ISSUE 04 | 2017
The Story of Underwater Filmmakers
+ SAFTAS 2017
The Full List of Winners
CONTENTS / 01
04. Boondogle Films
10 12 20 28
Acquires Rights to International Bestseller
06. A Chat with Rising
Highlights from the country’s largest animation celebration.
Commercials Director Zwelethu Radebe
07. AFDA Alumni and Staﬀ set record at SAFTA’s 2017
Loerie Awards and Talents Durban
10. Students Shine at
6th Cape Town International Animation Festivals
The story of underwater ﬁlmmakers.
12. Submerged! The
Story of Underwater Filmmakers
18. A Chat with
Lemon Reel’s Bernd Curschmann
19. A Chat with
SPECIALISED FILM VEHICLES
Film productions require more than just your average van. Kim Crowie digs deeper.
Black Bean Productions
22. All Eyes on
26. RapidLion 2017
Highlights Africa and BRICS Films
28. SAFTAs 2017 Winners
30. Burkina Faso:
Much Cinematic Potential
See all the winners from SA’s biggest night.
32. Events to Diarise 34. Association News 36. Directory of Advertisers
04 / NEWS
SOUTH AFRICAN FILM COMPANY
ACQUIRES FILM RIGHTS TO INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
Boondogle Films is very pleased to announce that it has acquired the film rights to acclaimed writer Michela Wrong’s first novel, Borderlines, a legal thriller revolving around a border dispute between two fictional countries in the Horn of Africa.
for international distribution by the Little Film Company, based in Los Angeles. Tess won several awards at the Durban International Film Festival and went on to show at festivals in New Delhi, Brussels and Gothenburg. Paul Egan and Kim Williams make up the Boondogle team and are attached to produce Borderlines, in conjunction with international partners. They say, ‘We have been looking for a story that is compelling and contains thought-provoking content that will resonate with a broad audience. Borderlines fits the description perfectly.’
Meg Rickards and Christia Visser
oung British lawyer Paula Shackleton, mourning her lost love, travels to a fledgling African state to help settle a border dispute. But as the despotic regime clamps down, she retaliates, crossing professional boundaries – jeopardising herself and her mission. The book probes the motives behind Western engagement with the African continent and questions the value of universal justice, against a backdrop of escalating tension and deadly courtroom warring between the two sides. Rich with the textures of the Horn of Africa, the novel was highly praised by The Guardian, Financial Times and The Spectator, amongst others,
and Boondogle Films is excited about its cinematic potential. Meg Rickards, who will write and direct, working again with cinematographer Bert Haitsma, says of the project, ‘I’m tired of “saviour” movies set in Africa, so it is refreshing to encounter spiky, obdurate Paula, who ruthlessly interrogates her own role as an outsider and ostensible do-gooder on the continent. The novel’s exploration of moral ambiguity – personal and professional – is a blast of invigorating air.’ British writer Michela Wrong comments: ‘I wrote Borderlines with an eventual feature film very much in mind, so it’s tremendously exciting to see this hope becoming a reality. It’s particularly satisfying to see the option being taken up
by an African production company. Meg and her team immediately understood the book’s central themes and my character’s driving concerns, and I know they will do Borderlines justice.’ Boondogle’s first feature film, Tess, has recently been released theatrically in South Africa and has been picked up
For further information: www.michelawrong.com www.boondogle.co.za Literary agent: Charles Buchan, The Wylie Agency, email@example.com, +44 207 908 5900 Film producers: Paul Egan and Kim Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR A STORY THAT IS COMPELLING AND CONTAINS THOUGHT-PROVOKING CONTENT THAT WILL RESONATE WITH A BROAD AUDIENCE.
NEWS / 05
ZWELETHU RADEBE JOINS EGG FILMS Rising commercials director Zwelethu Radebe has nestled in at Egg Films, where he’ll be working with producer Dumisani Mvumvu from their Johannesburg office.
e have been looking for the right talent to add to our Johannesburg roster for nearly two years, so we are super excited to have Zwelethu join us,” says Egg Films’ executive producer Colin Howard. Zwelethu spent much of his youth behind the lens, recreating his favourite film
scenes with nothing but an 8mm camcorder, his BMX and his younger brother as the actor. By the time he was cast as a caricature of cricket legend Lance ‘Zulu’ Klusener in a washing powder commercial, the film bug had its fangs in deep. Zwelethu finished top of his class throughout film school, winning numerous awards and the bursaries he needed to fund
his studies. The trend continued at his first Loeries, where, just months after graduating, he won Silver for Ster Kinekor Thato in the student category. Still just 27, Zwelethu has spent a busy last three years directing commercials fulltime for both local and international agencies and clients, shooting in nine countries across Africa and Europe.
“I’ve always loved Egg’s work and have been inspired by directors like Terence Neale and Sunu,” says Zwelethu. “That’s the level of work that I want to do. To be the best, you have to surround yourself in an environment where the best are, so I’m looking forward to strengthening my craft here.” Expect a cracking start from this Egg.
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06 / SPOTLIGHT
A CHAT WITH RISING COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR
ZWELETHU RADEBE The Callsheet catches up with Zwelethu Radebe, the latest high-flying director to enter the Egg Films fold.
I THINK WHAT GOT IT THE RECOGNITION WAS ITS HONESTY. THE SPOT REALLY HAD AN AUTHENTICITY ABOUT IT THAT I CONSTANTLY SEARCH FOR IN ALL THE WORK I DO. Zwelethu Radebe
twenty-seven year old who spent much of his youth behind the lens, Zwelethu Radebe has grown into a talented, up and coming commercial director. He proved himself worthy of the biggest and best in the sector when he bagged a Student Silver Loerie for Ster-Kinekor Thato just months after graduating. We find out what inspires him and what’s next for him as he joins Egg Films.
YOU’RE A RISING STAR IN THE COMMERCIAL FIRMAMENT! WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING SO YOUNG AND WORKING WITH AGENCIES AND CLIENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD? It has been like a dream I hope
I never wake up from. It has been really enjoyable to be able to do what I love with so many different people.
out for me as an experience but also for being able to collaborate with Armenians to make a beautiful film.
production team. It’s really great to have an idea scrutinised; it allows you to be more thorough in your pitches and presentations.
TELL US ABOUT THE PROJECTS YOU WORKED ON RECENTLY. WHICH JOBS STOOD OUT FOR YOU AS MEMORABLE, AND WHY?
NOW THAT YOU’VE BEEN TAKEN INTO THE EGG FOLD, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR CAREER? HOW IS EGG FILMS SUPPORTING YOU AS A CREATIVE?
WHO OR WHAT WORK HAS INSPIRED YOU IN 2017 (SO FAR)?
I’m about to complete a project with the FCB JHB team for South African Tourism, which saw me travel Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria and East London. I’m really excited about them because we showcased some cities some might not have through of as travel destinations. I also shot in Armenia for Orange Mobile; this project stands
My move to Egg is an important one for many reasons, one being the work there. The visual style and storytelling of Egg’s work has always been very distinct for me; I’ve always wanted to be part that. The support is felt from the entire ship; input is given from the directors right through to the
I really enjoyed Terence’s recent Adidas campaign – a visually potent piece of work for me.
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR SILVER LOERIE WIN FOR STER-KINEKOR.
When I look back at the project for Ster-Kinekor, I think what got it the recognition was its honesty. The spot really had an authenticity about it that I constantly search for in all the work I do.
NEWS / 07
AFDA ALUMNI AND STAFF SET RECORD
AT SAFTA’S 2017
A whopping 20 Golden Horns were awarded, including Best Feature Film
fter receiving a record number of nominations, AFDA alumni and staff set another record, winning 20 Golden Horns at the SAFTA’s 2017, held at Sun City. The feature film Sink, strutted off the red carpet with five Golden Horns, including the ‘big one’ – Best Feature Film. “As much as my team made this for the audience and not for the awards we’d be lying if we said we weren’t over the moon with all the recognition that
Sink has received. There really is something special when your peers choose to acknowledge the years of work that you have put into the two hours that appear on screen and say ‘we see you and you did good’. SAFTA 2017 was that moment for the team of Sink and we are incredibly grateful for it, especially given the standard set by all the other nominees.” says Brett Michael Innes, Sink director, scriptwriter and co-editor. Daryne Joshua’s debut
feature film, Noem My Skollie also received five Golden Horns while Jarryd Coetsee’s debut short film The Suit scooped up – Best Short Film. Shoki Mokgape grabbed Best Actress in a Feature Film for her role in Sink and the Youth Achiever Award went to Thapelo Mokoena. The Technical Awards saw alumni winning in all the disciplines and categories, notably Adam Bentel who won – Best Achievement in Cinematography for the TV Drama, Bloedbroers
and – Best Achievement in Cinematography for the Feature Film, Modder en Bloed. “On behalf of AFDA I would like to congratulate all the staff and alumni nominees and winners at the SAFTA Awards 2017 – keep the South African and AFDA flag flying high with your commitment and passion to creating aspirational South African stories for local audiences and by extension, world audiences.” says Garth Holmes, Co-Founder of AFDA.
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08 / OPPORTUNITIES
LOERIES AND TALENTS DURBAN CALL FOR ENTRIES
Entries for the Loeries Awards are now open, as are the 10th Talents Durban, which will take place during Durban International Film Festival.
across Africa and the Middle East. Deadline for entries is 15 May 2017. Entries received before 14 April will receive an early bird discount of 10%. For more information, visit www.loeries.com.
TALENTS DURBAN CALLS FOR PROJECT SUBMISSIONS
© The Loeries & Gallo Images
LOERIES CALLS FOR INNOVATIVE WORK
As the leading creative awards for the brand communications industry across our region – the Loeries reward the most innovative work in all media – even novel areas like music videos, architecture, shared value and service design. Expected to attract more than 3 000 entries, the Loeries has introduced a new entry system to simplify the process and allow entrants more control over their submissions. Categories have been revised to mirror the constant changes across the media landscape with three new categories this year: • Design for Digital: Within the Communication Design
category, this addition recognises the important role of design in digital media. • Data-Driven Campaigns: An extremely timely area of modern communication, this category focuses on the creative use of data to shape campaign strategy, inform execution, profile audiences, and adapt to campaign performance and engagement metrics. • The Facebook Challenge: As part of Facebook’s support of young creatives, this student category focuses on the use of mobile media to promote a socially relevant cause. Brands and agencies are encouraged to enter their best work for the highest accolade
The 38th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal, with support from Berlinale Talents, is proud to announce the opening of applications for the 10th Talents Durban taking place 14-18 July under the theme “Perspectives; Seeing Things Differently”. This year, Talents Durban opens submissions to African writers and directors with fiction, documentary and hybrid projects in development. Talents Durban will again welcome projects of all media formats such as film, television series, web series and
content for mobile platforms. As part of the 10 year celebration, the 2017 programme is also opened to alumni of Talents Durban, building on sustainable networks and opening doors for collaboration. As before, Talents Durban will host mentorship and hands-on training for emerging film critics. The Talent Press programme is a co-operation with FIPRESCI and the Goethe-Institut. Talents Durban is also excited to include a new discipline in Animation and Visual Effects. The Animation Studio, will be launched as part of the programme to keep Africa at the forefront of current and new cinematic technology. Entries close on 5 May 2017. For more information, contact Lungile Ngubelanga on +27 31 260 3586 or email talentsdurban@ gmail.com. Applications can be submitted on www.berlinale-talents. de/bt/durban/ap/info/index or on www.durbanfilmfest.co.za.
EXPECTED TO ATTRACT MORE THAN 3 000 ENTRIES, THE LOERIES HAS INTRODUCED A NEW ENTRY SYSTEM TO SIMPLIFY THE PROCESS AND ALLOW ENTRANTS MORE CONTROL OVER THEIR SUBMISSIONS.
SPOTLIGHT / 09
CTIAF DREW THE CROWDS A
s CTIAF 2017 drew to a close, Dianne Makings, Festival Director, said, “One of our keys successes has been showcasing the wealth of South African talent and connecting industry players from all over the world. This year, in addition to our longstanding relationships with the French animation industry, we have been delighted to welcome delegates from Japan and Canada. We are grateful to have secured Graham Peterson as a late addition to the programme. Graham has a wealth of experience including animation supervisor on projects such as the hits Bob’s Burgers, and Rick and Morty. During the Festival, Capetonians had
a once-off chance to catch amazing films that are otherwise not distributed in South Africa, and the industry events have planted seeds that we hope will grow into fruitful associations.”
REVOLTING RHYMES A CTIAF HIGHLIGHT
The packed room was treated the inside scoop on the making of Revolting Rhymes, a Magic Light Pictures and Triggerfish collaboration. The Triggerfish team told the rapt audience about the unique struggles of working on such a complex project within an extremely tight deadline, and showed a behindthe-scenes look featuring praise from their international partners.
Adriana Piasek-Wanski, Supervising Producer: “Every single [illustration] was studied very carefully and translated as loyally as possible into a three-dimensional world. Triggerfish did a lot of the heavy lifting for us, they dealt with the most technical aspects of the job. We had over 50 characters and a whole raft of crowd characters, over 50 unique environments, and over 150 props. Everything had to be designed and then modelled, and then rigged and textured, then shaded and lit and comped. All this required a whole host of artists with different areas of expertise to create every single frame that you see in the film.”
Jakob Schuh, director of Revolting Rhymes: Triggerfish, who is the South African studio who came into this project at a time when it was very clear that it would be very difficult, and said “we’re going to be able to do it”. This was a big leap of faith on their part, especially because they knew they were getting into a project that was running and the moment they [commenced work on the project], they would have to run with us and trust us. I’m really grateful and amazed by what they pulled off. We wouldn’t have the film without Triggerfish, and also we wouldn’t have such a beautiful film without them. That goes for animation, and it also goes for the final image.”
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10 / SPOTLIGHT
Toni Andrews, Kent Mayne, Farnaz Esnaashari-Charmatz, Chris Torline and Harry Ravelo
STUDENTS SHINE AT SIXTH CAPE TOWN
INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL Proudly presented by Animation SA, the sixth Cape Town International Animation Festival took place from 3 to 5 March 2017 at the River Club in Observatory and at the Labia in Gardens, Cape Town.
ffering something for all ages, the annual Festival brings South Africans the chance to catch some of the world’s best animated films as well as an exciting range of masterclasses and workshops with global industry leaders, providing a rare opportunity to engage with them.
A highlight on the programme is the annual student competition and awards evening, which gives a platform for animation student work to be celebrated and recognised across various categories, for both team and individual projects. There were an incredible 67 entries this year and the judging panel comprised various leaders in the industry.
Nickelodeon once again sponsored the phenomenal prize for two students to have the opportunity to do an internship at Nickelodeon in the USA. Creator of the animated series Shimmer and Shine, Farnaz EsnaashariCharmatz from Nick Animation Studio and Chris Torline, Nickelodeon Channel Director, handed over the award to winners
Toni Andrews and Kent Mayne. “The calibre of entries just gets higher every year,” says Shani Campbell, schools coordinator for the Cape Town International Animation Festival. “It is also encouraging for the upcoming students to sit in the audience at the awards evening and aspire to great heights in their work by watching
SPOTLIGHT / 11
their peers before them.” An additional award added this year was the Draw for Life Most Promising Student award, which was won by Dawood Salie, the prize for which is a Wacom tablet gifted to Draw for Life by DDS and Wacom Europe. Draw for Life was started by Animation SA and PASCAP Trust with the support of The Animation School, Animate Africa and Digital Canvas Academy to find and nurture the skills of talented learners from diverse backgrounds and to help them discover the art of drawing for animation.
Character Animation / Team Production - Depesh Cara, Eduardo Rocha and Dirk Coetzee at The Animation School for Ben And Jerry
THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
Visual Fx Team Production Matthew Dunwoody at The Animation School for Nova
Character Animation / 1 Year Students – Rita Du Plessis at Learn 3D for Pork Heart Character Animation / Individual Projects - Traditional/ Tradigital - Tamlyn Nunes at City Varsity For Street Rat Character Animation / Individual Projects Digital Karien Benz at The Animation School for Primal Instincts
CTIAF student award winners
Story / Team Production - Kelly McCarter at The Animation School for Hewn Art Direction / Team Production - Sebastian Kristiansen at The Animation School for Hewn Lighting / Team Production - Matthew Levack at The Animation School for Ben & Jerry
Best Production 1st Year Students - Dewald de la Rey at Udacity for Julie Best Production / Individual Students Traditional/ Tradigital - Tamlyn Nunes at City Varsity For Street Rat Best Production / Individual Students Digital - Karien Benz
at The Animation School For Primal Instincts Best Team Production Alison Parker and team at The Animation School for Ben & Jerry. The team is Depesh Cara, Dirk Coetzee, Matthew Levack, Thivhusiwi Mamaila, Alison Parker, Eduardo Rocha and Anrich Wolmarans The Chaos Group sponsored annual licensed software to three winners who will be able to choose from a range of world class programmes across Best Visual Effects, Best Lighting,
and Best Art Direction. The winners, who were presented with their awards by Stacey Pearson of Touchvision, were Sebastian Kristiansen, Matthew Dunwoody and Matthew Levack. The CTIAF is made possible thanks to generous support from sponsors the National Film and Video Foundation; Wesgro; Animation SA, the French Institute of South Africa, The Embassy of Japan and the Canadian Embassy. CTIAF has also partnered with Nickelodeon and Draw for Life. Visit www.ctiaf.com for information about the festival.
IT IS ALSO ENCOURAGING FOR THE UPCOMING STUDENTS TO SIT IN THE AUDIENCE AT THE AWARDS EVENING AND ASPIRE TO GREAT HEIGHTS IN THEIR WORK BY WATCHING THEIR PEERS BEFORE THEM.
12 / FEATURE
Bryde’s whale charges sardine bait ball © Underwater Video Services
THE STORY OF UNDERWATER FILMMAKERS Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of an underwater shoot? Kim Crowie dives into this complex and incredibly rewarding side of the film industry.
magine a tightly packed, pulsating ball of sardines being charged by sharks, dolphins, seals and gannets. You’re in the thick of it, filming this fantastic feeding frenzy. A gigantic Bryde’s whale lunges at the baitball from below, coming within inches of your camera. This is the everyday life of an underwater filmmaker. Twenty years ago, this side of South Africa’s movie industry was barely there, let alone professional or regulated. A few decades down the line,
however, and underwater shoots are done by some of the most qualified divers in the business. These specialists range from underwater operators, film divers, and technicians to marine coordinators and supervisors. “Nowadays your crew are key; we now have specialist underwater operators, specialist film divers and underwater technicians. In the last thirteen years we’ve had the pleasure of working with topside camera pros,” explains Jason
Martin, Marine Coordinator at FrogSquad.” But their Achilles heel was the diving part, working in an environment where they weren’t 100% comfortable ended up mostly in very ordinary or basic shoots.” Today, however, South Africa offers up an international level of underwater photography and film that spans from big-budget shoots the likes of Black Sails, Tomb Raider, and Dark Tower to reality TV like Fear Factor and dozens of commercials.
This is also a very niche sector of filmmaking, with most qualified divers needing a good number of years under their belt, qualifications in place and an idea of how to work with highly specialised equipment in the water. Coordinating these kinds of shoots is also more time-consuming than other straight shots on land, given the equipment, expertise and vision of the director that needs to be translated into an unfriendly environment with
FEATURE / 13
limited colour possibilities and potentially dangerous scenarios – how about filming that baitball as part of your day job, for instance. That said, most industry professionals report that although it’s harsh work and long hours, they thoroughly enjoy it – and the rewards are plenty. “There is no typical shoot, it’s both a frustrating and beautiful thing!” says Grant Spooner, Marine Supervisor at Marine Scene. “Practically every job has its challenges; script changes, locations that bomb, equipment fails. You need a team of people with solutions-based attitudes that can rise to the occasion, bring on their big match temperament to galvanise skill sets and deliver a successful outcome.”
Logistics play a large role in coordinating a safe and successful underwater shoot. Producers often forget that these technically-challenging scenes take more time to plan than usual, and that underwater crew need to properly understand a director’s brief and vision in order to make things happen. According to Martin, the job begins with offering up solutions to the board or script. “We then spend a day on recces looking at pools and how to best help the DOP achieve his lighting vision.” The
© Frog Squad
first day is spent blacking out the pool (if it’s a pool or tank shoot) to create the set the director wants, vacuuming the space, and doing rehearsals with the cast to prepare them for the shoot day. When it comes to ocean or wildlife shoots, logistics are rather different. “It is often the camera operator’s responsibility to assist the production in recommending the best venues and seasons for filming various marine animals or occurences,” says veteran Charles Maxwell, Underwater Cinematographer and Diving Supervisor at Underwater Video Services. “However, due to the production scheduling, the producers sometimes end up planning the shoot in an unsuitable season or place that puts tremendous pressure on the camera crew.” He adds that filming wildlife is no walk in the park. “Natural filmmaking is a combination of hard work and extreme luck when you’re in the right place at the right time.” Spooner agrees, emphasising that knowledge, experience and healthy amounts of respect are vital to underpin a successful marine job. “Careful consideration and knowledge of the Marine Protected Areas around our coast and the guidelines controlling any marine activities within these areas are essential.” Above-water shoots can be just as challenging as underwater
ones, says Wayne De Lange, DOP, Director and Producer at Silver Bullet. His specialty is surfing and action watersports, some of which he trains for months in advance – since he spends up to eight hours a day in the water waiting for the perfect moment. “You need to be fit when spending that much time in the water and needing to move around in the sea, otherwise you don’t get the shots, or it just gets dangerous.” When it comes to managing talent underwater, some serious preparation needs to take place. After the cast has been in the water for rehearsals and they know what to expect, it’s important to keep them in the game as long as possible says Martin. “This is where the topside supervisor or coordinator comes in. It is his job to speed up the creative process.” He shares a story from a recent shoot on Black Sails Season 4: “We had one of the lead actors underwater for six days in three different set pieces which were completely
closed areas in a submerged cabin hull. After going through safety procedures, our swim through with Luke Arnold was awesome and the end sequence was an edited 3:30 minute piece in the first episode. Due to the fact that it was the actual actor in the frame 90% of the time, it added huge value.”
HEALTH AND SAFETY LEGISLATION
Naturally, when working in these hazardous conditions, complying with health and safety legislation is a must. Grant Jameson is a respected, lifelong diver and Owner of the Professional Diving Centre. He was also a member of the Governments Diving Regulations – Diving Advisory Council for over a decade, and says anyone working with breathing apparatus underwater needs to follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and diving regulations. “The divers in this industry are normally Class IV trained, although some have
NATURAL FILMMAKING IS A COMBINATION OF HARD WORK AND EXTREME LUCK WHEN YOU’RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME.
© Marine Scene
14 / FEATURE
more training,” he explains. “South Africa uses various codes of practice depending on depth of diving. Normally it falls under the Benign Code of Practice less than 9m depths for in tanks or confined sheltered waters.” Since 2012, film and media divers have been included in the OHSA and these regulations must be adhered to by all production companies. “In very broad strokes,” says Martin, “you need to have a dive supervisor, all your divers should have commercial diving tickets and the underwater operators are also meant to have the same paperwork as the divers. There is a loophole for actors on the definition of work for them, but other than that, all technical crew should be commercial divers.” In addition to having the correct diving qualifications, those who work in the industry also need to fill in a Notification of Diving Form D and send it to the Department of Labour (DOL) with the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) for each day of a shoot. This should include the names of the divers and their certification
Trev Brown Levis © Frog Squad
numbers and dive supervisor name and DOL certification number. Although the film industry is not inspected in the same way as the inshore civil diving industry, failure to comply can result in a fine for each day and a halt in operations.
Thanks to Southern Africa’s abundance of wildlife both in the sea and on land, the entire
coastline is up for grabs when it comes to filming underwater. Filming on location in the ocean does mean that permits are necessary, however. Cape Town and Durban are hotspots for filming the wonders of the ocean, and offer some of the most dynamic and constantly changing marine environments on the planet. Cape Town Film Studios’ tanks have been used in a number of large-scale watery productions including Black Sails. Public swimming pools are also sought after and are often used for smaller shoots or commercial productions. Access to pools can be a challenge as South Africa does not have an underwater studio and what it really needs is a “dedicated Pinewood-type dive tank for features and commercials,” says Martin.
CREW AND TRAINING
Roberto Rinaldi © Frog Squad
In addition to having commercial diving qualifications in order – not to mention at least 2 000 or more hours underwater – Maxwell recommends anyone interested in being an underwater camera operator first become experienced in topside camera operation. “Learning to dive is probably the simplest part of the process. With the new 4K cameras it takes time to become familiar with the setup, lens
selection and data management, and then you need to work with the underwater housing.” Martin echoes his sentiments, stressing the importance of experience in this realm. “Today, our divers are world class, our team untouchable, our experience full circle and we have progressed in the building of a team that boasts international credits such as, Tiger House, Black Sails, Resident Evil, Odyssee, Northmen, The Giver and Tomb Raider. Our divers have become film trained supervisors and our supervisors are now underwater camera operators, trained by the very same operators that started this industry off 20 years ago. Take a bow Charles Maxwell, Chris Lomax, Justin Fouche, Trevor Brown, Peter Belcher and Mike Snyman to mention but a few.” Due to the risky nature of this career, Spooner says it’s imperative to have a very broad experience in filmmaking through the eyes of various departments. “You can’t just be a diver, you have to understand the process of film production; it’s a very different industry with its own set of rules.” Demonstrating the dangers of working in this sector is one of Marine Scene’s recent shoots – a reality TV shoot at the mouth of the Knysna
FROG SQUAD / 15
THE ART OF UNDERWATER FILMMAKING
here is no substitute for experience, unless of course that experience comes with a whole bunch of training. A team of individuals from varied backgrounds who over 13 years have been setting the bar for underwater ﬁlmmaking locally and abroad - enter the Frog Squad. “Originally we looked to the South African Navy to crew up for our diving positions, but over time we came across individuals so dynamic in their approach to working underwater we could not but hire them to join the Frog Squad team”, says Jason Martin Today the Frog Squad oﬀers up an unparalleled diving service in the marine ﬁlm sector. We have been together now for over a decade, the same core crew. Our diving supervisors were progressive in the industry back in 2004, we started oﬀ knowing how to dive well, do underwater rigging and, having had a Navy background, safety was our number-one concern. Over time we learnt what the underwater DOPs wanted from us and we brought our A-game to every dive. We learnt from the best; the likes of Chris Lomax, Trevor Brown, Justin Fouche, Peter Belcher, Mike Snyman and Charles Maxwell. These guys were the forerunners in our industry, and we are truly thankful for their knowledge they imparted on us. Today our divers are world class, our team untouchable, our experience full circle. We have progressed in the building of a team that boasts international credits such as Tiger House, Black Sails, Resident Evil, Odyssee, Northmen, The Giver and Tomb Raider. Our divers have become ﬁlm-trained supervisors and our supervisors are now underwater
camera operators, trained by the very same operators that started this industry oﬀ. As with all service industries, our crew are the backbone to our business, and in this regard we have an amazing setup within our team. There’s a sense of pride being a Frog and those wanting to belong feel a sense of achievement just getting the opportunity to join. We have a sense of tradition not easily replicated, our training comes from within. It’s not the Frog Squad founders Jimmy, AJ and Jason running the show, it’s the Old Frogs: Butch, Stef, Rob, Mike - all of whom have been with us over a decade, who lead our team down below, as they know what’s to be expected, how to take the pressure oﬀ our new Frogs, or more importantly how to turn it on. Our service doesn’t end there, as with every good team comes a good leader, but that leader needs the tools to make
OUR EXPERIENCE IS UNQUESTIONABLE, OUR ENTHUSIASM UNWAVERING, OUR SERVICE TIRELESS AND NOBODY STAYS IN THE WATER LONGER THAN WE DO, AND ALWAYS WITH A SENSE OF HUMOUR.
their job a success. Too often our creative wish lists mean productions are running around trying to source specialised gear requests. The Frog Squad is a one-stop shop when it comes to underwater shoots, we own all the diving gear inhouse, have our own Alexa Mini and Red Dragon cameras in Gates Housings, as well as ultra wide zoom lenses, specialised underwater communciations, marine cleaned black-outs, underwater heads and props galore. Our experience is unquestionable, our enthusiasm
unwavering, our service tireless and nobody stays in the water longer than we do, and always with a sense of humour - it’s the Frog Squad way. www.frogsquad.co.za
16 / FEATURE
WE SOMETIMES JOKE THAT WE ARE MAGICIANS INVENTING OUR TRICKS AS WE GO. EVERY ANIMAL REACTS DIFFERENTLY TO THE PRESENCE OF CAMERAS. © Frog Squad
Heads. “The challenge involved contestants free diving down into a suspended sphere containing an air-pocket in which they had to surface…the nature of the show was that contestants couldn’t know beforehand what the challenge involved, which meant we were dealing with unprepared, unskilled people in a realm of consequence – already a very tricky marine location at the best of times. It was very stressful but an absolute success. In retrospect, we accomplished in one day what should have been a three-day job. It’s amazing what can be achieved with a cohesive crew.”
FILMING VR FOOTAGE UNDERWATER
With a unique perspective, Ulrico Grech-Cumbo, CEO of Deep VR, is a pioneer in shooting virtual reality in water. He recently gave a talk called Shooting VR in Extreme Environments at SXSW after completing an internal underwater doccie building on the success of Exodus: The Great Migration, a VR wildlife documentary capturing the wildebeest migration in Kenya. “VR convinces a person’s mind that they are physically present somewhere, and so the value proposition of shooting in locations that the average person would never be able to physically be quickly leads us to under the surface of water,” he explains.
“The biggest challenge is with the fact that the human species has 100 years’ worth of filming habits to unlearn to master filming in the VR format.” This includes suspending rigs or floats, or motorising cameras to limit unwanted objects (like divers) in shots. The cameras also vary, although their underwater technology is built off the framework of multiple GoPros. “We sometimes joke that we are magicians inventing our tricks as we go. Every animal reacts differently to the presence of cameras. Environmental factors such as waves or predators make it tough for us to bring our vision to life.”
LIGHT, CAMERA HOUSING, ACTION!
Technology and its ability to capture and set the scene underwater plays a huge part in the success of a shoot. According to Maxwell, the Alexa Mini is a very popular camera for TVCs, both underwater and topside. “Camera to surface video feed and camera operator to surface two-way audio communication are standard requirements for TVCs,” he explains. “When a surface video feed is not available, shooting becomes more complex because the director normally wants to review each shot before proceeding…Fortunately, with our underwater camera housing,
full control of the camera playback is available through the external controls so the housing [vacuum-sealed camera cover] need not be opened.” In addition to the Alexa, the RED Epic Dragon is also a firm favourite for underwater shoots. “When I shoot surfing or in the waves, I have to use a custom-built super lightweight RED Dragon water housing,” says Silver Bullet’s Wayne De Lange. But that’s not all. Besides cameras that will manage to capture light properly in dark, often blue-green surrounds, and specialised camera housing to protect them, Spooner says there are also surface breathing systems, conventional scuba equipment, bubble-free
© Marine Scene
rebreathers, Deco chambers and other general diving equipment. Other useful kit investments are underwater propulsion systems, electronic shark deterrents (also known as shark shields), batterypowered body-heat systems, underwater communication systems and hydrophones, conventional sonar and sidescan sonar. Adding to this are props and set dressing, while purpose-built decks for pool work made from aluminium to avoid dirtying the water are just some of the infrastructure available to filmmakers. With all this tech under their belts and a wealth of experience in the water, your next ocean or pool shoot is bound to be a success. Our advice? Jump in!
MARINE SCENE / 17
MARINE SCENE Offering complete peace-of-mind through decades of expertise, the highest safety standards, and the best equipment.
arine Scene is the most established Water Safety and Marine Logistical specialist in South Africa, facilitating underwater ﬁlming for all types of motion picture and stills productions since 1999. The ﬁrst marine support service to implement the use of commercial divers in the local media industry, we were invited by the Dept. of Manpower in 2004, along with Charles Maxwell, to assist with the legislation of Media Diving practice which set the standards for those who followed, and for the professional service enjoyed by ﬁlmmakers today. We are 18 years “incident free” because we don’t cut
corners; always in accordance with the O.H.S Act and backed by correctly certiﬁed personnel and equipment, our operations maintain the highest levels of H&S Best Practice. Prevention is our only cure, and therefore a production’s insurance accountability is never compromised. Whether the focus is on or under the water, we oﬀer our clients genuine production value and peace-of-mind, with our comprehensive support infrastructure and technical expertise. Providing underwater rigging services, recovery work and support for every department
with our state-of-the-art camera boats, dive boats and platforms with surface supply and communication facilities, and a range of equipment such as R.O.Vs, rebreathers, shark shields and Blackdrops. Our Dive Units are versatile and experienced, not only in ﬁlm production but in providing support for marine events and the commercial maritime industry all over the world, complemented by a team of qualiﬁed rescue swimmers, free divers, and specialist Paramedic Rescue Divers with direct access to a Decompression Chamber. Marine Scene also currently represents a selection of talented
Underwater Camera Operators; cutting-edge surf photographers, open ocean wildlife specialists and experienced DOPs pioneers in their areas of specialisation, and equipped with the Canon 5D, the RED Weapon, the Sony EX1, A7S11 and the F55, all with housings and accessories. Please view our website for more information. Website – www.marinescene.co.za Email – email@example.com Telephone – 082 852 0214
18 / SPOTLIGHT
The Callsheet chats to Bernd Curschmann of Lemon Reel about the productions it facilitates, and plans for 2017.
recently documentaries have picked up again to over 50%.
DO YOU FACILITATE PRODUCTIONS OUTSIDE OF NAMIBIA?
Lemon Reel works all over Africa, our oﬃces in Walvis Bay (Namibia) handle southern and west Africa and the Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) oﬃce handles east Africa. We are busy with productions in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Angola and Tanzania at the moment. Other regular destinations include Cuba, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Djibouti. © Karl Andre Terblanche Photography
WHICH DOCUMENTARIES HAVE YOU WORKED ON RECENTLY, AND WHICH PRODUCTIONS ARE PLANNED FOR 2017?
We recently worked with ITV, BBC, Marco Polo Film and Terra Mater. We are currently preparing for a large documentary that will travel to some of the African destinations not normally frequented. Interesting here is
also that a lot of equipment needs to be adjusted and customised to ﬁt the need. Everything Africa has to oﬀer: savannah, desert, rainforest, mountains, salt and fresh water will be visited.
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR WORK IS IN THE DOCUMENTARY FIELD?
The percentage of documentaries changes from year to year,
WORKING IN A REMOTE LOCATION SUCH AS NAMIBIA,
WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE REGARDING THE RENTAL OF THE LATEST EQUIPMENT, ETC.? Lemon Reel owns some equipment that is requested regularly. We have established good relations with several Equipment houses in Africa and Europe and could source and supply most equipment in a short period.
ARE THE DOCUMENTARIES YOU SERVICE MAINLY WILDLIFE FOCUSED?
The documentaries that we service through Lemon Reel are mixed, with the core focus on wildlife and anthropology.
WE ARE CURRENTLY PREPARING FOR A LARGE DOCUMENTARY THAT WILL TRAVEL TO SOME OF THE AFRICAN DESTINATIONS NOT NORMALLY FREQUENTED.
Offering services in Ethiopia, Namibia, Angola, Djibouti, South Sudan and Eritrea +264 81 122 7717 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.lemonreel.com
SPOTLIGHT / 19
BLACK BEAN PRODUCTIONS A chat with James Suter, Director at Black Bean Productions - a production company with a passion for conservation and people.
HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM THE OTHER DOCCIE PRODUCTION COMPANIES IN SA?
We are very involved in conservation, with a background in this. I was a game ranger/ﬁeld guide in Kruger for a number of years and have a passion for this work. My experience working as a game ranger has also allowed us to ﬁlm wildlife on foot, and in a more intimate way. Sam Suter, our Producer, was based in the Kruger with me, when poaching really started to escalate in 2010. When we left and came to Cape Town, I wanted to try and help the situation through ﬁlm. We are a small, close-knit team that has known each other for many years. We also ﬁlm documentary pieces in a very cinematic way - with a big focus on the quality of our footage. We ﬁlm documentary stories to commercial standards. Our Co-Founder and DoP, Oli Caldow, is incredibly talented, and a perfectionist when it comes to shooting - with a very unique style. After graduating from AFDA he gained much of
his experience working in the commercial industry before teaming up with me in 2012.
DO YOU GET COMMISSIONED BY LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS?
Yes – both local and international clients commission us. A lot of our work comes from international organisations that are involved in conservation and are working to create awareness globally or to raise funds for much needed projects on the ground in Africa.
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY PASSION PROJECTS?
Yes, we are working on a longformat documentary this year surrounding human-wildlife conﬂict in an area in Africa where there are no fences; wildlife roams freely here and human populations on the outskirts of this reserve are increasing in size. Human-wildlife conﬂict is a pressing issue without a simple answer, and an issue that is really going to eﬀect the preservation of our wildlife and wilderness areas in Africa long term. Last
year we went on assignment to Ol Pejeta in Kenya to ﬁlm the last three northern white rhinos on earth for the Royal Foundation’s United for Wildlife. This was hard - as they are the last three rhinos of a subspecies and so you feel anger at the human race in a sense for letting it get to this, but at the same time it was an incredible opportunity to spend time with these rhino and to document this in an attempt to reach a wider audience and educate people globally on what is happening. Spreading the word about the illegal wildlife trade - rhino poaching, elephant poaching, the demand for rhino horn, for ivory, for pangolin body parts (the list goes on) and how this is aﬀecting our global heritage is so important. We also have documented the work of many anti-poaching teams, individuals and organisations on the ground doing great work - which assists them in this work they are doing. We have worked alongside Empowers Africa based in New York - that raise money
for organisations in Africa - and this has been so inspiring.
PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR FAVOURITE BEHIND-THESCENES MOMENT.
Meeting the last male northern white rhino on earth (Sudan at 43 years old) and his guardians. Having spent time with many southern white rhinos, our team didn’t realised how this would impact us. He is not only the last male of this subspecies but physically very diﬀerent looking to a southern white rhino. Although a somber moment, and very emotional - ﬁlming him and the people that work at Ol Pejeta was incredibly meaningful. We have had so many amazing moments behind the scenes the people we work with really make all the diﬀerence. Spending time with gorillas is another, camping with anti-poachers in the Namibian desert, ﬁlming the all female Black Mamba anti-poaching unit, and working with children in South Africa inspiring youth that make you feel even more passionate about our country and our continent.
We’re a ﬁlm production company that creates high-quality content that aims to have real impact. It all started with passion - many of our ﬁlms highlight important conservation issues such as rhino poaching that simultaneously give the viewer insight into the amazing people working in the ﬁeld; from rangers to NGOs and individuals doing incredible things. We also shoot commercials and corporate videos that push business forward. Our production and post-production facilities are secondonly to the talent who wield them. TV, COMMERCIALS, DOCUMENTARIES, MUSIC VIDEOS, CORPORATES. WE ARE A SMALL, ADAPTABLE AND INNOVATIVE TEAM BASED AT THE POSTBOX, 218 ALBERT ROAD, WOODSTOCK, CAPE TOWN @blackbeanproductions @jamessuter
Black Bean Productions
20 / SPOTLIGHT
© Imperial Truck Rental
SPECIALISED FILM VEHICLES From car chases and caravans to not-so-simple transportation, vehicles move the film industry forward. We take a quick look at some of the local sector’s offerings.
n today’s volatile market, companies’ successes are dependent on a robust distribution channel that is able to provide a framework to deliver their goods effectively. A basic need for any filmmaker, no matter how experienced, is transportation. It goes without saying that the larger the production, the more detailed the transport requests and needs. This is where companies like Value Logistics and Imperial Truck Rental come on board.
TRANSPORTATION: IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL
Value’s Film Fleet offers ten years of credible experience to support the needs of the film industry, with fully comprehensive transport
and logistics services, tailor-made to any shoot’s requirements. Heading up the department is Margie Welch. Her vehicles are fitted with tow bars, tail lifts and volume bodies. They also build customised units according to customer needs. Value truly goes the extra mile, from providing camera vehicles to lighting, mobile production offices and wardrobes – they’re also the only rental company to offer a technocrane transporter. Some of the productions they’ve been involved in recently include Sink, which won Best Film at the SAFTAs this year, Shepherds and Butchers, The Mummy, Boogie Mountain and Isibaya. The company also worked on the latest Tomb Raiders instalment where they built a
special gym unit for the shoot. A renowned supplier of transport to local and international filmmakers is Imperial Truck Rental’s film division. With offices in the Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, they’ve been involved in all sorts of film features and commercials and can provide the full complement of vehicles required. Some of these are Light Duty Vehicles (LDVs), panel vans, sprinters, both 4 and 8-tonne trucks. “On occasion we receive requests for refrigerated vehicles and drop sides with cranes,” adds Sandy Phin, Business Development Director at Imperial. “Our vehicles are customised to suit our client needs by adding rails for wardrobe, and shelving for lighting and camera gear.”
With the demanding schedule of the film sector, vehicle rental companies need to be available 24 hours a day to accommodate needs and challenges. Imperial’s Cape Film branch in particular has been associated with some incredible big-budget productions including Ultimate Braai Master, The Mummy (shot in Namibia), Blood Drive, Black Sails Season 4, and Of Kings and Prophets. They are currently working on the sets of Maze Runner 3, Tomb Raider, Troy, and Boogie Mountain.
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MOBILE UNITS
Because you never truly know what to expect on location, trailers and mobile units are a must when dealing with big budget
SPOTLIGHT / 21
© Value Logistics
productions and A-listers. Not only are these vehicles used as changing rooms, break rooms and even workshops, but they come in all shapes and sizes, too. Companies like Fleet Star provide a range of services and vehicles in this department. “With an excess of 75 units available for actors, celebrities and crew, Fleet Star is uniquely positioned to provide the best possible solution for your on-set accommodation needs at an affordable price,” says Martin Offersen, Rentals and Marketing Manager. One vehicle is their fullyfitted camera truck with ample storage and a built-in dark room and generator, while artist trailers provide luxurious settings with safari themes, and include a bedroom, bathroom and even a fully furnished kitchen and
sitting room. Production trailers come fitted with whiteboards, air-con, fridges and meeting areas as well as office equipment and furniture. Offersen says that business has been very good recently. Some of the biggest productions they’ve supplied are Black Sails, Dominion, Maze Runner 3, Tremors, The Last Post, Origins, and even the latest Tomb Raider. “Our clients are the top production companies in South Africa namely; Film Afrika, Moonlighting, Out of Africa, Two Oceans Productions, DO Productions, and a large list of commercial production companies.” He adds that over the last few years they have been busy year-round with no winter breaks thanks to more television shows shooting in SA.
They are in the process of building 12 new trailers and are expanding their rental range of products.
MOVIE CARS MAKING MAGIC
You’ve seen these types on the big screen. In action films, they’re the car chases, while in dramas and romantic flicks, they simply add to the scenes glamour and charm. Movie cars need no introduction, although they’re rarely spoken of off-set. South Africa is amongst the world’s biggest car collectors and is one of the best places for classic and performance cars. As such, it is a source for all kinds of interesting vehicles for films, stills and TV shoots. Companies like Picture Cars provide vehicles that add mood to a scene, as well as those that are suitable for cutaways, point of view shots, drive-bys and pull ups. They also
Gauteng / Cape / KZN Film Branch Gauteng: 011 616 7339 | Cape: 021 551 7687 | KZN: 031 492 3189
Lights Camera Action We Help You Get The Job Done
deal with the supply, modification, sourcing and coordination of such vehicles. Some of the recent productions they’ve supplied are Dominion, Mad Dogs, Strike Back, Dredd, Invictus and End Game.
SOUTH AFRICA IS AMONGST THE WORLD’S BIGGEST CAR COLLECTORS AND IS ONE OF THE BEST PLACES FOR CLASSIC AND PERFORMANCE CARS.
22 / SPOTLIGHT
A CHAT WITH
A young woman with enormous acting talent, Christia Visser has seen success in local cinema with some of the most poignant films yet released on circuit. She chats with the Callsheet.
© Michelle DT Photography
un-loving and passionate, Christia Visser is an everrising star in the movie firmament. She broke into the industry on the Afrikaans circuit with Hollywood In My Huis and Ballade vir n Enkeling, but most recently has starred in hybrid doccie Alison and Whiplash adaptation Tess, both of which were released in 2016. This year she stars in The Recce, currently in post-production and set for release later this year. We find out what makes her tick.
SOME OF THE RECENT FILMS YOU’VE DONE ARE HEARTWRENCHING STORIES. HOW YOU GET INTO CHARACTER
FOR DIFFICULT ROLES, BOTH FROM A MENTAL AND PHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE?
I work mostly on instinct, so I start from the inside out. I need to find what my character wants, needs, thinks, feels. Once I have that, the instinct kicks in and the physicality joins up. I do research to understand where the character comes from, with Tess, for instance, I had the privilege of talking to some sex workers, and with Alison I had the privilege of talking to her. I always have to understand why. There is no judging your character, there is only understanding.
HOW DID THOSE ROLES DIFFER IN TERMS OF PREPARATION? WHAT WAS YOUR INITIAL RESPONSE WHEN YOU SAW THE FINAL CUTS FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Tess and Alison, although similar in subject matter, are two completely different films and experiences. Alison is a hybrid feature/documentary style, I had no dialogue and could ‘cheat’ some of the emotional aspects thanks to close ups and short takes. It was difficult as I was portraying a living person, and it was so important to me to do her justice. I had to trust – trust that I was cast in similarity; that she or my director would
speak up if something wasn’t true to that night’s events. With Tess it was a completely different process. I prepped for about two months, one of those rehearsing in the actual space we would be shooting in. We didn’t rehearse any emotion, only blocking and feeling it out so that I could feel what felt natural in her space. I had a long emotional journey with Tess, the film is based on facts, but Tess is a fictional character so I had to let her find me, I had to have patience, and I had to open myself up to some dark realities. Tess had to get completely under my skin.
SPOTLIGHT / 23
THERE COMES A POINT WHERE YOU HAVE TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF, WHERE YOU’VE WORKED FOR FREE FOR LONG ENOUGH, WHERE YOU’RE NOT LOOKING FOR ANY MORE ‘EXPOSURE’, YOU KNOW WHAT YOU CAN OFFER AND YOU’VE PROVED IT ENOUGH TO BE TREATED ACCORDINGLY.
Both of these films touched me in a profound way the first time I saw them. You never quite know what to expect, you pour your heart and soul into a character and then you let them fly. These films, both tragic, Alison inspiring and Tess hope-filled were worth it, through and through.
WHAT HAS BROUGHT YOU TO THIS PLACE, AND WHAT KEEPS YOU GROUNDED WHEN YOU’VE FOUND CELEBRITY STATUS SHOVED INTO YOUR LAP? I believe in passion. If you are driven by what you believe in, a strong force that leads you, your work will show that. I believe in constantly learning. Acting is a study of people, you can never know everything, each new character wants to breathe differently and it’s up
to you to explore that, anew, every single time. I believe that making mistakes is ok, making a mistake doesn’t mean you failed, it means you learn. I believe in taking risks, you will never truly know your limits if you do not push past them. You are capable of so much more than you can ever imagine. I believe in hard work, hard work will always trump talent if talent doesn’t work hard. I believe in support, in family and friends. They are my heart and my home; they hold me up when I think I can’t, they remind me of who I am when I think I’ve forgotten. When it comes to fans, it’s difficult sometimes; I’m a private person and didn’t enter this industry to be famous. But those are the people whose lives I get to touch, and for that I am grateful.
QUICKIES 1. If you could play any role in the world, what would it be? A badass action hero. 2. What’s your favourite comfort food on set? Biltong!!! 3. You’re stuck on a desert island until your next shoot. What three things can you not live without? Music, pen and paper, and food...not only do I need it, I also love it! © Hanri Human Photography
ACTORS IN SA PERHAPS DON’T HAVE AS MANY OPPORTUNITIES HERE AS THEIR INTERNATIONAL COUNTERPARTS, AND INDUSTRY BODIES HAVE BEEN BATTLING FOR RIGHTS, ROYALTIES, POLICY CHANGES, AND OF COURSE, BIGGER ROLES FOR LOCAL ACTORS IN INTERNATIONAL FILMS. WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THESE ISSUES?
There is definitely a huge gap between acting locally and internationally. Locally we are lucky in the sense that we get to play meaty acting roles and we get to be a part of the creative process, it’s a team effort on this side and we are a growing industry, which is exciting. With international roles, I do agree that we only get bit parts or a support audition if we’re lucky. This is definitely not ideal. We have incredible talent in South Africa, but it’s not getting seen, this needs to change, and I think it is, slowly but surely. As an actor in South Africa, doing local or international work, our rates are naturally much lower, if you’re lucky to work often you can make a living, just about. Actors are very much at the bottom end of the spectrum. There comes a point where you have to stand up for yourself, where
you’ve worked for free for long enough, where you’re not looking for any more ‘exposure’, you know what you can offer and you’ve proved it enough to be treated accordingly. I get that sometimes budgets are low, but remember, if you have a great actor, they’ll save you time, which in turn saves you money. I feel like this concept gets lost.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BEST EXPERIENCES OR MEMORIES ON SET?
My favourite role will probably still have to be Hollywood In My Huis. This film will always have a special place in my heart, it was my first major film and it felt like it told my story. It was also one of my lighter films. I had so many beautiful moments on this set, amazing people made it easy to have fun. One of the days Edwin van Der Walt and I took the Vespa we were supposed to drive in a scene and just went for a little exploring at the airstrip we were shooting – and some of that ended up in the film! They were shooting us without our knowing; we were just having fun. I believe those are moments that bring authenticity. Catch Christia in National Geographic’s Origins, premiering in SA in April, and in The Recce, opening in cinemas on 16 June.
24 / NAMIB FILM
NAMIB FILM Providing full facilitation services to local and international production companies. WHAT PRODUCTION SERVICES DOES NAMIB FILM OFFER?
Namib Film is a full facilitation entity providing visiting producers everything from scouting, budgeting, casting, crewing and all location support logistics, such as vehicles, catering and accommodation.
WHICH GENRE OF PRODUCTION MAKES UP THE BULK OF YOUR FACILITATION WORK? Namib Film specialises in commercials, features, music videos and photographic stills and is lucky enough to have an even spread across all forms. Lately, commercials and music videos are topping the list, whereas Magic Touch Films, our younger sister company, focuses on documentaries and reality television.
NAMIBIA IS TYPICALLY PORTRAYED AS EXTREMELY REMOTE. HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE ALL THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT AND GEAR AT HAND? It is true that Namibia is still in
its infancy as far as the film and television industry goes, and there is a limited amount of equipment, especially the latest models, but Namib Film has a strong relationship with the SA rental companies and crewing agents.
WHAT PRECONCEPTIONS DO CLIENTS HAVE ABOUT FILMING IN NAMIBIA?
That Namibia is very backwards and doesn’t have facilities. However, we have good hotels, tarred roads, internet access, great restaurants and top-class professional production service companies such as Namib Film and Magic Touch Films.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST DIFFICULTIES YOU FACE?
Lack of the latest equipment and very experienced crews due to the lack of continuity in work coming to Namibia. Productions are coming in under the radar as tourists, and the local industry doesn’t have the protection from government to stop these
ON FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX WE FOUND THE IDEAL LOCATION FOR THE DIRECTOR IN THE LAST HOUR OF HIS SCOUT IN NAMIBIA. kind of shoots happening! One of the biggest difficulties is not having the bargaining power of tax incentives, but hopefully one day soon the Namibia Film Commission will do something about it
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENTS THAT HAVE OCCURRED BEHIND-THE-SCENES WHILST ON A SHOOT.
Having been doing this in Namibia for 17 years, there are many favourite moments, such as when out in the bush at Puros, a lone elephant came into the camp to visit, or the time we were shooting in the north and it started to rain and I discovered were hemmed in by two flooding rivers. On Flight of the Phoenix we found the ideal location for the director
in the last hour of his scout in Namibia, or working with so many great people such as Ed Stafford, Ness Knight and crazy Mike Horn. Also Miranda Otto and Hugh Laurie and the wonderful greetings I received meeting them again after a number of years, as we had worked together before I moved to Namibia. It is really difficult to pick one favourite moment but I think the best was moving to Namibia and starting Namib Film in 2000!
NAMIBIA Thirsty for Film
ONE TEAM ONE DREAM Imwe (eem-whe) meaning "number 1" in the Namibian language of Otjiherero, also commonly known as Herero Imwe Namibia Holdings is the holding company for four seperate sub-corporaaons, namely Namib Film, Magic Touch Films, Desert Ace Tours & Charters, and Equipment List Rentals, with related but disanctly diﬀerent products, services, markets and opportuniaes. The consolidaaon of the four sub-divisions under Imwe Namibia Holdings has developed them into well-balanced enaaes, oﬀering high quality customer service, branded and well-accepted media industry products, backed by secondary services to compliment each division’s eﬀorts.
Guy Nockels CEO | + 264 64 46 3371 email@example.com | www.imwe.com.na
26 / SPOTLIGHT
HIGHLIGHTS AFRICA AND BRICS FILMS RapidLion Film Festival brought cinema lovers together in Johannesburg from 4 – 12 March to see some of the best productions from the continent and abroad.
aking place from 4 – 12 March, RapidLion, The South African International Film Festival, brought another successful event to Johannesburg this year. The corresponding awards ceremony took place on 1 March at The Market Theatre with India’s Bajirao Mastani, by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, taking home the award for Best of BRICS and Best Film Overall. It also won awards for Directing, Film Editing and Cinematography, while Deepika Padukone bagged Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance. Noem My Skollie by Director Daryne Joshua won the Best of South Africa and Best Original Screenplay (John W. Fredricks), while A United Kingdom took the award for Best of Africa and the African Diaspora, with David Oyelowo winning Best Actor
Shepherds and Butchers © Videovision Entertainment
in a Leading Role for his role as Seretse Khama in the film. Renowned Casting Director Moonyeenn Lee was honoured with the Lionel Ngakane Lifetime Achievement Award for her tireless work in bringing SA’s top acting talent and fresh faces to local and international screens. RapidLion saw some 140 films from over 40 countries screen across the city, with highlights including 93 Days (Nigeria), Noem My Skollie (South Africa), Seattle Meets Beijing II – The Book of Love (China), Through the Mist (Russia), and Marina Abramovic in Brazil – The Space Between (Brazil). On 12 March, filmmaker Asad Sikandar received the RapidLion Special Focus Award, given to a film that highlights a pertinent issue South Africa faces. His production The Refugee is about
an exiled father who tries to get his daughter to a school – and fails. It was screened at the festival’s closing ceremony. “African and BRICS directors are making great and important films. We wanted films that you could not see at Cinema Nouveau, movies that you had to watch and not in a distracted manner like you would a Tom Cruise movie,” RapidLion Director and Festival
Founder Eric Miyeni said recently. RapidLion 2017 partners are the Department of Arts and Culture, SA Tourism, Brand SA, the Gauteng Film Commission, the Johannesburg Film Office, Trace Play, the Callsheet, TicketPro, The Market Theatre Foundation, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Wits School of the Arts Film and Television, Eagles Academy, and The Ngakane Family.
WE WANTED FILMS THAT YOU COULD NOT SEE AT CINEMA NOUVEAU, MOVIES THAT YOU HAD TO WATCH AND NOT IN A DISTRACTED MANNER LIKE YOU WOULD A TOM CRUISE MOVIE.
Noem My Skollie © Lindsey Appolis
SPOTLIGHT / 27
WINNERS OF THE 2017 RAPIDLION AWARDS AWARD
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Best Film Overall
Producer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Best of Africa and the
A United Kingdom
Producers: Brunson Green, Charlie Mason, David Oyelowo,
Justin Moore-Levy, Peter Heslop, Rick McCallum
Best of BRICS
Producer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Best of South Africa
Noem My Skollie
Producers: David Max Brown, Moshidi Motshegwa
Best Actor in a
A United Kingdom
Best Actress in a
Noem My Skollie
John W. Fredericks
In the Shadow of the Hill
Director: Dan Jackson
Brazil / Australia
I Am Congo
Directors: David Mboussou, Juan Ignacio
Gabon / Ecuador
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Best Film Editing
Best Sound Editing
Through the Mist
Director: Zamo Mkhawanazi
Best Original Song
Angels (Shepherds and Butchers)
Best Student Film
Never A Next Train
Director: Devon Delmar
Leading Role Best Original Screenplay Best Documentary Feature Best Humanitarian Film
Noem My Skollie © Lindsey Appolis
Noem My Skollie © Lindsey Appolis
28 / SPOTLIGHT
SAFTA 2017 WINNERS The 11th South African Film and Television Awards, which took place from 16-18 March 2017 at Sun City, honoured the country’s finest industry professionals for the work they’ve done.
Dann Jaques Mouton © Jurgen Marx, SAFTAs 2017
he 11th South African Film and Television Awards took place at Sun City this year, over
two nights of absolute glitz and glamour. The show was televised on SABC 2, with the technical award winners
of the industry announced on 16 March 2017, while the general awards took place on Saturday, 18 March 2017. The award for Best Feature Film went to Sink, produced by Nostalgia Productions, Brittle Star Pictures and Scramble Productions, while Shoki Mokgapa also took home Best Actress – Feature Film. Dann Jaques Mouton won Best Actor – Feature Film for Noem My Skollie, while Abdurahgmaan Adams took home Best Supporting Actor for his role. Best Achievement in Directing – Feature Film went to Oliver Schmitz for Shepherds and Butchers. Best TV Soap/Telenovela
went to The Road, while Who Project’s tale about Pieter-Dirk Uys, Nobody’s Died Laughing, took home Best Documentary Feature. High Rollers also took home a number of directing awards and Antony Coleman won Best Actor - TV Soap/ Telenovela for his portrayal of David in the show. Some of the most notable technical winners include Bloedbroers, which won a whopping seven awards. Expresso won Best Variety Show, Coke Studio Best Music Show, and 50/50 Best Magazine. The puppet masters were once again a favourite, with Puppet Nation ZANEWS! raking in the SAFTAs.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS AWARD
Best Film Overall Best Documentary Feature Best Student Film Best TV Drama
Bajirao Mastani Nobody’s Died Laughing Finding Freedom Heist Season 1
Producer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali Who Projects UCT TV Branded Soul Productions
Best Achievement in Directing – TV Drama Best TV Soap/Telenovela Best Achievement in Directing – TV Soap/Telenovela
Heist Season 1 The Road High Rollers
Best TV Comedy Best Achievement in Directing – TV Comedy Best Feature Film
Puppet Nation ZANEWS! Puppet Nation ZANEWS! Sink
Best Achievement in Directing – Feature Film Best TV Presenter Most Popular TV Soap/Telenovela Best Actress –TV Drama Best Actor –TV Drama Best Supporting Actress – TV Drama Best Supporting Actor –TV Drama Best Actor –TV Soap/Telenovela Best Actress –TV Soap/Telenovela Best Supporting Actress – TV Soap/Telenovela Best Supporting Actor – TV Soap/Telenovela Best Actress -TV Comedy
Shepherds and Butchers Isibaya Sober Companion Heist Season 1 Die Boekklub Heist Season 1 High Rollers Gold Diggers Greed and Desire Ashes to Ashes Season 2 Those Who Can’t
Rolie Nikiwe The Bomb Shelter Film Company Joshua Rous, Alex Yazbek, Quentin Krog, Jozua Malherbe, Darryl Evan Fuchs, Zimkhitha Maseko Both Worlds Alex Fynn, Johann Vermaak Nostalgia Productions, Brittle Star Pictures and Scramble Productions Oliver Schmitz Thembisa Mdoda Tiffany Barbuzano Jerry Mofokeng Jana Cilliers Warren Masemola Antony Coleman Tina Jaxa Linda Sebezo Mandla Gaduka Chantal Herman
SPOTLIGHT / 29
Best Actor – TV Comedy Best Supporting Actress – TV Comedy Best Supporting Actor – TV Comedy Best Actor – Feature Film Best Actress – Feature Film Best Supporting Actress – Feature Film Best Supporting Actor – Feature Film Best Talk Show Best Short Film SAFTA Lifetime Achiever Special Recognition Award SAFTA Lifetime Achiever Special Recognition Award Youth Achiever Award Best Documentary Short Best Achievement in Directing – Documentary Short Best Achievement in Sound Design – Documentary Short Best Achievement in Editing – Documentary Short Best Wildlife Programme Best Achievement in Directing – Wildlife Programme Best Achievement in Cinematography – Wildlife Programme Best Achievement in Sound Design – Wildlife Programme Best Achievement in Editing – Wildlife Programme Best Achievement in Directing – Documentary Feature Best Achievement in Cinematography – Documentary Feature Best Achievement in Sound Design – Documentary Feature Best Achievement in Editing – Documentary Feature Best Youth Programme (Age 16 – 25) Best Children’s Programme Best Factual Education Programme Best Current Affairs Actuality Programme Best Magazine Show Best Variety Show Best Reality Show Best Game Show Best Music Show Best International Format Show Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – TV Drama Best Achievement in Cinematography – TV Drama Best Achievement in Editing – TV Drama Best Achievement in Sound Design – TV Drama Best Achievement in Original Music/Score – TV Drama Best Achievement in Art/Production Design – TV Drama Best Achievement in Wardrobe, Make-Up and Hairstyling – TV Drama Best Achievement in Post Production – Editing – TV Soap/Telenovela Best Achievement in Art Direction/ Production Design – TV Soap/Telenovela Best Achievement in Wardrobe, Make-up and Hair – TV Soap/Telenovela Best Achievement in Post Production – Original Music/Score – TV Soap/Telenova Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – TV Comedy Best Achievement in Post Production – Sound Design – TV Comedy Best Achievement in Post Production – Editing – TV Comedy Best Achievement in Art / Production Design – TV Comedy
Hotel Those Who Can’t The Mayor Noem My Skollie Sink Dora’s Peace Noem My Skollie Cheeky Media Mandala Films The Silent Form Six to Six The Silent Form The Silent Form Soul of the Elephant Soul of the Elephant Incredible Spiders
James Borthwick Sylvaine Strike Reabetswe Rangaka Dann Jaques Mouton Shoki Mokgapa Hlubi Mboya Abdurahgmaan Adams Real Talk with Anele The Suit Junaid Ahmed Lydia Mokgokoloshi Thapelo Mokoena SaltPeter Productions Mia Cilliers João Orecchia, Guy Steer Khalid Shamis Wildlife Films Derek Joubert Willem Van Heerden, Boris Von Schoenebeck, Greg Nelson, Lee Jackson Dave Birch, Jono Green, Nux Schwartz, Tristan Horton Ruaan Botha Greg Lomas and Colwyn Thomas Andre Meyer Barry Donnelly Geoffrey Butler Tshedza Media Penguin Films Okuhle Media SABC Clive Morris Productions Cardova Productions Red Pepper Pictures Both Worlds Good noise productions African Media and Production Network Louis Pretourius Adam Bentel Ula Oelsen, Johan Cronje Jonty Everton Janine Neethling Bathoni Robinson Julia Rubinstein, Sulet Meintjes
Best Achievement in Wardrobe, Make-up and Hair – TV Comedy
Puppet Nation ZANEWS!
Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – Feature Film Best Achievement in Editing – Feature Film Best Achievement in Cinematography – Feature Film Best Achievement in Art Production Design – Feature Film Best Achievement in Original Music/ Score – Feature Film Best Achievement in Sound Design – Feature Film Best Achievement in Costume Design – Feature Film Best Achievement in Make-up and Hairstyling – Feature Film Best made for TV Movie
Sink Sink Modder en Bloed Noem My Skollie Sink Modder en Bloed Noem My Skollie Noem My Skollie Stick-Up
Incredible Diggers Incredible Diggers To Skin a Cat Doc-U-Mentally Nobody’s Died Laughing Nobody’s Died Laughing 100% Youth Disney Cookabout Ocean Adventurer Spieners 50/50 Expresso Vrydag4uur Point of Order Coke studio The Voice South Africa Die Boekklub Bloedbroers Bloedbroers Heist Season 1 Bloedbroers Bloedbroers Bloedbroers
Kirsten de Magalhaes, Andrew Traill, Julian Thomas, Nqobizwe Ndlangamandla, Sharron Hawkes Dylan Lloyd and Johann Krynauw
Trudi Barklem and Julene Paton
Hotel Puppet Nation ZANEWS! The Bantu Hour Season 1 Puppet Nation ZANEWS!
Bennie Fourie and Stiaan Smith Neil Benjamin Marc de Montbron, Khulekani Zondi and Siyandi Rasi Racine Williams, Catherine Jacot-Guillarmod, Simone Rossouw Cheney Van Graan, Geralt Renaldo Cloete, Alice Josephine Jacobs Brett Michael Innes Nicholas Costaras, Brett Michael Innes Adam Bentel Warren Gray Chris Letcher Jim Petrak Emma Moss Gale Shepherd Inside Job Media, Turning Heads Academy, 33 Films
30 / LOCATION SPOTLIGHT
The Fespaco building in Ouragadougou © Sputniktilt (via Wikimedia Commons)
Burkina Faso © Damien Halleux Radermecker
BURKINA FASO A little known country that is home to FESPACO, one of Africa’s largest film festivals, Burkina Faso has much to offer the cinematic world.
ising from the ashes of a tumultuous history – both far behind us and more recently – Burkina Faso has so much to offer the African film industry, and is wooing internationals, too. As a diamond in the rough, the country has minimal big-budget film infrastructure to speak of, although President Roch Marc Christian Kabore recently called for the cultivation of its film sector, and that of the continent. “We should work for the emergence of the film industry in Africa and we are working to make it a reality,” Kabore said at the closing ceremony of the 25th Pan-African Cinema and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in March. This event and its corresponding film market, MICA, have been on high security alert after terror attacks took the lives of 30 in Burkina Faso in January last year. Despite this gloomy cloud, 2017 saw
immense success with almost 1 000 festival submissions, and a total of 200 films screened. In terms of locations, Burkina Faso offers a mainly flat terrain with a few localised exceptions and many places of interest to choose from. Filmmakers and photographers alike have been captured by the bustling, colourful market of BoboDioulasso Grand Marché, as well as its unique architectural domes. The stunning cascades of Karfiguéla Waterfalls, elegant towers of the Sindou Peaks, and the vast Black and White and Red Volta Rivers attract one and all. A number of national parks such as Kabore Tembi, Arli and ‘W’ National Park, allow for filmmakers to shoot the fauna and flora of the region.
FILMS SHOT IN BURKINA FASO
Although relatively unknown, cinema has played a key role in Burkinabe society since
the early 70s and is an active participant in the West African and Francophone film industry. Some of the notable films to come of the country include The Dead, a British zombie flick shot on location in 2010, and Samba Traoré by renowned Burkinabe director Idrissa Ouédraogo which won the Silver Bear at Berlinale in 1993. Most recently, award-winning filmmaker Apolline Traoré’s latest production Frontières (Borders) wowed FESPACO audiences with the tale of four women on a seven-day road trip across five African countries and left the festival with two awards: the ECOWAS Integration for the Best West African Film, and the Félix Houphouët Boigny prize.
FILMING ON LOCATION
The capital of Ouagadougou is the main entry point to the region, and most locations are possible given enough time, money and the right approach.
WE SHOULD WORK FOR THE EMERGENCE OF THE FILM INDUSTRY IN AFRICA AND WE ARE WORKING TO MAKE IT A REALITY.
Local crew and talent are limited and inexpensive, with a small pool of directors, DOPs, stills photographers and basic set construction. Key crew and equipment will need to be brought in, and very few roads are paved so reliable 4WD transport is a necessity. Visas are subject to regulations from the applicant’s country of origin, and Burkinabes observe both Islamic and Christian holidays.
LOCATION SPOTLIGHT / 31
CLIMATE Burkina Faso has a predominantly tropical climate with distinct rainy and dry seasons, with the former lasting from May to September, and the latter bringing the ‘harmattan’ – a dry wind from the Sahara. Average Temperatures in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 500C
400C 30 0C 20 0C 10 0C 0 0C
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Max temp
Aug Sep Oct
Min temp www.weather-and-climate.com
Cathedral of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso © Sputniktilt (via Wikimedia Commons)
Average Sunlight Hours in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 400 hrs 300 hrs 200 hrs 100 hrs 0 hrs
Mar Apr May Jun
Oct Nov Dec
ACCESS Burkina Faso is easily accessible with a number of airports in close proximity. Ouagadougou International Airport is the largest and busiest. Carriers flying to the region include: • Air Burkina • Air France • Brussels Airlines
• Colombe Airlines • Ethiopian Airlines • Royal Air Maroc
• TunisAir • Turkish Airlines
POPULATION 19 512 533 (July 2016 est., CIA World Factbook)
Peanuts seller in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso © Roman Bonnefoy (via Wikimedia Commons)
Office National du Tourisme Burkinabe Tel: +226 253 119 59 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Web: www.ontb.bf Festival Panafricain du Cinema de Ouagadougou (FESPACO) Tel: +226 253 083 70 / 71 Email: email@example.com | Web: www.fespaco.bf
FIXERS Emerge Film Solutions Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Web: www.emergefilmsolutions.com Manivelle Productions Tel: +226 253 622 20 / +226 766 188 18 Email: email@example.com | Web: www.manivelle.net Steph Tours - Stephane Barro Tel: +226 708 393 99 / +226 755 372 45 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com Place des Cineastes, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (via Wikimedia Commons)
32 / EVENTS TO DIARISE
APRIL MIPTV 3–6 Cannes, France STOCKHOLM FILM FESTIVAL JUNIOR 3–8 Stockholm, Sweden INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL NIJMEGEN 5–9 Nijmegen, Netherlands SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 5 – 19 San Francisco, USA TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL 6–9 Los Angeles, USA AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL NEW ZEALAND 6 – 12 Auckland, New Zealand BOKEH FASHION FILM FESTIVAL 7–8 Cape Town, South Africa HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 11 – 25 April Hong Kong, China
MAY IMAGINE FILM FESTIVAL 12 – 22 Amsterdam, Netherlands BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINIAN FILM FESTIVAL 12 – 15 New York, USA BOSTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 13 – 17 Boston, USA MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 13 – 29 Minneapolis/St. Paul, USA INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE FILM FESTIVAL 15 – 22 Missoula, USA
MARYLAND FILM FESTIVAL 3–7 Maryland, USA NASHVILLE FILM FESTIVAL 20 – 29 Nashville, USA FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL 21 – 30 Winter Park and Maitland, USA AFRIKA FILM FESTIVAL 21 – 6 May Leuven, Belgium SETTING SUN SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 27 – 30 Melbourne, Australia
MADEIRA FILM FESTIVAL 17 – 23 Madeira, Portugal
LOS ANGELES JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 27 – 4 May Los Angeles, USA
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 19 – 30 New York, USA
HOT DOCS 27 – 7 May Toronto, Canada
BRAND FILM FESTIVAL 4 New York, USA OXFORD INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 5–7 Oxford, United Kingdom NICE INTERNATIONAL FILM MAKER FESTIVAL 6 – 13 Nice, France FESTIVAL DE CANNES 17 – 28 Cannes, France AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL NEW ZEALAND 18 – 24 Wellington, New Zealand SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 18 – 11 June Seatt le, USA
EVENTS TO DIARISE / 33
JUNE MENDOCINO FILM FESTIVAL 1–4 Mendocino, California
MAMMOTH LAKES FILM FESTIVAL 24 – 28 California, USA
ENCOUNTERS SOUTH AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL 1 – 11 Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
TELLURIDE MOUNTAINFILM 26 – 29 Telluride, USA
DANCES WITH FILMS 1 – 11 Hollywood, USA
KRAKOW FILM FESTIVAL 28 – 4 June Krakow, Poland
BROOKLYN FILM FESTIVAL 2 – 11 New York, USA
NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 30 – 1 June New York, USA
NEW MEDIA FILM FESTIVAL 6–8 Los Angeles, USA
DISCOP AFRICA ABIDJAN 30 May – 1 June Abidjan, Ivory Coast
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 7 – 18 Sydney, Australia
ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL 31 – 4 June Sedona, Arizona
SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST 9 – 14 Sheﬃeld, United Kingdom
THE BANFF WORLD MEDIA FESTIVAL 11 – 14 Banﬀ, Canada ANNECY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND MARKET 12 – 17 Annecy, France LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL 14 – 22 Los Angeles, USA PROVINCETOWN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 14 – 18 Provincetown, USA AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL 14 – 18 Miami, USA MIDNIGHT SUN FILM FESTIVAL 14 – 18 Sodankyla, Finland
RIVER FILM FESTIVAL 16 – 30 Padua, Italy NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL 21 – 26 Nantucket, USA EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 21 – 2 July Edinburgh, Scotland MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 22 – 29 Moscow, Russia SERIES FEST SEASON THREE 27 – 2 July Denver, USA BERLIN SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 29 – 3 July Berlin, Germany NATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL 29 – 9 July Grahamstown, South Africa
Unsplash © Larm Rmah
SUNSET FILM FESTIVAL LOS ANGELES 21 – 22 Los Angeles, USA
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: LONDON 1–4 London, USA
34 / ASSOCIATIONS NEWS
4TH WGSA MUSE AWARDS A SUCCESS The fourth edition of the Writers’ Guild of South Africa Muse Awards took place on 11 February 2017 at the market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg. The theme was ‘Writers Uprising’, and was hosted by actress, radio host and producer Dineo Lusenga, who emphasised the importance of performance writers standing up and ﬁghting for their rights. The winners in the various categories are: • Animation script: Paul Ian Johnson and Wayne Thornley for Savannah • Documentary script: Uga Carlini for Alison • TV Comedy / Sitcom script: Both Worlds Team – Karen Jeynes, Nkuli Sibeko, Chris McEvoy, Thierry Cassuto for Puppet Nation Ep 133 • Produced TV Drama Script: Salah Sabiti for Ya Lla Season 1 Ep 10 • TV Drama Spec Script: Paul Ian Johnson for From The Files of S.I.U. • TV Soaps / Telenovella Script: Steven Pillemer for Gold Diggers Season 1 Ep 155 • Stage Play Script: Callum Tilbury and Roland Perold for The Pitch • Radio Drama Script: Paul Ian Johnson for Vigilante • Short Film Script: Gavin Sher for Beast
• Feature Film Spec Script: Lesiba Thitshere Maphoso for Mr President (script in Sepedi) • GFC’s Top Gauteng Writer: Salah Sabiti for Ya Lla Season 1 Ep 10. This award is sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission. A special service award was presented to Peter Michael Goldsmid, former WGSA Vice-Chair: Legal Services in acknowledgement of his outstanding work with the organisation. In other news, the WGSA has bid farewell to longstanding Executive Ofﬁcer Thea Aboud, after seven years of loyal service. “From the time she joined the WGSA as administrator then Executive Ofﬁcer, Thea has supported, helped and been an amazing tower of strength and support to all writers who have interacted with the guild,” said Thandi Brewer, founding chairperson of the WGSA. In the interim, the position of administrator has been ﬁlled by co-opted council member and former WGSA treasurer Yolanda Keabetswe Mogatusi. For more info, visit www.writersguildsa.org.
SAGE ANNOUNCES POST SURVEY FOR 2016 AND EXECS FOR 2017 The South African Guild of Editors announced their 2016 survey in post-production open on 3 March 2017. The survey was open to all postproduction professionals as well as all producers working on SA, and closed on 31 March 2017. Results will be posted within the next few months. SAGE also announced the SAGE Executives of 2017 and thanked those who served last year. The 2017 execs are: • Chair: Marina du Toit – CPT • Vice-Chair: Melissa Parry – JHB • Treasurer: Nikki Comninos – JHB • Membership Accreditation: Catherine Meyburgh – JHB
ASSOCIATIONS NEWS / 35
CPA PROVIDES LOCATION UPDATES The Commercial Producers Association of South Africa has announced the release of an updated events calendar from the Cape Town Film Permit Ofﬁce. According to the announcement, due to water restrictions in the Western Cape, all production companies wanting to incorporate water effects into their shoots are now required to ﬁll out a form and submit it to the relevant authority at the City of Cape Town. All production companies and location professionals are also requested to familiarise themselves with the latest requirements and regulations for ﬁlming in the City of Cape Town and surrounds, which can be found on their website. Greenpoint Precinct will not be available from 18-29 February 2018 – the Film Ofﬁce has given a full year’s notice – due to a major event taking place in the area. All roads to and from Greenpoint will be off limits, as well as the fan walk
and Mi City Bus routes. No road closures will be permitted. Miller’s Point Day Camp is currently under construction and is out of bounds for all ﬁlming activities in the area, including at the tidal pool. Film applications for the area will not be considered until further notice. Construction is expected to be completed by September 2017. Finally, Atlantis Dunes is undergoing a reserve upgrade and the City of Cape Town has advised alternative access to the dunes during this time. The City is constructing a multipurpose ofﬁce complex at its Witzands Aquiﬁer Nature Reserve to better manage activities at the site. As a result Gate 1 will not be accessible, however Gate 2 on Dassenberg Drive is available for use. For more information or to download the applicable forms, visit www.cpasa.tv.
© Unsplash | Pixabay
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Published on Mar 31, 2017
The Callsheet Issue 4 is brought to you by Film & Event Media. This April, we jump into the story of underwater filmmakers and bring you all...