Special Sessions At Input


The global public television screening conference Input 2008 runs from 4 to 10 May at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. In addition to screenings of the top public service television programmes from around the world, a number of Special Sessions will be held.

MADE IN AFRICA – An International Training Opportunity

“A man is always a teller of tales, he lives surrounded by his stories and the stories of others, he sees everything that happens to him through them; and he tries to live his own life as if he were telling a story.’
Jean-Peal Satre

Made in Africa is a unique training project aimed at giving international broadcast production opportunities to new and emerging documentary filmmakers across the continent of Africa. The initiative will be launched at INPUT 2008 and is an intensive two-day workshop on 3rd and 4th May, prior to Input. The aim is to give a minimum of 300 documentary filmmakers training in pitching, storytelling and “giving your project legs’ among other topics. The best stories will be developed at the Thomson Foundation three-month summer course in the UK.

Moderator: Andy Glynne, Documentary Filmmakers’ Group (DFG) of the UK
Venue: The Green Room (Bill Gallagher) Level 2
Time: Saturday & Sunday May 3rd and 4th 9 am to 5 pm

OUSMANE SEMBENE INSIDE OUT – A Tribute to African Cinema

“The work of an African filmmaker is to find a way that is his own and to find his own symbols, even to create symbols if he has to.’
Interview with Ousmane Sembene by Dr Harold Weaver

Creating a discourse at INPUT 2008 that goes well beyond Ousmane Sembene, the man and his work, to track the impact of African cinema on the world with Sembene as a founding father.

Sembene said: “Cinema is a night school,” and on a continent where literacy is low, public broadcasting can serve as a short but effective way to a bright and hopeful future. A formal independence has taken place, a political independence on paper, but now we must forge an independence of the minds, a cultural independence.

Moderator: Pedro Pimenta
Venue: Red Room Level 2
Time: Monday May 5th 19:00 – 21:30

THE STORY TREE – Restorying Africa

“People go to Africa and confirm what they already have in their heads and so they fail to see what is in front of them.’
Writer Chinua Achebe

There are minor myths about Africa that feed prejudice and superstition… group lies. This session is in search of new sustaining myths that respect imagination… Storytelling that helps us to connect our unique African perspective to the rest of the world. We explore the filmmakers who are doing justice to the complexity of the stories of the African continent.

The programme makers are sometimes critical, sometimes confident about the Africa they have before them. Some look back examining the past with its pain. The voices are varied but emphatically African whether the filmmakers reside on the continent or are working and living elsewhere. What is certain is that the filmmaking and television culture in Africa is more exuberant and prolific than it’s ever been and we are producing an infinitely more mature reflection of the continent.

Moderator: Kethiwe Ncgobo & Jean Pierre Bekolo
Time: May 6th 18:45 – 22:00
Venue: Red Room Level 2


Keynote Speaker: Harry Belafonte

“People say that slaves were taken from Africa. This is not true… People were taken from Africa, among them healers and priests, and were made into slaves.’
Musician Abdullah Ibrahim

The Human Bondage Project is a global joint venture between the SABC, UNESCO and various other international organisations and filmmakers. The aim is to produce, within the next five years, a drama series, a documentary series of various lengths and feature films on slavery.

This project is unique in that it will be the first time that we as Africans drive such an enormous global venture. A key priority for the project is that these will be stories told from an African (in its broadest sense) perspective and from the point of view of the enslaved people. We will also explore the effect of slavery on modern society.

Her Excellency Lindiwe Mabuza, the South African High Commissioner in London, is the Patron of this project. Mr Harry Belafonte is the keynote speaker.

Moderator: Sylvia Vollenhoven, National Coordinator Input Southern Africa
Venue: Red Room (Level 2)
Time: Thursday May 8th 19:00 – 22:00

SLAVERY, MEMORY & STORY – The Marriage of Fact & Fiction

“Storytellers aren’t just archaeologists, excavating the bare bones of legends and displaying them in museums; they’re also sorcerers, covering the skeletons with flesh and setting them dancing again.’
Writer Anne Cushman

There are the experts and then there are the storytellers. They seldom meet on common ground. But each one brings a valuable jewel that fills up the storytelling treasure chest. This is a one-day seminar that will kick-start the historic Human Bondage project. The creatives and the experts, many of them the top researchers in their field, will explore a collaboration that will result in top-class programming, from Africa for the world.

Facilitator: Dorian Haarhoff
Venue: The Zakes Mda Room, Level 4
Time: Friday May 9th 10:00 – 16:00


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