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

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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.