The New Actor: A masterclass from Actor Spaces and Ster-Kinekor


On Sunday, 29 September 2019, Actor Spaces in association with Ster-Kinekor presented the third annual masterclass, held at Ster-Kinekor in Newtown Junction mall.

This year’s host was leading actress Mampho Brescia. The masterclasses set out to bridge the gap between established and aspirant filmmakers by offering an alternative learning space, one that engages would-be filmmakers with both the possibilities and realities that a career in the industry entails. The masterclass features leading professionals who share their insight, career journeys and notable lessons with an audience of emerging and professional industry creatives. Founder and CEO Ayanda Sithebe expressed, “It’s always amazing and encouraging to see young people seeking knowledge about the industry and for us, this emphasizes the importance of such initiatives that bring about continuous learning platforms.”

The theme of this year’s masterclass was “The New Actor”, referring to the innovative actor of the future who takes on a multitude of roles (in more ways than one): producing, directing and financing his/her own film, as a way of tackling the many challenges facing the growing South African film industry. 

Aspiring actors travelled from far afield to learn from the masters: 

·         Director Adza Uga, whose credits include everything from Zone 14, Isibaya, Jacob’s Cross, Society, Skwizas, and Room 9 to his 2010 documentary feature, The Burning Man, which won four Golden Horns at the SAFTAs; 

·         Actor Lemogang Tsipa who featured in Alien Outpost, Homeland, Traffic, The Book of Negroes, Black Sails, Roots, The Number and The Dark Tower – to name but a few – before making his film debut in Craig Friemond’s hit film Beyond The River (2017) in the lead role of Duma; 

·         Producer Layla Swart, co-owner of Yellowbone Entertainment and winner of the 2019 SAFTA Youth Achiever Award, whose recent credits include producing and editing Xhosa sci-fi movie Stillborn, SA’s 2019 Oscar selection Sew the Winter to my Skin and boxing filmKnuckle City;

·         Well-known actor Lerato Mvelase, who has starred in a multitude of local series including Home Affairs, Home Sweet Home, Backstage and Isibaya – among many others.

Launched in 2017, the masterclasses are the brainchild of Actor Spaces, led by Ayanda Sithebe who won the 2017 SAFTA Youth Award, which launched the ongoing professional relationship with award sponsor Ster-Kinekor – a relationship deepened by a shared interest in the development and support of rising young talent across the South African film and television industry.

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Ster-Kinekor Press
Ster-Kinekor Theatres is the largest movie exhibitor on the African continent. To most South Africans, the word ‘movies’ is synonymous with the name ‘Ster-Kinekor’. The company operates 55 commercial cinema complexes in South Africa, with seven international sites based in Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The cinema chain’s sites house more than 424 large-scale screens, over 60 994 seats and the largest 3D footprint featuring more than 154 state-of-the-art 3D screens across the country (Commercial, 3D, IMAX and Cine Prestige) with 137 in South Africa. In Africa, the company operates in 5 cinema complexes with 26 screens and 3607 seats. As the industry leader, Ster-Kinekor has pioneered cinema concepts such as Cinema Nouveau, one of the world’s largest dedicated art-house multiplex circuits, and the luxurious Cine Prestige theatres, the first ‘business class’ cinema experience in South Africa. It boasts the only cinema on the continent that is fitted with the advanced Dolby Atmos sound system (at Gateway in Durban); and has headed the return of the IMAX® Experience, with the opening of seven IMAX® Theatres across the country. As one of South Africa’s most loved brands, it is Ster-Kinekor’s ongoing mission to become synonymous with the unrivalled magic of the cinema experience, by providing ‘Great Moments at Their Greatest’. During 2013, the company embarked on a massive roll-out project to convert and equip every cinema with the very latest in digital projection and sound technology. The result of this upgrade is that every cinema now boasts state-of-the-art cinema technology that encompasses 2K and 4K digital projection and 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound systems. The SK Club loyalty programme rewards members with redeemable points when they swipe their card when buying movie tickets or catering, as well as half price tickets on Tuesdays. Combined with industry leading loyalty programmes from Edgars Club, Discovery Vitality and Standard Bank, these give Ster-Kinekor a strong consumer value proposition and competitive advantage. As the market leader, Ster-Kinekor aims to spearhead the advancement of cinema across both South Africa and the rest of Africa, to ensure that consumers continue to experience movies as they were made to be seen – on the big screen.