Vuuren) arrives above ground. He puts his mask on before tossing smoke grenades into the crowd, causing chaos to break out among the staff and several people to fall unconscious. As the robbers make their way into the vault, they find gold bars and bags of cash awaiting them. Whether it will be enough to save the nightclub, or if they can even get away with it, remains to be seen.
The Umbrella Men has a runtime of 117 minutes, with dialogue in both English and Afrikaans. The comedic film is certain to give audiences a taste of the vivacious heart of Cape Town, the Bo-Kaap area, as well as the fabulous musical stylings of South Africa. For a full trailer, see below:
The Umbrella Men will have three more public screenings at TIFF, on the 14th and 16 of September, as well as two more for press.