Two Durban filmmakers, Noel Kok of NB Productions and Ntokozo Motloung of
Ntozakhe Productions, were recently selected as part of a South African delegation to
attend the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
The outbound trade mission, organised and funded by the CFC (Cape Film
Commission), in partnership with the Department and Trade and Industry’s SASS
scheme, took place from 17 to 28 April and provided these local filmmakers with an
opportunity to participate in an exciting programme of meetings and activities
coordinated by the CFC and the South African Consulate in New York.
Denis Lillie, the CFC’s CEO, comments, “We would like to thank Toni Monty and
everyone at the Durban Film Office for their invaluable support to this mission
together with the support they gave their local filmmakers. We took the opportunity
to create a platform for the 20 SA filmmakers in attendance to showcase their work to
150 representatives of the New York Film community at a special event hosted at the
SA Consulate. At this event we also highlighted the prestigious Durban FilmMart and
Durban International Film Festival and invited everyone to attend.’
The Tribeca Film Festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible
audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience
the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking centre. The
Tribeca Film Festival is well-known for being a diverse international film festival that
supports emerging and established directors.
Motloung from KwaMashu is currently in production of a documentary called Why I Am
A Sangoma, which follows the journey of five young women going through initiation
school and leaving their lives behind to become traditional healers, while learning
about nature and the environment.
“It was so magnificent to see the city of New York, it was just as you see it on the
big screen,’ enthuses Motloung, a graduate of the Wildlife Film School. “It was a
wonderful experience to have visited so many different locations and to have had the
opportunity to network with some of the industry’s biggest financiers and producers,
which has helped me enormously in developing my project.”
Kok’s current project, Qhawe Lama Qhawe (Hero of Heroes), is a 2D and 3D animated
full-length feature film, which will be in isiZulu with English subtitles.
“For decades children around the world have looked up to their superheroes, called
their names out in times of need and almost always imagined themselves as one,
with super powers, the strength to do right, to protect society and the world and the
physical strength to fight evil and villains.
“In South Africa and Africa our children continue to live by ideals set by Hollywood and
the United States – believing in a superhero living a life so distant from their own,’
says Kok. “So we have set out to make a film which speaks to this – our own African
Kok continues: “The experience of being at Tribeca felt very similar to the Durban
International Film Festival and the Durban FilmMart with famous stars attached,’
mentions Kok. “Being there enabled me to further develop my project, and has helped
to clarify the global stage, as well clearly spelling out what I need in order to operate
in this space.’
“We are really pleased that these local filmmakers were given an opportunity to join
the South African delegation to attend Tribeca and applaud the Cape Film Commission
for putting the initiative together,’ says Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office.