Student makes cyberpunk short film


SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: Simba Nyamukachi writes…There Are No Heroes, a 48-minute short film inspired by award winning author Lauren Beukes’ dystopian novel Moxyland will be showcased at the annual AFDA (South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance) Film Festival in November. The cyberpunk thriller is written and directed by AFDA student Kyle Stevenson.

With There Are No Heroes, which depicts a futuristic Cape Town, Stevenson is hoping to add a fresh perspective to the growing science fiction genre in South Africa.

“Donald Leitch (co-writer and editor) and I wanted to create something fresh and new that South African and international audiences haven’t seen before. There are successful local science fiction films such as District 9 and Pumzi so we wanted to attempt a different type of science fiction, yet with the same appeal,’ said Stevenson.

There Are No Heroes’ micro budget was initially R30,000 for a 24-minute version of the film. However, once principal photography was complete the filmmakers realised that the production needed to be in a longer format.

The filmmakers have now embarked on an impressive online initiative to raise R20,000 using the crowd funding website Indiegogo, as well as You Tube and Facebook.
Stevenson noted that operating on a shoestring budget requires a lot of generosity from family, friends and companies. 

“A lot of the actors’ time was donated, the props were sourced among the crew with all the big props being sponsored and we also got huge discounts on gear,’ he stated. “But despite all of this we have managed to produce high quality product.’

Principal photography was shot using an ARRI D21. This was done to ensure that the post-production workflow moved faster because of the many visual effects in the film. Additional footage will be shot with a Sony F3.

“The film portrays a gritty Cape Town, an almost hyper-reality of the current city with strong divisions between economic classes – from the slick futurist waterfront to the almost sewer-like residential area around it, explained Stevenson.

The 48-minute version of There are No Heroes will be screened at the Annual AFDA Film Festival in late November at Cavendish Square, Cape Town and Rosebank Mall, Johannesburg. Stevenson also has plans to send the production to local and international festivals.


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