The cast and crew of acclaimed but controversial film Inxeba, also known as The Wound, have found themselves under siege, with the actors provided with a “place of refuge” after threats and harassment left them scared for their safety.

Many members of the team behind the award-winning movie – which has stirred fierce reaction and protests in the Eastern Cape, resulting in the premiere being shut down last week – have received threats.

But the producers, Cait Pansegrouw and Elias Ribeiro, have defended the film, saying that while they are concerned about the safety of the cast and crew, they will not be deterred by the threats because stories like this one need to be told.

The film tells the story of a gay factory worker who travels to the rural Eastern Cape to oversee the Xhosa initiation process of ukwaluka, only to have his secret discovered by one defiant initiate.

The movie eventually opened at the Walmer Park cinema complex on Monday.

Screenings had been cancelled on Friday at Walmer Park and Baywest Mall, as well as at Hemingways Mall in East London, because of the protests.

Yesterday, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) called on people to exercise their constitutional right to protest against the movie in a lawful and constructive manner.

The Inxeba producers had lodged an official complaint with the SAHRC after screenings of the movie were cancelled threats of violence.