Soul City mentors Africa talent


Soul City has been involved in an ambitious capacity building intervention in numerous Southern African countries. 120 people (writers, producers, technical crew and directors from 10 countries) were trained and mentored in the development and production of effective and entertaining drama.

The culmination of this training was Love – Stories in a time of HIV & AIDS, a series of 10 short films for television from 10 countries in southern Africa, which explores the many facets of love. It broadcasts on Wednesdays on SABC1 at 20h30.

Training happened both in workshops and on location. It was done in collaboration with Curious Pictures and an intensive training programme was devised drawing on the skills and support from some of the best people in the industry. (See list below)

Love – Stories in a time of HIV & AIDS builds on the success of the Untold television series which earned international recognition and was shown at film festivals in both Europe and America. Harriet Perlman, head of the Soul City Regional Programme explains: “Untoldstories in a time of HIV & AIDS, was our first regional film series for TV, which brought together stories from nine southern African countries.  It was broadcast on public television in 2009 across nine countries in the region and research showed that the series was hugely successful.

Yula Quinn, series producer says the intention of the capacity building programme was to “transfer skills and enhance the film-makers abilities from script writing through to post-production, in a practical way. Learners were supported and mentored on pre- production, during filming and in post-production by leading industry experts.  After the filmmakers had done a rough cut in their own country, they were taken through the process of final editing in South Africa.’

Brent Quinn, a leading SA film and television writer and teacher, was head of story development on both Untold and The Love stories. He believes that the training is creating a solid foundation to build skills and careers in this region. 

‘It’s a whole new way to build national and regional capacity in film-making.  There are very few opportunities for film makers to learn and show their work at the same time,’ he says, “When the films have been shown to audiences, they have loved them. I believe that they could stand up to any film market in the world. Well written stories that resonate with audiences are so important in the fight against HIV and AIDS. These films are empowering new voices in the industry.’

The following industry experts were involved in the training programmes:

Alex Yazbek – Directing
Lesego Kodisang – Art Department

John Trengove – Directing
Daphne Williams – Producing
Salamina Mokone – Continuity

John Barker – Directing
Anita van Hemert – Art Department
Themba Mahlaba – Camera

Salamina Mokone – Continuity

Jamie Bartlett – Performance

Daphne Williams – Producing
Robyn Aronstam – Directing
Anita van Hemert – Art Department

Daphne Williams – Producing
Manu Lapiere – Camera
President Kapa – Sound
Jamie Bartlett – Performance

Daphne Williams – Producing
Brent Quinn – Directing
Tebogo Malope – Camera

Editing finish                     
Karyn Bosch
Melanie Golden
Sandra Vieira

Workshop facilitators    
Jamie Bartlett – Performance
Anita van Hemert – Art direction
Rolie Nikiwe – Directing
Vincent Moloi – Directing
Minky Schlesinger – Directing
Myrto Makrides – Continuity


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