12 October, 2009 | By Jeremy Kay
For the second consecutive year five film-makers have been awarded $10,000 apiece in Focus Features’ Africa First Program for short films.
The winning film-makers for 2009 are: Stephen Abbott for the dark comedy Dirty Laundry (South Africa), Matt Bishanga for the drama A Good Catholic Girl(Uganda), Daouda Coulibaly for the drama As Long As Bozos Sing(Mali), Matthew Jankes for the sci-fi story Umkhungo (South Africa), and Rungano Nyoni for the fantasy The Adventures Of Mwansa The Great (Zambia).
The award was set up to nurture emerging film-makers of African nationality and residence and the money will be used for financing projects in pre-production, production, and/or post.
In addition to on-site work in Africa, the winning film-makers of Africa First will visit New York later this autumn for a weekend of one-on-one workshops with members of the programme’s international advisory board of experts in African cinema Focus CEO James Schamus and production president John Lyons.
Africa First is supervised by producer Kisha Imani Cameron, whose Completion Films has a first-look and consulting deal with Focus.
Another film by local CPT talent Hein de Vos.
THANKS DAD, set in urban Cape Town, South Africa, is a satirical and darkly comical look at the bizarre and often volatile consequences of everyday life within a uniquely diverse and displaced society. It follows a group of quirky characters, each steering the course of their own journey, yet undeniably connected by the impact of their choices.
Thomas Starke is a renowned architect, married to the success of his career and the indulgence of extra-marital affairs. After his wife left him and their two daughters, and moved to Malawi to become a missionary, Thomas reverted to solving all his children’s problems with the only thing he really understands – money.
But, the recent economic recession has taken its toll on Thomas and when his youngest daughter Ruby asks for the exact same model car as her older sister Dee for her 21st birthday, Thomas realises that he cannot afford the expense. During a squash game, Thomas confesses this to his shady business partner Dimitri, who offers to provide Thomas with an “alternative method” of acquiring the car.
Ruby invites Dee, who suspects she is pregnant with her boyfriend Joe’s child, to an exhibition, she gladly accepts in order to avoid Joe. At the exhibition, Dee meets Ruby’s lecturer, Lebo and her boyfriend Tebogo, who we find at a critical point in their relationship, as well as an old friend, an artist named Melville Du Bois. Dee and Melville spend the rest of the evening on a drug binge, leaving Ruby with her car.
When Ruby catches her musician boyfriend, Puddy with another girl after his gig, she drives off with Dee’s car. Dee, by this time, has passed out at Melville’s apartment.
Thomas’ conscience gets the better of him after an emotional phone call with his separated wife, he calls off the deal. But Dimitri doesn’t get the message.
Meanwhile, Tebogo leaves the exhibition after an argument with Lebo and walks home through the streets of Cape Town. He accidentally bumps into Ruby, who is driving Dee’s car, at a traffic light, with interesting consequences.
Brought to you by the same team that recently completed “Dinner for Three”.
Story by Vicky Davis
Directed by Hein DeVos
Executive-Producer: Mike Joubert
Executive-Producer: Phil Contomichalos
Producer: Sascha Müller
Production Manager: Leighla McGregor
Director of Photography: Manoel Ferreira
Editor: Jolene Cartmill
Featuring music by Taxi Violence.
Join the group - let us know about YOUR film!
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) will host the 3rd Film Indaba on 26 and 27 November 2009.
Indaba 2009 presents an opportunity for the NFVF to present to the industry, the NFVF Vision 2022, which was developed by the NFVF Council and Executive Management.
According to the institutional organic lifecycle of the NFVF, as stipulated in the Value Charter, the year 2007 marked the commencement of the Maturity Stage which will run until the year 2022. The focus during this stage is Sectoral Rationalisation. The NFVF 2022 Strategy, informed by Council Strategic thrust of “Taking NFVF to the Citizens” seeks to mobilise support for critical initiatives, and the commensurate resources required during this period for the sector.
The first edition of the NFVF Value Charter was an outcome of the Strategy that was adopted by the then Council in 2003. The Second Edition of the Value Charter is the outcome of the 2022 Vision. The document will provide the basis for discussion where the industry stakeholders will contribute to the 2nd Edition of the Value Charter to be adopted by the NFVF Council, the Department of Arts and Culture and Cabinet.
The theme for Indaba 2009 is “Mapping the Way Towards 2025”. The NFVF 2022 Strategy has been aligned with the South Africa Vision, a long term plan which spells out where South African society will be in 2025 as outlined in the Green Paper: National Strategic Planning published by the Presidency in September 2009.
The Film Indaba 2009 will run for two days. The first day will comprise of a plenary session where key note addresses will be delivered to inform deliberations. The second will comprise of breakaway sessions for discussions on the topics that will be highlighted out of the Draft Second Edition of the Value Charter.
The details on the venue programme and the discussion document (the Second Edition of the Value Charter) will be circulated within the next two weeks.
The NFVF intends to arrange meetings with stakeholders to engage on the contents of the discussion document as well as input that will inform the Film Indaba 2009.
Your input and participation is valued.
So by now you know about The Forum is on thursday night. You have even invited all your indy movie making mogul mates…right?! And because you are so darn cool The Writing studio and The Forum are giving away, that’s right, giving away two places on a writing course! All you need to do is rock up on Thursday!
THE WRITE JOURNEY: A PRACTICAL WORKSHOP FOR SCRIPTWRITERS
If you’re an aspiring screenwriter with a vivid imagination whose ideas are larger than life, The Writing Studio’s The Write Journey will turn words into big screen action!
Aspirant screenwriters can sharpen their storytelling skills and develop their craft at The Writing Studio’s The Write Journey workshop at Artscape Theatre Centre on Saturday, October 10, 17, 24 and 31 from 2pm until 5pm.
Within FOUR DAYS writers will understand the principles of writing for a visual medium and what it takes to be screenwriter in South Africa.
The inspirational and motivational workshop is ideal for ANYONE with an idea for a story. If there is something or someone you want to write about this is your opportunity to turn thoughts into words.
Ideas are transformed into concepts that will be reworked into hardcopy, into 120 pages filled with dramatic action, lively characters and description.
The course turns theory into practise and ideas inside out. It explores the full dramatic or comedic potential of stories and empowers storytellers to write a compelling story that will reflect the uniqueness of their culture, history and experience.
The workshop is also an introduction into the world of filmmaking and teaches writers how to read and interpret the fascinating language of film, and how to evaluate and analyse film, television and theatre constructively.
It is ideal for novelists who would like to adapt their work into a visual medium.
During the past eight years The Writing Studio, an independent training initiative, has done more than 250 writing workshops throughout South Africa. The trainer is local writer, playwright, movie journalist and Education, Training and Development Practitioner Daniel Dercksen, who has been teaching workshops in scriptwriting and creative writing throughout South Africa the past eight years, as well as a Masterclass for Screenwriters for 40 writers from Africa at the Sithengi Film and TV Market’s Talent Campus.
The cost of the workshop is R900. If you are a registered student, scholar, or a pensioner, the cost of the workshop is R800. Bursaries are available on discretion for disadvantaged writers.
Following the workshop, the writers can join an advanced workshop for scriptwriters, The Write Draft..
The Write Journey workshop for scriptwriters takes place at the Artscape Theatre centre on Saturday, October 10, 17, 24 and 31 from 2pm until 5pm. For more information and registration, visit the website www.writingstudio.co.za, email email@example.com or call 072 474 1079
The Public Pool cut the footage of our first Forum, The Changing Landscape, and I posted them to Vimeo today, for your watching pleasure;
1. The Forum - Introduction/
Louw Venter our panel moderator takes us through the forum introduction:
2. The Forum - Landscape/
Zaheer Goodman Bhayat, producer and panelist on the forum had a lot to say about our current industry:
3. The Forum - Local is lekker/
Pam from Zoopy, made a comment regarding cinema in SA and that “Local is Lekker”. Simon Hansen whom I quote often in my blog, had something to say about that statement:
4. The Forum - Writing/
Getting into the nitty-gritty of where it starts, and our inspiration for the next Forum, Zaheer talked about writing. The idea that writers have this space where they can “just write what I love” does not exists. If you really want to do that either starve, live with your parents or get better and have people pay you.
5. The Forum - Paradigm/
Lastly Simon talks about shifting our paradigms. Having an idea of something is fine but if your idea isn’t the same as reality its not reality that’s wrong. If you want to live in your ideas then change your reality paradigm and come up with something unique and with value.
From our friends at SAMDB.
The Forum Goes Live
On Thursday night, 23 July, the Forum film community went live at Red Light Studios in Maitland with “The Changing Landscape”.
SAMDB had the privilege to attend this new film industry iniative.
The informative, thought provoking and heated discussions, were centered around exploring the changing landscape of film in South Africa and the potential to shift paradigms as filmmakers. The debate was also broadcast live on www.justin.tv.
The dynamic panel consisted of producer Zaheer Goodman Bhayat, Simon Hansen (Co-produced Alive in Joburg on which District 9 is based), Pam, CEO of Zoopy and director Hein de Vos. The evening was interactive, allowing the audience to discuss a variety of issues it faced. Catch selected video clips of “The Changing Landscape” on www.theforumsa.com in the very near future.
Towards the end of the evening we sat riveted in our chairs for a screening of selected scenes from Hein De Vos’ Orgie. The subject matter is alive with drama, steamy scenes and brings home that actions have consequences. It is an Afrikaans film with English subtitles, allowing local Afrikaans talent to convey the film’s message from a place of truth. Keep a look out for “Orgie” and this up and coming director, Hein de Vos.
The Forum is based on the idea of gathering and sharing resources and ideas for the individual and the greater good of the South African film industry. “I guess it’s a bit like Ubuntu, and where does the idea of I-am-because-we-are play out more definitively than in the art of filmmaking?” (Louw Venter, Forum member)
We left feeling positive about the future of this ever growing industry and excited about the emerging talent and like minded individuals this country has to offer the future of film.
The next event will take place in late September, and The Forum would welcome your ideas and suggestions on what direction the next one should take. “The Forum is yours - please use it.” Comment on the site www.theforumsa.com or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week saw the Comic-con take place in San Diago and saw a host of movies being screened, promoted and talked about there. To name a few: Iron Man2, 9, Avatar, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Where the Wild Things Are, Zombieland and Sherlock Holmes. For a more comprehensive list go here and cry a little.
Anyways, I’ve done my crying a little and decided to try and find out more. I am really interested in D9 (as you may already know) and knew that Sharlto was going to be on a panel discuss with Peter and Neill all about D9. The bastardo’s had a full on screening of the movie - aargh - adn this panel was done right after the film. I have here for your enjoyment all four parts, download them from youtube at work and watch them at home later. That way you don’t use your bandwidth, your not skimping on your work and you have them to share them with your friends later…
Then, just for fun, here’s a little vlog from Slashfilm doing a review of the movie and some hints of what to expect on Assassins Creed. Go Here
Ladies and gentlemen we’re proud to announce that The Forum is finally off the ground - and the view looks great from up here.
After a relatively short but incredibly busy period of planning and organizing we opened the doors to the first official live version of the Forum at Red Light Studios in Maitland on Thursday last week. Our audience consisted of role players from various sectors in the industry from producers and feature directors to scriptwriters and media representitives from the likes of Zoopy and the South African Movie Data Base.
We didn’t know quite what to expect from the night but I’m very happy to report that the energy on the night was quite electric and we now have a very powerful impetus to go forward. It was exhilirating to see the enthusiasm among filmmakers to connect with each other and discuss the issues of making film in South Africa. In fact, far from being at a loss for subject matter to chew over I had to call the discussion part of the night to reluctant halt over a veritable sea of eagerly raised hands. SA filmmakers certainly have a lot to say and ask. Among the topics that emerged on the night were the ideas of writing and creating film as a sustainable means of income, the interrogation of the “local is lekker” catchphrase, the identity of SA film and the need for shifting our understanding of how films are, can and should be made.
What we need now more than anything is a mandate from you for the next installment of The Forum. The way forward for the next gathering of The Forum must be guided by what we as filmmakers need to explore and discuss most urgently. Please send us your ideas and suggestions for the next Forum which will take place late September.
If you were there on Thursday night you will know that The Forum is serious about the future of film in SA and it belongs to everyone who loves the movies. Talk to us, we need your imput and we look forward to building something amazing together.
Selected clips from The Changing Landscape will be available on this site very soon as well as a published list of all the business cards collected on the night.
If you’ve been logging in to www.redlightforum.withtank.com, please note that the proper adress for The Forum will be www.theforumsa.com from now on.
Look forward to your comments and feedback - Louw Venter