On Friday, 26 April, Screen Africa shared a press release online titled ‘NFVF-funded documentaries make their debut at Hot Docs in Canada’. The press release was sent to us by the National Film & Video Foundation’s (NFVF) media agency. We have since been informed by the directors and producers of Dying for Gold that the information contained in that release – regarding their film – was incorrect.
We’d like to sincerely apologise to Catherine Meyburgh and Richard Pakleppa, the co-directors and co-producers of Dying for Gold, as well as every other person involved in the production of the film, for this misunderstanding. We have recommended that the NFVF recall the inaccurate press release.
“Dying for Gold has not received production funding from the NFVF, only a small amount to attend Hotdocs Film Festival. Which has yet to be paid,” said Meyburgh. She additionally informed us that contrary to what the press release said, Lee Selleck is in no way involved with the production.
A Breathe Films production
Today, gold miner communities across Southern Africa have nothing to show for the wealth they produced except extreme rural underdevelopment and the world’s worst epidemic of TB and silicosis. Over 500 000 gold miners returned home from the mines suffering from tuberculosis and silicosis. Through the lives of miners and their families from Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa, and extensive use of contrasting archive materials, Dying for Gold tells the story of South Africa’s biggest class action lawsuit.
South Africa’s biggest gold mining companies have been accused of knowingly exposing miners to harmful dust causing the terminal disease, silicosis and makes them more susceptible to TB. The class action has been settled out of court – which means the real cost of gold will not be known. Dying for Gold exposes the century of deplorable practices by gold mines and ensures that miners and their families are justly compensated. The film also aims to promote discussion on mining – especially profit-based harmful practices.
“We have started a campaign which will be running concurrently with the film,” Meyburgh adds. “We also will be rolling out a massive impact campaign using the film to raise consciousness about silicosis and TB and the related class action (the biggest class action South Africa has ever seen). The film has already been translated into six languages which will allow for it to be shown across the sub-continent. I hope the situation can lead to something positive and help with the Justice for Miners campaign.”
To learn more about the film or to sign the petition and join the movement for just compensation, visit the Dying for Gold website.