Documentary Film Review,  Film Festivals,  Film Reviews




In 2009, Thalente Biyela,  was discovered at the Indigo Skate Camp in South Africa.  Unlike most youth his age, skateboarding was a way to escape his reality…being homeless with no family.


Thalente [tal-uhnt] – Zulu translation for a talent, noun

1. a special natural ability or aptitude:
2. a capacity for achievement or success; ability: young men of talent

Thalente was one of more 9000 children living on the streets  homeless in South Africa.  He referred to the skate park as his Buddha Temple where he could be himself and hangout with his friends.  Thalente somehow was able to bond and grow a relationship with Tammy Lee Smith (who he met at 7 years old).  He said that they were able to bond because she made him feel like a person and not a street kid.

Thalente and Felipe-52cred_Tim_Black.jpg

As it became more and more difficult for Tammy to drop Thalente off at the skate park, she feared that his highest potential would be compromised by living on the streets.

Enter Tony Hawk (legendary skateboarder) and Colin Kennedy who set up a meeting for Thalente to meet Kenny Anderson, another legendary skateboarder with a 20-year career, all of them offering  to do their best to hook Thalente up if they can get him to America.

Once in America, Thalente experiences the emotional and physical transitional differences between being a skateboarder in South Africa vs skateboarding in America.  He ends up with a girlfriend for the first time in his life, a driver’s license and discovers that anything is possible with endless amounts of love and support.


Director/Producer Natalie Johns must be beaming with joy because I AM THALENTE was a big winner this week at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival taking home the Audience Awards along with Lilibet Fosters BE HERE NOW.

I AM TALENT is available digitally through Seed & Spark on May 13th, 2016 via iTunes, Time Warner, Comcast, Brighthouse, Cox, Verizon, iTunes, Amazon, Googleplay, Vudu, Sony Playstation, and Xbox. The film will also play theatrically across the nation in Los Angeles, Austin, Providence, Cambridge, San Diego, Minneapolis, more cities TBA shortly.

I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic,Carla Renata is a member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association (Co-President Documentary Branch), African American Film Critics Association, Online Association of Female Film Critics and Alliance of Women Film Journalists. My op-eds or features have been seen in VARIETY,, Maltin on Movies, The Cherry Picks, IGN Movies, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, Good Day LA, ET Live!, Turner Classic Movies, KCRW Press Play with Madeline Brand, The Cherry Picks, The Stream Team (Beond TV) ITV, Fox Soul's The Black Report, The ListTV and more. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Mondays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

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