Tuesday, June 01, 2004

The SABC1's Documentary project

Project 10 "a bold and captivatingly honest series of documentary films that will afford viewers the opportunity to reflect on what a decade of democracy has meant for all South Africans."

Some of the filmmakers featured in their own stories. This personal narrative approach has been seen as a key selling point to international audiences. Ten of the Project 10 films were premiered at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival in February this year, in the International Forum of New Cinema category, and two, namely The Meaning of the Buffalo, and Home / iKhaya, were screened at the Sundance Film Festival in the USA in January.

THE FILMS ...
1. BELONGING
Born into exile, Kethiwe returned to South Africa with her family 10 years ago. Now, with her British accent and hip lifestyle, Kethiwe is struggling to find her own niche in the new South Africa. This film follows a young woman?s journey to find the place she can truly call home.

Directed by: Minky Schlesinger and Kethiwe Ngcobo

Khetiwe Ngcobo grew up in London. She graduated with an Honours Degree in Cultural Studies from Portsmouth University, and returned to South Africa in 1994. She has developed and produced a number of television drama series, documentaries and comedies, locally, for the SABC and eTV, and internationally, for TVE, UNESCO and London Weekend Television.
Minky Schlesinger began her career in theatre as an actress after completing her studies at the University of Cape Town. Her passion for writing resulted in her switching to film, where she became a writer on documentaries. Her directorial debut happened in the mid 1990?s working on documentaries, and in 1998, after participating in the M-Net New Directions initiative for her short feature, Salvation, she moved into drama. She has since directed a number of other films for the SABC and has obtained extensive experience as a writer and producer.



2. HOT WAX
Ivy, a black beautician with white clients, is privy to so much more than just anti-aging secrets. Eavesdrop on intimate conversations from a beauty salon in this insightful documentary that breaks down social and racial boundaries.

Directed by: Andrea Spitz

Andrea Spitz holds an Honours Degree in Dramatic Art, and an Mphil in Environmental Science. In 1999/2000, she produced the first visual Environmental Impact Assessment for a project in Mozambique, and went on to be selected to participate in the Encounters Documentary Workshop for filmmakers who had not had work commissioned or screened on television. Her project, Voices Across the Fence, was commissioned and completed in 2002, and was commissioned to make the documentary I Will not Go Gently for SABC3.

3. BEING PAVAROTTI
A 13-year-old boy from a shantytown near Hermanus, Elton?s extraordinary voice is all he really has. Watch, and listen, as he tries to realise his dream against the harsh realities of poverty, parental pressure and the absence of love.

Directed by: Odette Geldenhuys

Odette Geldenhuys made the interesting transition from Human Rights lawyer to filmmaker when she became associate producer for the 2002 Angel Films production From Gates to Iron Ore. She has since worked as associate producer and production assistant on numerous, and varied productions, including a 10-minute film for Flemish Government. She both directed and shot the Angel Films production Being Pavarotti.



4. MIX
Are they the ?lost generation? or simply a generation trying to find themselves? Take a first hand look at cultural clashes and generation gaps against a backdrop of hip hop DJ-ing. This documentary captures the confidence of two outrageous young women who are exploring their past while, at the same time, creating their own futures.

Directed by: Rudzani Dzuguda

After having studied drama at the University of Durban-Westville, Rudzani Dzuguda decided to study television production at Technikon Natal. He moved to Johannesburg to work as a runner at Summit TV, and later became a cameraman and editor. He worked as an eTV news cameraman, and then on e-Arts as a journalist. Mix is the first film of the recently formed film company Dzuguda Productions.

5. HOME/ iKHAYA
This is a deeply personal story about the importance of memory and healing as the filmmaker returns with her aunt to the home she was forcibly removed from. There, she tackles the demons that drove her from the home she loved.

Directed by: Omelga Hlengiwe Mthiyane

After completing her Video Technology studies at Technikon Natal in 2000, Omelga Mthiyane went on to do an internship at Gas Works Post Productions in Millpark, Johannesburg. She later moved to Cape Town, where she worked at the Sithengi Film and Television Market. She received intensive training in documentary making after she was selected for the 2001 Encounters Laboratory.




6. SOLLY?S STORY
From the dusty streets of rural Venda to the bright lights of soccer stadiums the world over, follow Solly?s story of success against all odds. The Grandmother who helped him get there, however, still lives in poverty.

Directed by: Asivhanzhi ?Asi? Mathaba

Born and raised in Venda, Asi Mathaba studied film and television production in Cape Town. His film career was launched when he worked as an assistant director on two US feature films in 1998/9. He moved back to Johannesburg and has directed commercials, music videos and documentaries for television. In 2002, he worked as content director for Big Brother II.

7. UMGIDI (SHADOW DANCING)
First Sipho procrastinates in convincing his brother to be circumcised, then he discovers his brother was actually adopted at birth. Follow this intimate journey into a Xhosa family grappling with issues like adoption, modernity and tradition.

Directed by: Gillian Schutte and Sipho Singiswa

Writer, filmmaker, poet and healer, Gillian Schutte, began as a freelance arts and culture journalist, and had a jazz music column in Durban?s Daily News. After working as a case study writer and researcher on a series of Arts and Culture videos, she realised her passion for filmmaking. She has recently co-directed a series of 56-minute documentaries on human rights issues, which have been screened at Human Rights film festivals both locally and internationally.

Sipho Singiswa, a former political prisoner on Robben Island, has been actively involved in Arts, Culture and Skills Development work both in South Africa and abroad. His work has on many occasions been in collaboration with various international exchange groups and has been instrumental in the collaboration of cultural and media groups from the Nordic countries as well as France, Holland and Germany. He also co-facilitated the International Film and Television Conference, which was held at SABC in 1995.

8. THE DEVIL BREAKS MY HEART 10 YEARS LATER
As young teenagers at the birth of a democratic South Africa they shared their hopes and dreams for the future in a documentary. Now, 10 years on, they share their success and disappointments. This film takes an honest stance on how democracy has really affected this group of 20-somethings.

Directed by: Lederle Bosch

A student activist during the 1980?s, Lederle Bosch moved on to become a youth and community organiser, working in the United Democratic Front and the African National Congress, until 1994. After having worked in community development and adult-based education and training service organisations, he joined Idol Pictures in 1997, and began directing documentary films in 2003.

9. THROUGH THE EYES OF MY DAUGHTER
Zulfah Otto-Sallies, a liberated South African filmmaker, confesses that ?I do not understand who that 15-year-old who sleeps in my house is.? This story traces a mother?s quest to explore the relationship with her teenage daughter.

Directed by: Zulfah Otto-Sallies

Zulfah Otto-Sallies began as a playwright in 1991. She broke into the television arena in 1992 after co-directing a documentary for A&P Productions. She has since written and directed numerous inserts and television documentaries for local and international stations; obtained a Masters Degree from Das Art (Amsterdam); directed an award winning short film; and is currently the curator of the Cape Town World Cinema Festival.

10. MY YEOVILLE
Before the 1994 democratic elections Yeoville was celebrated as a model for non-racial co-existence. Now, as South Africa celebrates its freedom, Yeoville has become a decaying symbol. Follow a young black filmmaker as he explores where he lives and the struggle to resurrect it.

Directed by: Sello Molefe

Former Executive Director of the Independent Producers Organisation (I.P.O), South Africa, Sello Molefe is a University of the Witwatersrand graduate, and is presently reading for a Masters Degree in Documentary Film and History. During 1999 and 2000, he was Head of Training and Development and Executive Member of the I.P.O. He is also a former Board member of the Media, Publishing, Printing and Packaging Sector Education and Training Authority (MAPPP SETA).

11. NABANTWA BAM (WITH MY CHILDREN)
Miles is a computer whizz-kid on the way up. His older brother, who bought him his first computer, is unemployed. This film explores the making of the emerging black middle class while a family tries to negotiate success in a new society.

Directed by: Khulile Nxumalo

Soweto-born Khulile Nxumalo has studied at the Universities of Durban and Cape Town, as well as in Swaziland. He has worked as a researcher, writer, producer and director for various production houses in Johannesburg. His experience in directing includes having directed inserts for a regional magazine television programme, a short documentary on young, aspiring opera singers, and inserts for national education broadcasts.

12. MEANING OF THE BUFFALO
Set against the extreme beauty of the African bush, this documentary chronicles Rene?s quest to become the first black, female, game-ranger on her tribe?s ancestral land. In the process, she also tries to gain understanding of her people?s totem, the buffalo, and her relationship with the land.

Directed by: Karin Slater

Karin Slater specialises in documentaries that communicate the knowledge of indigenous people and Africa?s wildlife, and has worked as a Director and Director of Photography (D.O.P) for 15 years. Karin, who is based in South Africa, has worked for the BBC, national Geographic, and the Discovery Channel.

13. CINDERELLA OF THE CAPE FLATS
Five days a week, they sew clothes that they themselves could never afford to wear. Then, for one night, the seamstresses turn into princesses for a unique beauty pageant. Set against the preparation for the pageant, this film explores the lives of these hard-working women and celebrates them as creations of beauty.

Directed by: Jane Kennedy

Cinderella of the Cape Flats is the first broadcaster-commissioned documentary by Jane Kennedy. Her career began with photography in the early 1980?s, and she has since worked in a variety of communication mediums through audio-visual, video and radio production and directing. Being passionate about social responsibility activities, Jane co-founder and board member of Imagine Cape Town ? an initiative which brings ordinary citizens together to work towards the realisation of a more positive future for all.



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