Friday, July 30, 2004

South Africa's Oppikoppi festival turns 10 in style

Fokof! Posted by Hello

It's time again for South Africa's Oppikoppi festival, and like the multi-cultural democracy, celebrating it's 10th year anniversary. And that's no coincidence.

Before 1994 there was a dearth of music and cultural festivals in South Africa. Yes, there was the odd jazz festival and events like Grahamstown Arts fest. But in 1998, a cultural revolution hit the country with the alternative Afrikaans music movement's Voelvry tour. A ragtag army of hedonists, pseudo-anarchists, outsiders, poets, junkies and rock and rollers had come together in opposition against the morals, politics and the restrictive cultural hell that was SA under the Nationalists. This movement culminated in the Houtstok (Afrikaans: Woodstock) concert outside Pretoria.

Soon there were concerts all over South Africa. In 1990 Rustler's valley kicked off, and became a haven for tied dye hippie types and trance music. In KwaZulu Natal, Splashy Fenn catered for folk and jazz.

And then came Oppikoppi. It's genesis was the end or rather the maturation of the Alternative Afrikaans movement. It's no coincidence that the old movement's vanguard Koos Kombuis and Valiant Swart played at the first Oppikoppi event, and will be there again this year.

Getting ready for the koppi Posted by Hello

Oppikoppi today is a mixed bag. From artists favoured mostly for their nostalgic and local flavour, to those that can hold their own on any stage. Add a sprinkling of international acts and viola! - it's cooking. Because of its roots, it features a heavy dose of the best contemporary Afrikaans music. Expect a wide range of music styles: Rock, Punk, Jazz, Blues, Folk, Electronica, the South African house phenomena Kwaito, Hip-Hop, Break beat, Industrial, World music and flavours in between.

Life is lekker on the koppie Posted by Hello

Oppikoppi is more than just another music festival, but a truly amazing and in-your-face event. A festival born in freedom. A festival unlike the over-managed and over-crowded corporate European and US events. It takes place on top of and around a "koppie" - (Afrikaans for hill), in the semi-wild Bushveld 160km North of Jo'burg. Expect thorn trees, snakes, big spiders and the odd antelope.

The festival began in the bar on top of the koppie, and has been going from strength to strength. This year it boasts its best line up to date.

See the full line up here...

The Oppikoppi website.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Documentary Co-Production Forum preliminaries kicks off

The Documentary Co-Production Forum, DCF, presented by Encounters, the South African International Documentary Festival and Sithengi, the Southern African Film and Television Market is now in its second year and quickly proving to be at the forefront of documentary project development.

The DCF for 2003 proved to be a tremendous success. Would you believe this year promises to be more exigent, judging from the quality and excellence of projects received for 2004.

The preliminary pitching sessions for 2004 will be held in Cape Town on Saturday 24 July, SABC Beach Road, Sea Point and in Johannesburg Saturday 31 July, SABC Auckland Park.

Those selected for the Preliminaries will pitch to a panel of commissioning editors and international experts. If selected after the Preliminaries you will then participate in Consultations to further develop your project. Projects that fit the criteria will also be submitted to the FORUM for International Co-financing of Documentaries (IDFA).

The final call for documentary projects will then be issued in September and projects with either broadcaster commitment and/or 20% of the budget secured will be eligible for selection to pitch at the DCF at Sithengi to a panel of 10 international Commissioning Editors.

24 September: Final call for submissions
15 October: Deadline for all submissions from SA and Africa
15-21 September: Consultations in JHB and CT
14-15 November: Pitching workshops in CT
16-19 November: Sithengi Film and TV Market in Cape Town
16-17 November: Encounters/ Sithengi Documentary Co-production Form

Durban film festival awards announced

Representatives of the judging panels at the Durban International Film Festival announced the winners in a variety of categories. High praise for the festival selection came from the international jury which included Simon Field (ex-Rotterdam festival), Dorothee Wenner (Berlin festival), as well as respected South Africans Martin Botha, John Matshikiza and Teboho Mahlatsi.

Awards were given to:

Best Film
directed by Partho Sen Gupta

Best Direction
for The Return

Best Cinematography
for Forgiveness

Best Screenplay
for Since Otar Left

Best Actor
for his performance in Abjad

Best Actress
for their performances in Since Otar Left

Audience Choice Best Film
directed by Ian Gabriel

Best First Feature Film
directed by Sylvain Chomet

Best South African Feature Film
Shared between

directed by Ntshaveni wa Luruli


directed by Ian Gabriel

Best Documentary Film
directed by Lars von Trier and Jorgen Leth

Best South African Documentary Film
Project 10 - Real stories from a free South Africa - BEING PAVAROTTI
directed by Odette Geldenhuys

Best Short Film
directed by Diane Nerwan

Best South African Short Film
Directed by Lehlohonolo 'Shaft" Moropane

Special Mention
Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan


Sunday, July 25, 2004

The Boks are back

Os Guevara Posted by Hello

To many a whitey (A white South African), the advent of multi-racila democracy spelt the death of the country. And the demise was never more in evidence than in the rapid decent of the Rugby Springboks - from superstars to second rate.

BUT, they were wrong. The country did not go to the wall. In fact, as is increasingly obvious, on many fronts South Africa is progressing fast. A proud new identity, a self confidence is becoming evident. It was small wonder then than the Boks have blasted their way back into the top rung of International rugby. It only a matter of time before South Africa kicks some All Black ass.

And for all those lentil eating South African lefties out there who feel that could not possibly support the Boks - kwailawai* says - the Boks are the vangaurd of revolution. Viva Os, Viva! VIVA! 

Born into Struggle

Born into Struggle was premiered this week in Cape Town.

Official blurb: This is a brutally honest and deeply personal portrait of the painful familial scars left behind by a key member of the Struggle. Set against a much larger political backdrop, this intimate detail explores the reasons behind, and consequences of, life choices.

Rehad Desai spent most of his life in exile due to his father’s constant political activity. Instrumental in stalwartly maintaining international pressure on South Africa’s Apartheid regime, Barney Desai was a hero to many but a strict, distant authority figure to his family. A disparity reflected in the careers chosen by Rehad and his siblings. 

This story is centred on the personal development of Rehad that leads to intense political activity in the UK, Zimbabwe and then, while accompanying his father in 1990, South Africa; thus repeating the cycle.

Courtesy of Uhuru Productions
Zivia Desai Keiper

Born into Struggle South Africa 2004 video 80min
Dir: Rehad Desai

British industry complained of too many ads shot in SA

The British advertising industry "complained" at the recent International Advertising Festival in Cannes that too many advertisements were shot in South Africa, threatening the future of the UK industry.

According to Cape Film Commission chief operations officer Martin Cuff, the impression gained from his visit to the Cannes festival was that the South African advertising commercial producing industry was starting to lose favour to destinations such as Chilé, Argentina and Eastern Europe. This, he said, was because local productions had become too expensive and local locations too frequently used in advertisements.

One in three advertisements currently shown on British television was shot in and around Cape Town."Commercial producers (in the United Kingdom) feel they have seen all the locations (in the Cape) and there is a real danger of over-exposure," he said.Cuff was speaking ahead of this week's Cape Film Commission Indaba aimed at finding solutions for the dwindling market for commercial features.

The core aim of the commission is to position Cape Town and the Western Cape as a globally competitive film region to boost tourism and job creation.Cuff said that, as opposed to commercials, the production of feature films in the Cape saw "significant" growth in 2004."We must find ways to address all angles of production in the future," Cuff said.

He said the announcement by Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa of a R252 million subsidy for the film industry should boost the features industry and add to the proliferation of local content films on the international market.Mpahlwa's programme will offer a tax rebate if investors spend at least R25m in South Africa on crew, cast and production facilities.

Western Cape Economic Development MEC Lynne Brown said: "The provincial government has long endeavoured to create a competitive enabling environment for the film industry." She said the tax rebates scheme will place South Africa on a par with major international film centres such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand and will encourage the making of both local and international films in the Western Cape.

The City of Cape Town recently moved to reduce the cost of producing commercials in the city by slashing tariffs for using city police as security from R250 a day to R65.The city's safety spokesman Rudi Wolter said: "The politicians asked for an investigation into the tariffs after requests from the film industry ... The investigation looked at other South African cities and found that R65 was competitive."
Source: Cape Times

Amandla! - 5 Emmy award nominations

Amandla! A revolution in four part harmony, the documenaty - has been nominated for 5 Emmy awards.

It has already been the winner of two coveted Sundance awards. It received the Freedom of Expression Award and the Audience award at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.

The Nominations are for the News and Documentary Emmy category:
Emmy - Outstanding Cultural and Artistic programme
Emmy - Outstanding Research
Emmy - Oustanding Cinematography
Emmy - Oustanding Editing
Emmy - Oustanding Music and Sound

It was made by The Bomb - the ground breaking South African documenatry company that did the Acadamy nominated Mandela documentary, the popular and controversial TV drama Yizo Yizo, and the award winning film, A portait of a young man drowning.

Oppikoppi 2004 Band line up

The bands (in Alphabetical order) in their own words - so you have to take their word for it....

Read more about Oppikoppi here.

Hotly tipped to be one of the major South African hard rock successes of the year 2003. Having only been together for a year, they have already established a significant reputation on the underground scene, and can claim connections to such bands as Seether, Pestroy, Marlowe, Evenflow, Not My Dog and Wickhead to name but a few.


In a musical scene dominated by just a handful of starkly hewn genres, 340ml brew a music concoction that pulls down boundaries with ease and is set to make a lasting impact on the global music scene. This southern African four-member group, currently based in Johannesburg but with its roots firmly planted in Mozambique, has already released an album that's earned it critical praise and opened the doors to a seriously busy gigging schedule (among their gigs in 2003 was a very well a received slot at the annual Oppikoppi festival). Casting a musical glow that speaks of hazy beach sunsets, languid afternoons and blissed out summer fun.
Part of 340ml's ability to create music that's fresher than an early morning sea breeze comes from their collective youth, spent in Maputo where a sure-footed belief in their ability to be something special threads through their early lives. An unquestionably Latin music influence and subtle Traditional Mozambiquan sound make the groups music all about plump bass notes, beats that get even those non-Mozambiquan fans tapping the table, guitarwork that's just the right balance of melodic and low-key and vocals at times seem like another instrument in the musical mix.

Springbok Nude Girls Posted by Hello

Arno Carstens is one of South Africa's most revered vocalists. He has performed for 8 years as the lead singer of one of SA's most celebrated rock bands: The Springbok Nude Girls.
He is now working as a solo artist with the project band New Porn. Their album, Another Universe, released in September 2003 is a departure from Arno's typical sound, reflecting growth in musical interpretation whilst staying true to the honesty and power of his vocal ability.

Arno has a profound vocal range. His performance ability spans unplugged guitar & string sessions that are commercial, melodic and tender, through to heavier, alternative rock music.


Strings and Skins play rhythmical interpretations of North Africa and South African improvisational styles. Their Afro-Asian hybrid beats are plaed on traditional instruments, such as the Indian percussion drums (the tabla), played by Ashish and the North African fretless lute (oud), bouzouki and nylon string flamenco guitar, played by Greg.

Ashton Nyte is a singer, songwriter, composer, enigmatic performer, studio musician, engineer & producer, graphic artist, actor & record label owner. His stylistic influences range from rock to electronica, from jazz-induced trip-hop to acoustic minimalism and beyond. He has written and performed in theatre pieces, large stage rock shows & intimate cabaret-type performances.

From opening for Uriah Heep and Deep Purple in Cape Town in 1995 to biker orientated gigs, rallies and day jols. A band brewed with time, love, patience and unyielding will of original lead guitarist Peter Pulvenis and his wife Lyn, the Band O Gypsies have in their own magical style, influenced and stirred the deepest emotions in fans countrywide. From toddlers to hardened veterans - some now with hearing impediments! This is still the longest, currently operating rock band in the history of SA music and the sun is nowhere near ready to set on this scene.

One of the very few "Industrial" bands in South Africa, Battery 9 is the brainchild of Paul Riekert, who writes the lyrics and music, and sings, plays, records and produces most of what appears on the CDs in his digital home studio. He is joined on stage by two very talented individuals: Huyser Burger - the DJ, live action painter and MC, also known as DJ Fokolnonsens (Fuckallnonsense), and André van Rensburg - the guitar player, known for his work with Supernature and Ohm.

The lyrics (in Afrikaans and English) examine the darker side of the human psyche, driven by distorted vocals, loud guitars, and relentless beats. It contains a fat dose of cynical humour, twisted electronica, and abrasive sounds from industry. The live act contains unusual aspects like action painting, and is demanding, explosive and equally extreme, and the audiences reflect that. Basically, subject matter and sounds the neighbours get upset about.

Mxo Posted by Hello

BED ON BRICKS is one of Cape Town's hottest live music acts. Featuring some of the most popular and seasoned musicians in the country, BED ON BRICKS entered the scene with a bang almost one year ago.

The four piece sports Mike Hardy on lead vocals and saxophone, Schalk van der Merwe on bass guitar, Dave van der Linden plays the lead guitar and Tim Rankin on drums.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, the Blues Broers have been touring, writing and recording music over 12 years.

To use his own description, "I play a smooth mix of Big Beat, Nu-Skool Breaks, 2-Step Garage, Acid Funk, Drum'n Bass into some Hi-Fi lounge/dub, Ninja/Grand Central Hip Hop, Jazzanova, Kruder & Dorfmeister style coffee shop beats. From a Festival to a Cafe', I have played South Africa. I would like to play my sound internationally and play my "Elektrik ZA" set of South African electronica; while at the same time bringing the albums I represent to set up connections for the South African underground dance scene."

Boo! consists of three members. The genderless phenomenon, Miss Chris Chameleon, is the bass player, lead vocalist, and writes all the music and lyrics. Princess Leonie provides extremely unconventional, yet wildly rocking beats on the drums. The blonde bombshell, Ampie Omo, produces the rest of the colorful spectrum of sounds on his trumpet, trombone, keyboard and percussion instruments.

Boo! entered the South African music scene in October 1997, with their mind-bendingly weird, though deliciously consumable sound. The band describes their music as "Monki Punk", because it breaks away from the usual combination of bass, drums and guitar, and substitutes the guitar with brass and keyboard sounds.


The Brixton Moord & Roof Orkes is one of the leading acts of the new generation of Afrikaans rock bands. Since their first appearance at OppiKoppi in April 2000, their sound has evolved from folk to rock. Like a number of other successful acts from Johannesburg, the Brixton Moord & Roof Orkes cut their teeth in the gutters of Brixton - at the Abelarde Sanction, Joburg's legendary but now defunct underground venue.

The Buckfever Underground are a band of writers, film-makers and aspirant tycoons who like to throw what they have in a big pot, mush it up and spill it on the carpets of other people (some of who they know and love). Their most recent release, 'TAFL - Teaching Afrikaans as a Foreign Language' was critically acclaimed (really) by everyone except Die Burger and has shifted a monumental 78 copies nation wide. Which just goes to show.

The latest addition to Cutting Jade is their new vocalist Logan. After leaving David Gresham Records and losing their vocalist early in 2004 the future for the band seemed uncertain. However it was going to take more than just a touch of controversy and a line up change to get this band down. In walks Logan, a twenty year old marketing student at the University of Pretoria. With his powerful voice and "what you see is what you get" attitude, this youngster has breathed new life into the band and not even three months after the line up change Cutting Jade is on the verge of recording their third (as yet untitled) studio album which by all accounts promises to be their best effort yet. Goodness knows they have been through a lot since the release of "Between two Lives" and have not only grown as musicians but, more importantly, as people.

The band was formed in 2000 to play at Sun City and was such a success that they started performing weekly in Johannesburg at various vanues. The band is taking blues lovers all over the country by storm. Dan Patlansky has been voted as best Blues Guitarist is Johannesburg and has performed with many other musicians like Albert Frost, Larry Amos and many more.

Dave (together with some of the country's hottest young artists) has been playing his original material for some years now. He has won the hearts (and competitions) of Cape audiences he has played to by writing songs that show off his love for acoustic-rock and world music, sometimes bordering on jazz. This is no ordinary strummer of the 'lip service to Bob Dylan'-archetype, or the student wannabe's that play for party tricks.

David has a style that can be seen to come from meditating on the wavelength of his heart, carefully weaving the arrangement and the lyrics, to stay fresh, true and avoid the cliché. The songs are rhythmically oriented, melodically prolific and diverse - he does not hide his influences: Dave Matthews, Sting and the Beatles.
Most importantly, he has the deep voice of a man remembering the intensity of childhood with wonderful range of falsetto. The most noticeable, and proving characteristic of Dave's performances is that he holds the audience in trance especially when playing without the safety of his band. (Stage Magazine)

When it comes to the Blues, it doesn't come better than Stellenbosch band DELTA BLUE. This young and vibrant five-piece presents the genre in their own unique way, while remaining faithful to the age old Blues tradition, and has audiences young and old tapping their feet to a Blues-vibe which is both unique and authentic.

Lead-vocalist Gerald Clark heats up the Blues with his harmonica, rhythm guitar and a very special voice: "It's as though the god of Blues has sent one of his sidemen down to wrap his vocal chords in velvet, cover them in honey and once the honey had crystallised, filed it to a sufficient roughness to create a perfect balance between grizzly and smooth" (SA Rock Digest) Gerald is supported by keyboard player Riaan Nieuwenhuis, bassist Schalk van der Merwe, lead guitarist Henry Steel, and Jacques Schutte on drums.


It was twenty years ago this month that DJ Bob bought his first record and began playing music to the unsuspecting people of Bethlehem. Since then he has built up an impressive selection of the finest Funk beats this side of the Free State, and having played 17 OppiKoppi festivals already, knows how to rock the crowd like nobody’s business. Check out the live set on Sunday with Greg Georgiades and Hashish Joshi.

Die FLBB het net meer as 'n jaar gelede ontstaan uit jam-aande by The Nile Crocodile in Pretoria. Conrad Jamneck het een aand amper in sy shooter verstuk, toe 'n sogenaamde Peter Toussaint uit Holland begin kitaar speel het. Franco Jamneck (Soil7t7) was toevallig daar en het op die bass gespring. Gideon Meintjies (Scicoustic) het agter die dromme in geskuif, met Conrad op vocals…siedaar, The Fake Leather Blues Band is gebore!! Van toe af het die band al meer lede as die Drakensberg Seunskool gehad. Soos Riaan van Rensburg (dromme), Anton Beukes (Bass), Jaco Mans (kitaar en bass), Nathan Smith (dromme), Stefan Dixon (bass), Cat Stevens (backing vocals)… jammer aan die wat nie gemention is nie!! Met 5 keer meer gigs as rehearsals, is FLBB ald school Bar Room Blues, met 'n double shot Rock 'n Roll!!


"It's on TV. It's in your brain. It's awful witnessing the sheep mentality creeping in up us. We are all working together towards a South African America. That's the fault in our prevailing thought pattern."

Fokofpolisiekar was formed during April 2003 by a group of friends from Cape Town with communal passion for art and music. After years of discussing the possibility of an Afrikaans band and being frustrated with the state of the local music scene in South Africa, these five friends decided to produce a EP in their own way. It would carry strong symbolism of the Fokofpolisiekar lifestyle and their perspective on everyday life. An insight on the band's personal lives and a style of music they and their generation can relate to.

Singing in three different languages (Xhosa, English and Afrikaans) Zolani Mahola. Freshlyground is indigenous African folk mixed with jazz, soul, kwela and dance hall music. It is passionately South African.

Six months after forming they were asked to play at the Reconciliation Day Concert at The Cape Town Company Gardens alongside the likes of Jimmy Dludlu and Jonas Gwangwa. Playing at numerous music festivals including the Harare International Festival of the Arts and the Robben Island African Festival. Freshlyground were invited to HIFA 2004 as the South African representative for the festival, where they headlined the closing ceremony, performing a song with Zimbabwean icon Oliver Mtukudzi. 2004 started off with what was arguably Freshlyground's career highlight to date, playing before President Thabo Mbeki at the opening of Parliament.

Die tunes wat al as "lonesome-jubilee-karoovlakte-blues" beksryf is, is landswyd bekend. Songs soos "Beautiful in Beaufort Wes", "Timotei Shampoo", "Rivier" en "Moenie my alleen agterlaat nie" het al hul plek in menigte harte gevind en sal waarskynlik in jare as absolute classics gevestig word.

Min mense weet egter dat hierdie songs, waarvan baie deur meer hoofstroom kunstenaars bekend gemaak is, deur die media sku Gert Vlok Nel gepen is. Gert Vlok Nel het in 'n relatiewe kort tydtjie 'n kultusfiguur onder 'n geselekteerde groep mense geword. Daar is 'n besliste mysterieuse aura rondom hierdie sanger wat daartoe lei dat sy baie skaars vertonings gewoonlik stampvol is met fanatiese aanhangers wat elke woord kan saamsing.

Gordon's Suitcase creates restless, ambient soundscapes. Using the familiar configuration of bass, drums and guitars to create their unique instrumental compositions. Unafraid to experiment, occasional guest artists are used to consolidate and deepen the music using diverse instruments such as didgeridoo and horn section. Gordon's Suitcase comprises of Rainier Prins and Illimar Neitz on guitar, Malcolm Ross on bass and Jako Loots on drums.

Greg Bowes has been involved in music in various capacities for 15 years. He was shop assistant at Yeoville's Moist Records, international label manager at sadly-defunct indie Tic Tic Bang! and ran his own Silverfish label early in the millennium. He's also a website editor and a music writer who's been published in Mail & Guardian, This Day, Elle, Y, SL, Get The Funk Out, and inhaleX. Deejaying his own inimitable brew of electro-funk (a miscellaneous selection that can include anything from soul to house to breakbeat), he's done time at venues like Foundation, 206, Carfax, Tokyo Star and the Secret and Looking for Love parties, as well as at festivals like Oppikoppi and Desert Storm. He's spun with Afterglow and vocalist Ziza (as Suplex) and with Kid Fonque and singer Philadelphia Shayi (as Unsound), and has shared bills with Luke Vibert, Charles Webster, I:Cube, DJ Deep, Aphrodite, DJ Hell, The Runaways and more.

GREG GEORGIADES AND ASHISH JOSHI PRESENTS STRINGS AND SKINS Strings and Skins play rhythmical interpretations of North Africa and South African improvisational styles. Their Afro-Asian hybrid beats are plaed on traditional instruments, such as the Indian percussion drums (the tabla), played by Ashish and the North African fretless lute (oud), bouzouki and nylon string flamenco guitar, played by Greg.

A classic selector, jazz influenced and well known to Cape Town audiences, appearing for the second time only in Johannesburg ... plays tunes across the genres, all very dope.

Currently enjoys playing alongside the infamous dj trouble, as well as mix 'n blend's Kevin and Jon... not forgetting regular partners in crime the boogieman and blunted stuntman! Cape Town residencies include Joburg bar in long street, Caprice on Camps Bay beach, Mystic Boer in stellenbosch, african dope parties and downstairs at the homegrown ... previously massive support slot: dj Cam at Vudu lounge.

"i love the possibilities of combining the organic with the electronic .. and i'm never scared to madly contrast genres in the same set. lap steel hawaaian sounds are doing it for me at the moment .... "

November 2004 marks the 20th anniversary of the band known as Jack Hammer.
Jack Hammer is more than just a band - it is a roundabout of musicians. A collective that over the years has included amongst its members American Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton, McCully Workshop keyboard wizard Rupert Mellor, Kwaito master producer Gabi le Roux, Not My Dog guitarist Lanie vd Walt, prog-rocker Kenny Henson, Blues Broer Simon Orange, saxophonist supremo Mike Faure, and many, many others. As band roadie Hendry Jackson (who is immortalized in the song 'Laat Die Wiele Rol') said, "I have seen many Jacks, so to speak, come and go in my time, I tell you."

an Blohm is Sunnyside Karoo Gronk. Hy is reeds daarvan beskuldig dat hy Ben Harper meets Theuns Jordaan is, maar hou vol dat hy eerder 'n elektriese digter is. Blohm word goed ondersteun deur Die Ware Noord, wat bestaan uit Bass speller Faber en Wayne David Son op dromme. Sy debuutalbum, Melkstraat Confessions, het begin van die jaar op winkel rake verskyn.

In the mere two years that Jo Day has been on the SA Rock scene, she and her B.A.N.D. (Bad-Ass Nocturnal Dudes) have released three highly-acclaimed albums, amassed an astonishing nine radio hits, released three music videos, performed amongst the headliners at fifteen major festivals, and acquired a veritable army of dedicated fans.

Her peers have dubbed her "The 'Jo of Arc' of SA Rock".
Her band is hailed as "One of SA's greatest bands".
The media, fellow bands and fans alike call Jo Day "The Queen of SA Rock".

Born in Brussels as the daughter of a South African diplomat, Karen grew up in Belgium and Johannesburg where she became a teenage busker, honing her songwriting, guitar playing and singing skills on the streets of Melville.

In June 2001 EMI released Zoid's first solo album, Poles Apart, which fired the imagination of both critics and the public to such an extent that Karen Zoid became an icon of the South African youth, which the press renamed the Zoid Generation. In 2004 both Time Magazine and US News & World Report highlighted her role as an icon.

Touring the country and often headlining major festivals, she is supported by her accomplished band members Don Reinecke on lead guitar, Llewellyn John on bass and Etienne Oosthuysen on drums and percussion.

KARMA (Cancelled)
South Africa's celebrated pop chanteuse Karma-Ann Swanepoel achieved national success in late 1996 with the release of her debut album "Slap In The Face" under the moniker Henry Ate at the tender age of 21. In 1998 Karma released her second album. The album was titled "One Day Soon". Henry Ate went on tour that year with South Africa's most popular artist, Johnny Clegg. The year was capped off when Karma won Pop Album Of The Year at South Africa's SAMA awards (South African equivalent of the Grammy) for "One Day Soon". Karma accepted the award as Henry Ate. The S.A. Video Awards followed and Karma won video of the year for "Tuesday Afternoon". Henry Ate was soon headlining every major music festival in South Africa, and toured with Garbage in 1999.

After all the success, the ravages of the music business, Karma has emerged with a healthy outlook, currently writing the best songs of her young career and is ready to show the rest of the world what South Africa already knows. Here is an amazingly prolific young songwriter who is teetering on the brink of worldwide recognition.

Since the far of days when Kid Fonque was messin' about with downbeat and hip hop, legendary and original "Liquid Lounging" (now Lilo productions) picked up on the flavour and booked Fonque for numerous classic underground parties including "More Togetherness" and "Bass and Blues".

As nodding your head in chill rooms, 2nd floors & back bars in the Late 90's early 2000's was happening more often, a 2 ½ year residency at 206 came his way.

With a passion for music and a open environment to play in, Fonque's taste and selection grew, instead of noddin' the whole night you where finding yourself breakin', noddin', samba'n, and groovin' to an amalgamation of sounds.
Friendships and essential partnerships came from this open-minded playing; soon enough Troy (Inspirit recordings) would join kid on his musical excursions.
Including a yearly partnership with G-Force at Rustlers called the "Eclectic ride".

A variety in styles and flavours started putting Fonque on main floors rockin' a different beat- housy, broken, nujazz, breaks whatever it was you where sure to hear consistency and quality throughout.


Founder members Theo Crous and Francois Breytenbach Blom are joined by new recruits Rob Nel on Bass and Paul Blom on drums. KOBUS! delivers a frenetic black humor-horror stage show with songs from their new album 100% Skuldgevoelvry.

When Koos Kombuis and Valiant were invited to the little Oppikoppi bushveld bar, which doubled as a small time bushveld bungalow rental business; the intention was actually much more personally hedonistic. The family liked the tunes and was mildly surprised to find out that they actually accepted the invitation.

Koos Kombuis was one of the first bands to play at Oppikoppi. His tunes are old favourites and this South African music legend will be one of the not to be missed performances at the Oppikoppi 10 Birthday festival.

Die vertrekpunt van al Laurinda se musiek is gedigte. Die eerlike en sielvolle vertolkings spreek tot poësie liefhebbers sowel as rock-en-rollers. Sy begelei haarself op klavier en word verder bygestaan deur van die land se voorste musikante soos Schalk Joubert, Barry van Zyl, Mike Rennie, Nic Turner, Albert Frost asook Nina en Lise Swart. Sy word gehoor by al die groot kunstefeeste en die musiekfees, Oppikoppi. Tydens 2003 se woordfees op Stellenbosch deel sy ook die verhoog met Laurika Rauch en Valiant Swart in die produksie Die skoene wat jy dra.

Liela has been making music since she was at school. She sings rather nicely, but has unfortunately never learned to play the guitar properly. Her favourite gigs nowadays are at Oppikoppi Festivals. It is with the encouragment of the Oppikoppi Crew that Liela took to the stage as a solo act again.

Loose Cannon is a Pretoria based South African hip-hop group and consists of two members, Midas Touch (Craig Moeti) and Sultan (Mpande Simelane). The band was formally established between the latter part of the year 1999 and early 2000.

In their time around, Loose Cannon has shared stages with local Hip Hop artists such as Brasse Van Die Kaap, Ready D and Godessa to rock groups such as The Narrow and Soil 7T7. They have worked with and produced for artists such as Sifiso Sudan, Tumi, Capricorn (a Norway based artist) and Solo. As well as have made tracks for two compilations scheduled to be released 2004. One belonging to In Time records, a New York based label and the other a product of DJ Bionic, an accredited South African DJ. At current they are finalizing the release of their initial album and are still aspiring to accomplish many set goals original and new, Loose Cannon remaining the concept.


Oppikoppi 10 is the hearth that seats the melting pot of the old with the new this year. The stage is set to be ablaze through the merging of two giants- Mabi Thobejane (venerable musician and veteran of bands like Malombo and Sakhile) and Rudeboy Paul (Radio Dj, Poet, Producer, Entrepreneur…). This is sure to thrill as this marks the creation of a new age sound and the inauguration of a brand new era.

It all started with a desire to meet thee ‘Conga King’, a man he so admires and Rudeboy Paul saw his dream realized through Rudeboy Productions forming ties with MELT 2000. But it was with performing at Oppikoppi that an idea for a collaborative effort with the ‘King’ was cultivated. Apart from the age difference, these two men share a love for drum playing and African music among other things. Rudeboy saw an opportunity no man could lose.

Manage a trios is one of the youngest bands submerging from the Pretoria music seen. Previously known as Aurial's Habit, this three piece band have been together since last year October, and after one or two lineup changes Aurial seems to be settling down with Garth de Meillon on bass and Jako on drums. This is the same lineup that played at the recent easter festival. Manage a trios is a blend off pop, rock and even a hint of R&B that is rounded of with smooth poetic lyrics from Aurial.

Mesadoth; a group of outcast Viking who were thrown from their own village for displaying extremely overly destructive and malicious behaviour. This group of Vikings were then forced to form their own separate clan called The Mesadoth. Based in Boksburg, this band was formed in 1995 with a traditional trash metal style of music. To date they have played 95 different venues all over South Africa with a total of 163 live performances.


Born in Kwa-dwesi, Port Elizabeth, MXO has been in the game for more than a while now. MXO has gone as far as opening and performing alongside grand artists such as Blk Sonshine, Brenda Fassie, Moses Molelekwa and more. After creating Roots in 2000 with Sliq the duo began performing at various gigs such as the Jazz Arts Festival 2000, OppiKoppi, Splashy fen and also featured and interviewed by some of Johannesburg's number one radio and television station such as Metro, Y FM, Kaya FM, Etv's Toasty Show and Castle Loud. Just as their career was beginning to take off, MXO and Sliq parted ways to pursue their solo projects. As of right now MXO's music is on high rotation on SA's biggest radio stations. He is talk of the town as his face has been appearing on numerous press publications, his video is on national television. MXO continues to bless audiences with his lyrical content at various events that deal with issues ranging from HIV and AIDS to violence against women. And all this is just a taste of things to come.

Currently Resident at Die Mystic Boer Bloemfontein, Former resident at "206".

Louis Botha dr and Dj mixed the 2nd 206 cd release called Heavyweight Beats.
I have played at various one off gigs eg. ICE, Camel Experience and along side international dj' such as John Carter, Cut La Roc and Luke Vibert. I have also Played at about 3-5 other previous Oppikoppi's. I Have assisted with remixing SA Artists such as Mandoza, TK Zee and Moodphase 5. Currently working on an Album of my own and also in Comunity Radio in the Free state.

With influences ranging from John McLaughlin and Miles Davis to Soundgarden and Led Zeppelin and also covering over nu-jazz and various other forms of cutting-edge dance music, Nine had managed to come up with a sound that was hard and fresh and not afraid to take chances, while remaining inherently funky. If it was obvious, it was avoided, and other avenues were explored, without compromise.

1996 the year of their first OppiKoppi performance.


Pestroy is a band that kick’s ass. They are a real band. They are a band who have paid their dues, and in doing so they have honed their formidable collective skill into a single sonic weapon of mass disruption. There are bands in the world who sound is so distinctive and so innovative that it is impossible to mistake or to ignore. Pestroy is one such band. Pestroy have been spreading the word and fighting the good fight for seven years now, and their live performance has become legendary. At Woodstock 2003, police shut down their set for playing too loudly and creating too much ruckus. In a country starved of international attention, particularly in the Nu-metal genre, Pestroy have stepped up to the plate and have become the de-facto flag bearers of the home grown scene, giving local fans something to hang their hat on. Pestroy’s stage presence, razor sharp sound and air-tight technical prowess make them an event-organizers dream (or nightmare if your trying to maintain calm silence) and they have repeatedly headlined the country’s biggest festivals including Splashy-Fen, multiple Woodstock’s, numerous Oppikoppi’s and closed the show at Barney Simon’s Farewell (from 5FM).

Piet Planter, algemeen bekend as die Plantmasjien, is 'n liedjieskrywer, blokman, deeltydse boer en laaste maar nie die minste 'n sanger van formaat.
Piet, wat van Migdol in die Wes-Transvaal kom, is ook die eerste Afrikaanse sanger wat sy CD, almal oppie moltrein, in London vrygestel het, nog lank voor dit in Suid Afrika 'n draai gemaak het. 'As seen on TV', terug by Koppi 'by popular demand', beskryf as rou, sielvol, stuitig, maar nooit vervelig nie.

The band was brought together in 2001 to perform at the Oppikoppi Tuned festival held at the Fountains and played the following year again at the Plunge festival. Playing at various functions and pubs and a combined performance with Slugs of War the group have come to be known as generally accepted entertainment vir die dronk en merry. For Oppikoppi 10 the band is hoping to bring on entirely new elements into the weekend by combining drums, lead and bass with the bag pipes. If anything it will raise an eyebrow.

Prime Circle was formed in December 2001 in the small town of Witbank and have melded themselves into a "prime circle" of entertainment - they co-write all their material! Ross (vocals) the primary songwriter will take an idea to the band and together they all give their input and hits are born. The collective musical experience of the members of Prime Circle is phenomenal! Gerhard (drummer) has played alongside bands like Squeal, Sons of Trout and Sugardrive. Marco (bass) and Dirk (lead guitar) have played at many festivals and gigs around the country over the last 12 years.



He combines turntablism and beat-boxing in his sets to break from the normal monotony of other D.J's and has his sights set on representing South Africa at the "DMC World D.J Championships".

It can surely be said that Redwood is the first D.J. to amaze audiences while beat-boxing and scratching simultaneously using a head piece microphone (must be seen to be believed). This being his trademark that can only be imitated but never beaten. He was also one of the first D.J's in the country to use the "Final Scratch" in his performances adding versatility across the range of genres helps him fit in and accommodate for any situation.

Redwood can also rock crowds with low down deep house and mid tempo so don't write him off in that genre.

Riku Lätti is 'n wyndrinker, maar is nie eksklusief nie. Hy is meer as ses voet lank en kon al van kindsbeen af redelik goed lees en skryf. Sy vriende ken hom goed. Hy speel ook kitaar, klavier en wend 'n poging aan om die saksefoon te bemeester. Dit werk nog nie heeltemal so goed uit nie. Sy lewensmissie is om soveel musiek van die hoogste standaard deur die verloop van sy relatief kort aardse bestaan die lig te laat sien.



A four piece rock outfit that started out in 2001. They've performed with some of SA top bands such Not my dog, Evenflow, Rhutz, Jo Day, The Narrow etc. They've joined forces with Hanu de Jong (The Narrow) to get some recording done. Their music has a very distinctive and fresh sound, hardcore but very melodic and experimental. They have been referred to as a mixture of Muse and Deftones but with their own unique style and approach to the music. Their live shows are very theatrical and highly energetic.


Over seven years of playing everything from funk and rare-groove to old skool hardcore and drum 'n bass has seen smokeyb spinning for some of the most diverse and open minded crowds in the uk and more recently in south africa. As one third of the mix and blend crew he's most at home mashing up the styles to produce a sound 100% his own. 'good vibes is what it's about' says smokey. ' if I'm enjoying it and the crowd is kicking off then anything can happen!'

SOIL 7t7
The Pretoria, South Africa based trio, Soil 7t7, consists of Franco Jamneck (Guitar & Vocals), Jay Bolton (Bass & Vocals) and Bets.V.Z (Drums). The fun loving, music producing unit has been roaming the SA music scene since the autumn of 2000. The four years of their existence have been an amazing rollercoaster ride of playing festivals and club gigs country wide, national coverage and partying up a storm in loads of different locations.

What is there not to love about good old fashioned rock 'n roll, you've got the pounding drum beats, a solid groovy bass line, guitar riffs drenched in blues and some gravelly- voiced bugger singing about fast cars and even faster women. In truth, Rock and blues music is the most pure and honest art form ever born.
The Southern Gypsey Queen hail from Molteno, a small town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The band have caused quite an upstir in the local music scene with there "in your face, back to the roots, old school, blues-drenched" rock 'n roll. When listening to the band you can hear the AC/DC, Led Zeppellin and Hendrix influences in their rock songs and the Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Stevie Ray Vaughan influences in their blues songs.

Unlike most modern groups, the Southern Gypsey Queen are at their best playing live, whether it be a huge festival stage or a small bar on the back streets of nowhere. You will never leave an S.G.Q. show feeling dissatisfied. The S.G.Q are a full-time touring band who have played in every province and city in South Africa.

The Gypseys are also releasing their second album, which will be under Wolmer Records in September 2004. The album is being produced by Jack Hammer front-man, Piet Botha, and Lani vd Walt of Not My Dog, so you can expect the album to be a real celebration of rock 'n roll in all its decadence.

The Nude Girls are an amazing phenomenon. One moment they're a sleek monster stalking your half-awake dreams, teeth grazing the air, leaving the faintest trace of sulphur; the next moment they're a Matric Dance band, bursting with laughter and sincerity, having an insanely good time... They bounce from no-compromise adrenaline-crazed metal to loping, rolling pop-rock and then bounce back to sweetly seductive ballads.

Squeal, one of the bands that ignited the South African music explosion of the mid '90s with their unique blend of driving rock and haunting melodic lines, is back!
The all-new line up retains the dynamic frontman/guitarist David Birch, bursting with a rock energy that captivates and mesmerises all who fall under his spell. Joining him on guitar is Peter Babol, the crazyman guitarist from Durban outfit Lounge Act. Peter adds a new dimension of texture to the sound of the band, complimenting David's guitar work with melodic lines in a style all his own. The rhythm section of the band is punctuated by the accurate, clean and hard-hitting style of Raymond Heesen, ex Blind and Sideshow, combined with the big pumping bass of Angus Kerr.

The band has always been about the fun aspect of rock music, and the new line-up has updated the sound of the band from a traditional rock idiom to the modern, with sophisticated back-beats and unexpected harmonic twists. But the sound is still unmistakeably, uniquely Squeal. Expect to be blown away. Expect to enjoy the hits you know and love. Expect to be surprised.


Stijn's extravert yet funkily spontaneous stage act and his honest-but-passionate compostions have helped him sexify crowds, both headlining and as support act of Goldfrapp, Daan, Mocky or Gonzales. Recent solo gigs include dates in Amsterdam (Paradiso, Melkweg), Berlin (Magnetclub, Club Rio), Paris (Batofar, Pulp, Nouveau Casino), Ghent (Culture Club, Boomtown), Antwerp (Kaaiman, the Scheld'Apen squat) and Brussels (AB, Athanor). All audiences were wonderful!
Stijn also acts on stage, in movies and video clips and in radio and tv commercials. He equally indulges in experimental filmmaking, and together with Dutch filmmaker Joke Liberge, he has filmed and edited the 'making of' documentary of Tom 'dEUS' Barman's "Any Way The Wind Blows" movie. Stijn also deejays on a small scale and has furnished music for various arts projects, e.g. "Mobile Phonics" (Z 33, Hasselt), "Stijn&zo" (Zuidas, Amsterdam), "925" (Nadine / Plateau, Brussels). Fan-dabi-dozy!

We could knock out another clichéd band biog to let people know that this is the great new and improved version of Sugardrive. We could write a list of accolades and achievements, laced with sentiment…But no, we're going to do our talking with the music, a great improvement on the desperate nostalgia characteristic of most bands who stand accused of having been around the block. Sugardrive is not here to reclaim any titles…they're not here to rest on any laurels…assume nothing…expect anything…Either way, you'll be hearing from Sugardrive.

BAFO BAFO is the exciting cross-cultural collaboration between Madala Kunene and Syd Kitchen; two of South Africa's most enduring musical sons.

Their distinctly individual guitar styles and their ability to naturally fuse cultural elements from the diversity abundant in multi-ethnic South Africa, creates a musical landscape that is magical and absolutely unique. The musical tapestry that BAFO BAFO weaves emerges from the synthesis of both musicians' diverse contributions. Syd Kitchen's eclectic use of musical elements that traverse everything from Celtic, Afrikaans, jazz, Cajun, Eastern and African influences is balanced and complimented by Madala Kunene's uncanny ability to develop a Maskanda groove that burrows itself into your consciousness. Kitchen plays nylon and steel string acoustic guitars, recorders, hosepipe flute, percussion and sings. Kunene plays steel string acoustic guitars, mouth bow and sings. All the music is organically co-written and sung in Zulu, English and Fanigalo (urbanslang).

Please visit o listen to soundclips and for more in depth information.



Dit is inderdaad moeilik om jou 'n meer soomlose simbiose tussen fisiese teater, stand-up en kabaret in te dink. En dit alles netjies saam gevat in die tradisionele televisie tydskrifprogram formaat. Nog meer onwaarskynlik is die massiewe herlewing wat dit sou veroorsaak vir poleyester en paisley. En asof hierdie modesondes nie genoeg is nie het Corné en Twakkie nou boonop die "mullet" haarstyl weer van voor af populêr begin maak… Inderdaad, na slegs 'n jaar het The Most Amazing Show reeds so 'n geweldadige indruk gemaak in Kaapstad en Johannesburg, dat terwyl trendy jong mans orals skielik gryp na die skeermesse om weer daai onmiskenbare McGuyver styl van ouds te verewig op hulle koppe, val vrouens en meisies van alle ouderdomme letterlik oor mekaar om by kultus helde van T*M*A*S uit te kom.

T*M*A*S nuwelinge byOppikoppi kan uitsien na 'n superpropvol aflewering van amazingheid wat die hoogs aangeskrewe kontemporêre dans stuk "The Braai Chop of Desire", 'C & T by die movies' ("Ons kyk dit vir jou… in case dis k*k"), groep hipnose, and baie doppe by die kroeg gaan insluit. Sien julle daar!

The Narrow emerged onto the South African performance circuit shortly after inception in 2002, and has subsequently laid an impressive footprint nationwide by means of national club shows and festival appearances. The bands first radio release: 'The Bandit' saw a number one position on 5fm's modern rock chart, with their second single 'Gracious Creature' destined to follow suite. On a national campus radio level the band already boasts four number one hit singles.

Tidal Waves was formed in 1998 by Jacob [guitar-harmonica, vox] and Sam [drums, vox]. They started gaining followers after playing at the biggest festivals like Oppikoppi, Woodstock and opening for the Waillers, Culture and Burning Spear from Jamaica when they were touring Africa. The band has released two albums, HARD WORK and HARMONIJAH. Tidal Waves' music has been described as Original Music for Original People which is Afro-roots-rock-dub-reggae.The band is currently working on a new album which will be recorded soon and will be released this year.Tidal Waves has gained a new following by playing Afrikaans songs which will be on their new album[LEKKER-LEKKER DANS].

Tidal Waves will launch their new single, Lekker Lekker Dans at Oppikoppi.

Loud and cool but very sexy roots rock. Triggerfinger, gives rock-n'-roll that stubborn twist that hits you right in the face. It wasn't easy to capture their mind-blowing live set onto CD but they did it anyway and released their first album In Belgium at the end of January 2004.


Piet Planter Posted by Hello

Tiago a guitarist with more hair than face, Dave the consciously inconspicuous Jewish bassist, Paulo the vigorous face-contorting Mozambiquean drummer, and Tumi a roly-poly twang-festooned Muslim emcee.

This ladies and gentlemen is Tumi and the Volume, arguably South Africa's most electric performers. In just over a year the group has managed to create a distinct musical accent that includes blends of samba, swing, hip hop, reggae and poetry that speaks to the unique reality of the South African experience and still relates to the world in that universal way that only beauty can. Created from a jam session that saw the poetic prowess of Tumi blend in perfectly with that of a boundary stretching new collective of musicians, the result was what we know today as the only reason to go out on a foggy winter night drizzling with acorn sized hail.

Tyburn was formed in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2001. In a very short time they have achieved goals that new bands only dream of, but few get to realize. Not only have they built up a big underground following, but they have performed at South Africa's premier music festivals, namely Oppikoppi & Woodstock. They were chosen as main support acts to two international bands touring South Africa as part of their world tours (The Haunted & Entombed). They have received radio play on 5FM (Barney Simon) with their Demo/EP entitled "Until the End of the World…". With their goals set and the studio time booked to record their first full length album in September of this year, things are really looking promising for this South African band. Putting in extra time in the band room, one can expect Tyburn's most blistering performance at this year's Oppikoppi 2004 Music Festival.

Valiant Swart en sy band is al op die SA musiektoneel sedert Februarie 1990. In hul tienjarige bestaan het die "boererockers" reeds vyf CD's gemaak en oor 'n honderd nasionale toere gedoen. Daarby het hulle al ver oor 'n duisend vertonings in klubs en kroeë gelewer, asook dosyne optredes by feeste landwyd: Oppikoppi, Wingerdstok, Houtstok, Grahamstad, Up the Creek, Hangklip, Rustler's Valley, Oudtshoorn, Splashy Fen, verskeie kampus-joolfeeste, noem maar op; hulle was daar. Op die verhoog is hierdie ouens 'n belewenis. Kragtige, kitaar-aangedrewe rock word afgewissel met sielvolle blues-ballades, Boland-styl. Vra maar enigiemand wat al saam gedans het: Valiant-hulle skop gat.

Van der Want/Letcher haven't played together for two years. Only Oppikoppi with its implied promise of two dozen free Jagermeisters could bring them together again. Chris has spent the past two years in London, gradually becoming a Doctor of Music. Matthew has been defending persons of dubious moral fibre at Jeppe District Court. It should be an interesting set.

Music for the heart and soul - magnetic melodies and power lyrics driven by gritty sweet guitar hooks - this is 21st century songwriting of note.

Singer/songwriter WENDY NEW has hit the local and international music scene with a sound all her own. Born in South Africa and a resident of New York City for many years, she has been playing guitar and writing songs since she was 8 years old.

She has appeared at popular music venues all over the world including New York, Australia and South Africa. She has collaborated with electronica group 310 and has had songs of hers feature on film soundtracks and on Coca-Cola Popstars.

Her songs are a unique synthesis of pop, world, hip-hop, folk/rock and electronica genres while lyric images span the globe, with magnetic gritty sweet melodies and kickarse grooves.

Her recently released CD Dissolve in the Sun, is a culmination of her myriad music and songwriting talents. Wendy New is not to be missed for an original sound and performance experience. Check out for more info.

Wickhead is a 5-piece rock band built on blood, sweat, tears and a strong brotherhood of love, respect and friendship. The band has worked relentlessly for 3 years on their passion - the music. Mark (guitars) first met Bronic (vocals) in 2000 and his crazy antics soon sparked off a friendship and partnership that would fuel the initial fire that became Wickhead.

After extensive pre-production and finding the right members, Wickhead began performing in August 2001. Since then they have built up from a small fan base to a very strong following. Wickhead ranges from heavy energetic rock, to melodic acoustic songs that the audience inevitably take home with them... it is rare for an audience to walk away disappointed.

WONDERBOOM is a rock band that has lived the dream that many have aspired to.
A phenomenon that has created life on stage and off, WONDERboom prides itself in the fact that they have created a style of their own by embracing all that is around and turning it into Rock 'n Roll.

They write and perform songs about love, drugs and other various scenarios.

All about the power, WONDERboom never cease to turn any slow ballad into a massive stomping hit by always giving it full throttle

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Red Dust

Based on Gillian Slovo’s (daugther of South African communist party leader, Joe) novel of the same title, RED DUST stars Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank, Chiwetel Ejiofor (DIRTY PRETTY THINGS), Jamie Barlett, Marius Weyers and Ian Roberts. The film is supposed to be "a moving and suspense-filled story that explores the effects of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission".

In RED DUST, New York City prosecutor Sarah Barcant (Hilary Swank) comes home to Smitsriver to represent the interests of the local community in the Commission hearing for Dirk Hendricks (Jamie Bartlett), a former local police officer. The Commission investigates apartheid-era atrocities and grants amnesty to those who fully confess their participation.

Key to Sarah’s case is the testimony of Alex Mpondo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who was tortured by Hendricks. She hopes that Alex’s account will force Hendricks to reveal the whereabouts of a missing man in the community, and bring others involved in the case to justice. Alex, however, is uncomfortable with his position of victim and witness, and is reluctant to participate. He is now a promising politician, and fears not only reliving his painful memories of this time, but also facing the unknown truths that lie within them.
Directed by Tom Hooper and written by Troy Kennedy-Martin (ITALIAN JOB, BRAVO TWO ZERO), RED DUST is a Distant Horizon and BBC Films production in association with Videovision Entertainment and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd, and is produced by Anant Singh, Helena Spring, David M. Thompson, and Ruth Caleb.

Toronto Film festival also to focus on SA

A decade after the fall of apartheid, the 29th Toronto International Film Festival September 9 to 18 will train its spotlights on Johannesburg with a dozen South African films and documentaries on the bill.
The South African offerings will include Darrell James Roodt's Yesterday, the first film made in isiZulu, and the world premier of Terry George's "Hotel Rwanda." "Hotel..." is based on the true story of a Hutu who saved thousands of Tutsis from massacre during the 1994 genocide by putting them up in his deluxe hotel. Another world premier will be Red Dust starring Hilary Swank, a film made against the backdrop of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Also shown will be:
Max and Mona,
Zulu Love Letter,
Cape of Good Hope,
A South African Love Story, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, and
Mozart - the music of the violin.
"We think South Africa is absolutely the most interesting new country to emerge on the international scene in years," festival director Noah Cowan told a press conference Wednesday.  I say. That's quite a statement.

Black men kiss for the first time on SA TV

Two young black men kiss in a moment of tender passion. They've been repressing their feelings for each other, but they cannot hold back anymore. It's a beautiful moment coming up on South African TV last week, but there's a chance this latest ground-breaking plot in the award-winning Yizo Yizo will cause controversy for the series, which has stirred debate many times before.
It's another first for South Africa, and another sign of how ground breaking, diverse and outspoken the SA cultural and entertainment industries have become. 
The episode of Yizo Yizo 3 sees the two characters involved in a passionate encounter against the backdrop of inner-city Joburg. Thiza, played by Tshepo Ngwane, has experienced something of a change in character on his journey towards discovering his sexuality. And he and the artistic African literature student Thabang, played by Makhaola Ndebele, engage in an on-screen first for South African television - a kiss between two black men.
Read more

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Ivory mask awarded best SA short film in Durban

Close on the heels of AFDA winning Best Short Film at the Zanzibar International Film Festial with the film SENTER, comes AFDA 2003 motion picture medium graduate Lucky Lehlohonolo a.k.a. "Shaft" Moropane.
He walked away with Best South African Short Film, IVORY MASK, produced under the banner of the M-Net New Directions project. The film was one of two that Shaft had in the competition, the other being his 3rd year graduate film SMALL STREET. "Shaft has a unique voice and loads and loads of Joburg urban chic and style. His characters aspirations and their problem-solving are relevant to today's youth." Garth Holmes - Executive Chairman AFDA.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Short takes SENTER stage

A 3rd year short film SENTER produced by students from AFDA - The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance has won the Golden Dhow award for best short film at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.

This is quite an achievement considering the number of entries from around the world. South Africa had a number of documentaries, short films and two features at the festival.

SENTER (Afrikaans: center) is a seven minute film about South African society in transition, using Rugby as metaphor.

Director: Rudi Steyn
Producer: Ryan Poole

Being Pavarotti scores twice

Being Pavarotti, the documentary produced as part of SABC's Project 10 took the best South African documentary, at the Durban International film festival. Then, a few days later it got Special Mention at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.

Being Pavarotti was directed by Odette Geldenhuys and produced by Ingrid Gavshon of Angel Films. Odette gave up a career as a Human rights lawyer to become film maker.

Project 10 series executive produced by Steven Markovitz, Letebele Jones and Jennifer Fox.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Elton Posted by Hello

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.

UKkasie surprises in more ways than one

Ukkasie was OK-ish - in fact better that expected in most respects, BUT and this is a big but - it was not well organised. The organisers completly underestimated the amount of people that wanted to attend, and I must say, that besides the odd band like Klogjag, it was sadly lacking in fresh and cutting edge Afrikaans music.

It was essentially a tale of two festivals. That of the young travellers in Leytonstone and the ex-pats in the Royal Albert Hall. The former was fun, the latter was very pretentious and even embarasing. The expats had no desire to take hands with Africa as the organisers wanted. Granted, the compare almost tried to force them to take hands. The mantra was repeatedly uttered through the tedious three hour show and the crowd coerced to take part. They shouted abuse in return. What a shambles.

Lucas Maree stood out in the Royal Albert hall. His guitar play and singing was touching and beautiful. He sang Johannes Kerkorrel's, Gee jou hart vir Hillbrow - echoing the organisers plea to take hands and feel with Africa. This was lost on most of the audience.

What ever one thinks of Steve Hoffmeyer's artistic merits, he was very professional and held much of the show together. Pity he did not floor some of the more obnoxious expats with one of his famous right hooks. Steve *is* cool.

Steve - a father of the nation - held the show together Posted by Hello

As for the Leytenstone event, it went well. There was even a spontanious rendition of Nkosi. For that to happen at an Afrikaans festival was unthinkable a few years ago. How times have changed.
The final word on this event from a posting on Gumtree: I met you at the zulu bar in leytonstone on a friday night. You were taking photos (for some website i think??)I'm in one of your pics, I'm the quy with the green shirt who thought you have the cutest accent in the world! You hit my friend twice because he was being a bit too forward(sorry he was very drunk), and then spat on him. (that was classy! he he) Anyway, besides the fact that your absolutely stunning, your unlike any girl i've ever met, extremely smart and sarcastic and feisty.. i was too nervous to ask for your number after what you did to my friend but if you would give me a chance i promise i hit my friend twice as hard.If anyone knows this girl or who did she work for please let me know, i am completely in awe. cheers.

SA movies lack Entertainment value

Christo Obeholzer argues that SA film plots lack an entertaining edge.

When will the South African film industry put itself on the international filmmaking map? It’s a question that has been asked many times and a question that will never be answered until our local audiences start watching our films. But, judging by the standard of our local films we won’t be putting anything onto any maps for a very long time.

Over the next few weeks two local films will be released onto the local cinema circuit in an attempt to grow our struggling little industry.

The first is Forgiveness (which had its release two weeks ago), and which forms part of the DV8 feature film initiative. The second is Anant Singh’s first ever isiZulu feature film, Yesterday, directed by Darrell Roodt. Both these films are guaranteed distribution into the local market, which is fantastic, but what good is distribution if no one wants to see them?

Yesterday doesn’t contain any elements that would get the majority of a cinema going audience excited. It does, however, contain elements that would rather make them stay at home. The synopsis reads like a high school maths textbook, and it immediately sounds preachy. It’s too didactic and too concerned in getting a “message” across. And, in my opinion, this is where the majority, if not all of South African post-Apartheid cinema fails.

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Sunday, July 11, 2004

Zulu Love Letter

In Ramadan Suleyman's ZULU LOVE LETTER, Thandeka's (Pamela Nomvete Marimbe) life is severely altered when she and her friend Mike are arrested after witnessing the murder of a young female activist: Mike, a photographer, is also killed, and Thandeka, pregnant at the time, is beaten so badly that her daughter is born deaf and mute. Years later, Thandeka is a journalist with writer's block who can't shake her personal demons, nor the gnawing sense of guilt that alienates her from her family.

Zulu Love Letter presents the desperate and emotional journey of two mothers searching for their daughters. Tormented by the haunting images and unrelenting grief of the past, single mother and journalist, Thandi has difficulty communicating with her estranged daughter, Mangi.

Thirteen year old Mangi is deaf and dumb due to the beating that pregnant Thandi received at the same time that her friends, Mike and Dineo, were murdered by an Apartheid Squad. Mike and Dineo's fate pursues her, especially when Dineo's mother appears, requesting that Thandi testify before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

This emotionally engrossing, yet refreshing, visual gift explores the final agony of healing from the intimate perspective of women and mothers.

About the Director

Ramadan Suleman graduated from the Center of Research and Training in African Theater in 1981. Besides directing several plays, he helped to found the first black theater in South Africa, the Dhlomo Theater.

He attended the first Direct Theater Workshop in Johannesburg and studied in Paris. He then directed two documentaries, Sekouba (1984) and Ezikhumbeni (1985). In 1986 he participated on the shoot of Souleymane Cissé's Yeleen.

In 1988 he graduated from the London International Film School and directed Raging Walls, followed by The Devil's Children (1989). He was assistant director on Souleyman Cissé's Waati. Fools is his first feature film. His latest offering is Zulu Love Letter, part of the feature film competition strand at the Cape Town World Cinema Festival (12-20 November 2004).

Starring: Pamela Nomvete Marimbe, Mpumi Malatsi, Sophie Mgelna, Kurt Egelhof, Connie Mfuku

Saturday, July 10, 2004

A South African love story - Walter & Albertina

Tony Strasborg's documentary, A SOUTH AFRICAN LOVE STORY – WALTER & ALBERTINA SISULU, profiles Walter and Albertina Sisulu. Walter was a leader in the African National Congress (ANC) and Nelson Mandela's mentor, muse, and political father. His wife, Albertina, was leader of the coalition organization, the now-defunct United Democratic Front (UDF), and nurtured many young women in the ANC.
The Sisulu partnership became a force to be reckoned with, and their household a sanctuary for their four children and the myriad of rising political voices in the ANC. This compelling documentary paints a detailed and graphic picture of the triumphant history of the ANC.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Star - South African film industry 'needs more fantasy'

Star - South African film industry 'needs more fantasy': "Charlize Theron's Oscar and plans for a Hollywood-style film studio in Cape Town have cast the spotlight on South Africa's film industry.

But with even experienced local filmmakers unsure of where the industry is going, those South Africans about to enter the field are looking further afield.

Tyron Lecki (22) is a third-year film-producing student
at AFDA, the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, based in Auckland Park. He says the diverse cultural backgrounds of South Africa's peoples give the country an edge in the international market.

'All the different groups of people bring new cultural ideas to film,' he says.

However, the local industry is 'too Americanised', and needs to develops its own stars, he says. It is also 'too caught up in realism', in themes of rape, suicide and apartheid's legacy. "

Monday, July 05, 2004

Star - Tax breaks to boost movie-making in SA

Film production costs in South Africa are up to 40% lower than the United States and 20% lower than in Australia, the minister said.

Major films produced in South Africa include The Gods Must be Crazy, Cry the Beloved Country, The Piano Player and Sarafina.

Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell are currently in the country filming Ask the Dust.

"The film industry is one of the most powerful vehicles we have to bridge the gap, to build stronger ties," said Jeannette Ndhlovu, South Africa's newly appointed consul-general to Los Angeles.

The worldwide entertainment and media industry is expected to grow from $1,1-trillion to $1,4-trillion in 2006, said Mxolisi Matshamba, the acting chief executive of Trade and Investment South Africa.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Incentive Scheme to Grow SA Film Industry while US film dudes cry foul

On the same day that said that the South African film industry is set for a boom, following the introduction of an incentive scheme to foreign and local filmmakers, U.S. cinematographers and other film industry workers have asked the Bush administration to take action against Canadian, Australian and other government filmmaking subsidies that they say have lured away tens of thousands of jobs.

The South African Large Budget Film and Television Production Rebate Scheme is intended to give foreign production companies a rebate of 15 percent and local film makers 25 percent for any money spent in the country for producing the film.

For production companies to qualify, 50 percent of their works must be filmed in the country, while people will also qualify if they shoot feature films, telemovies, television drama series or mini series and documentaries.

Both foreign and domestic film companies who spend R25 million on filming in South Africa will qualify for a R10 million rebate. The rebate is exempt from tax.

National Film and Video Foundation CEO Eddie Mbalo CEO said the incentive also gave an opportunity for local film production companies to form consortiums and operate as businesses, so they ought to grow and produce more local content.

Unfortunately it seems as if the scheme will only benefit very large productions, most of them being made for external consumption, while some have been arguing that small budget movies made for the local market Nollywood style is what is needed to boost South African film.