A group of South African film professionals has formed a collaborative called Filmmakers Against Racism to produce a series of anti-xenophobia public service announcements (PSAs) in response to the horrific xenophobic attacks that have been raging in Gauteng’s informal settlements for more than 10 days.
The group consists of Rehad Desai of Uhuru, Neil Brandt of Luma Films, Desiree Markgraaff of Bomb, Eve Rantseli of Women of the Son, Born Free Media and Xoliswa Sithole.
According to Brandt, more and more filmmakers and companies are offering their services. “The three local broadcasters, M-Net, SABC and e.tv, have all offered air time for the PSAs, while Grey Advertising will come up with the concepts for the PSAs. Curious Pictures and Magus Visual have offered equipment, and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), Encounters and the Tri-Continental Film Festival will all screen the PSAs. We’ve also had filmmakers in Pretoria, Cape Town and Knysna offering to shoot events as they unfold in their areas.
“At the moment we’re still strategising the logistics of the campaign but we begin on 24 May by filming the anti-xenophobia rally in Johannesburg.’
Filmmakers Against Racism was in part prompted by an e-mail about the xenophobic attacks sent out by Mozambican producer Pedro Pimenta, who has lived and worked in South Africa for the past three years. In the e-mail Pimenta writes: “This is indeed great saddness for me to see my fellow human Africans being killed like animals by their South African brothers.’ He further writes that he has decided to boycott South Africa and break off all communication with South Africans. Lastly, he states that he will not welcome any South Africans to Mozambique.
While at the Cannes Film Festival, Rehad Desai managed to raise R32 000 for the PSA campaign. Contributors are the National Film and Video
Foundation, former Sithengi CEO Michael Auret and DIFF’s Nashen Moodley and Peter Rorvik.
See June issue of Screen Africa for more coverage.