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Gezzy S Sibisi

Gezzy S Sibisi
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Gezzy S. Sibisi is a senior journalist at Screen Africa. She is experienced in print, broadcast and digital media. Her portfolio of work includes working as a lifestyle reporter as well as contributing business and education articles to The Times, Sowetan, and Daily Dispatch publications. As a freelancer, she has worked on content development for corporate newsletters, community newspapers, blogs and educational websites.

Ernest Nkosi spotlights SA’s car spinning culture in An Ordinary People

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

Picture this: a cloud of smoke, the sound of tyres screeching and a mesmerised crowd. A late-80s BMW, colloquially known as the Gusheshe, spins at high speed with the driver hanging out the car window. This is not a film stunt but a thrilling sport in South Africa, popularly known as spinning.

Filmmaker Ernest Nkosi is a passionate promoter of the electrifying sport of spinning. His first production featuring the sport was South Africa’s first televised car spinning competition, So You Think You Can Spin, in 2016.

So You Think You Can Spin was a 13-part competition TV series that tested drivers through various obstacles with knockout courses till a top-six and an audience vote to determine an eventual winner,” comments Nkosi.

The series was pitched under the Monarchy Group by Nkosi to free-to-air channel e.tv. From October to December 2016, So You Think You Can Spin garnered almost a million viewers per episode. The thrilling show put the controversial world of spinning in the spotlight and forced the public to rethink the negative connotations often associated with the sport.

Car spinning is legal and has been officially recognised by the country’s regulatory body for all motorsport, Motorsport South Africa (MSA), since 2010. The sport has also been endorsed by the World of Motorsport South Africa (WOMZA) and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) since 2014.

“Spinning now happens in big arenas under controlled conditions, attracting audiences of over 15 million people annually, making it the biggest motorsport in the country,” Nkosi shares. Furthermore, there is a growing interest of the sport beyond our borders with the great possibility of the industry going mainstream.

Nkosi’s latest production, the documentary An Ordinary People, is an in-depth account of the sport of spinning and the subcultural elements that have emerged from different parts of the country. “An Ordinary People is a feature-length documentary film that traces the cultural origins and follows some of the culture’s elite practitioners. The backdrop is wisdom from freedom fighters of yesteryear,” says Nkosi.

Principal photography on the film commenced after the completion of the So You Think You Can Spin TV series in 2016. The film has been a work-in-progress project for almost four years and only officially wrapped in June this year.

Nkosi is the writer and director of the film; he worked alongside Nhlane Enos Manthata and Thato Dhladla to produce the film. Speaking about the film’s production journey, Nkosi says: “There were challenges but none bigger than the mental one. How do you stay motivated to see something through from start to finish? It’s almost four years later from the first day of production. How you overcome this is with a solid team and like-minded talented individuals that believe they can move the needle forward when it comes to this film stuff.”

Much like the television series, Nkosi and his team travelled across the country as well as to neighbouring countries, including Namibia and Swaziland, to gain a better understanding of the impact and popularity of the sport over the years. 

“Research was key to making the film,” highlights Nkosi. “We immersed ourselves in the culture, travelling the country and neighbouring countries, getting to know the scene and state of the culture and finding the respective regions’ most talented drivers and stuntmen.”

Professional spinners and sportsmen featured in the film include So You Think You Can Spin season one winner Samkeliso “Sam Sam” Thubane; Mpumalanga wheel spinners (and brothers) Muzi and Myboet Thubane; as well as other profiled acts such as Lefa “Lentja” Motloung, Bradleigh “Skopas” McGregor, Mckeenan “Troubles” du Plessis, Anele “Muzi” Mbuqe and Kaylin “Kayla” Oliphant. According to Nkosi, there are over 3,000 registered professional drivers and stuntmen: the industry is thriving and the state of the sport and culture has never been better.

An Ordinary People was shot over three and a half years and spent nine months in post-production. Nkosi says that the film has an “enhanced reality” look and feel, with “no CGI… no gimmicks.”

Cinematographers Motheo Moeng and Nyembezi Ncaba shot the film on the flexible Sony FS7 camera as well as the popular action GoPro Hero4 camera. Editing was done by James O’ Sullivan and music was supplied by Mpho Nthangeni and Banele Mtwa. Post-production duties included sound design and final mix by Sterling Sound and Beyond Sound, then grading by Comfort & Frame.

An Ordinary People has been selected as the opening film at the 8th annual Jozi Film Festival (JFF), which takes place from 3 October until 6 October 2019. The first time Nkosi showcased at JFF was in 2015, when he presented his first feature film Thina Sobabili which won the Audience Choice Award and soared to success. “My career highlights are definitely getting to compete for an Oscar and Golden Globe with our first feature film, Thina Sobabili, that journey was incredible,” recalls Nkosi fondly.

Since then, Nkosi has built a solid professional relationship with the founder of JFF, Lisa Henry, and volunteered his time and skills on previous editions of the festival. Henry remembers her first encounter with the filmmaker: “I first met Ernest when he submitted his film Thina Sobabili to JFF. I loved the film and recognised his talent but didn’t know his film was a student film until we met – that made it even more impressive.”

“His new film is billed as a private screening/free screening as it is in the running for a few big international film festivals which require World Premiere status. We hope this happens for him and his team and we’re delighted to give Jozi audiences a first look,” adds Henry.

“Lisa Henry is a visionary and genius. She came through to a test screening, we were having for the film and figured out a way for us to show the film while still making tweaks to it… so I will forever be grateful to her and the people at Jozi Film Festival,” comments Nkosi.

Nkosi and his team have started submitting the film to some of the world’s most influential festivals and they are hopeful for positive feedback. “I think the film will resonate with audiences locally and internationally because we were honest in the making of the film. The culture demands authenticity, the characters are real, the action is real – and if you tell the truth in your work, it’s bound to fall on fertile soil,” Nkosi concludes.

KEY CREW

Writer and director: Ernest Nkosi

Producer: Nhlane Enos Manthata, Thato Dhladla and Ernest Nkosi.

DOP: Motheo Moeng (SASC) and Nyembezi Ncaba

Editor: James O’ Sullivan

Sound: Mpho Nthangeni and Banele Mtwa

ARB rules against Toyota advert

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

Regarded as the wittiest car ad of 2019, the Toyota Hilux GR-Sport commercial – featuring three endearing meerkats – was created by creative agency, FCB Joburg.

The much-loved ad has been a hot topic of debate after two complaints were laid against Toyota South Africa with the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA).

The first complainant, David Lazarus, argued that the commercial encourages illegal driving on sand dunes, while Louise McIntosh claimed that Toyota promoted off-road driving that is harmful to nature.

The Advertising Regulation Board (ARB) ruled in favour of the two complainants and claimed that Toyota South Africa has indeed breached Clause 3.3 of Section II that clearly states that advertisements should not contain anything which might lead to or encourage criminal or illegal activities. The ARB therefore requested Toyota to withdraw the ad from television.

Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, who is a member of the Cape Town City’s mayoral committee for Spatial Planning and Environment, comments: “South Africa has a set of regulations known as the Control of the Use of Vehicles in the Coastal Zone which forms part of the Integrated Coastal Management Act, South Africa’s principle coastal legislation. In terms of these regulations, it is illegal to drive a vehicle on the beach without obtaining a permit. The regulations stem in part from the fact that the beach is a sensitive environment and that driving on the beach can and has in the past led to significant negative impacts on the coastal environment.”

Nieuwoudt adds: “Within the Control of the Use of Vehicle regulations there is a clause that states no advertising may take place if such advertising portrays recreational driving taking place in the coastal zone in South Africa. The intention of this clause is to prevent communicating a message to the layperson that is in conflict with the legislation.”

Since the removal of the ad from television, Toyota South Africa and Toyota Global has disputed claims that the commercial infringes upon any environmental laws.  

Tasneem Lorgat, senior manager of Advertising and Digital Marketing at Toyota South Africa, says: “Both Toyota South Africa and Toyota Global are committed to the environment and a positive future for all living things, which is why we take great care when selecting locations for our shoots, as well as what we shoot.”

According to Toyota, the Hilux GR-Sport commercial was not shot in an environmentally-sensitive area but in an industrial area at the Philippi Sand Mine, which is adjacent to Mitchells Plain near Cape Town. “The shoot was on private property on the Philippi Sand Mine – permission was obtained, and a fee was paid,” adds Lorgat, who goes on to say that when viewing the ad, there is nothing in the footage that creates the perception that there is a beach or ocean nearby.

The Hilux GR-Sport commercial is, in fact, part of a campaign to promote the special edition Gazoo Racing version of the Hilux, which is a Dakar-racing inspired range. With this in mind, both the agency and automaker assumed that the location that was chosen fitted the Dakar-action feel of the film concept.

Lorgat highlighted that most Toyota ads are shot on commonly-used and approved areas, saying: “We do not wish to depict or condone ecologically-irresponsible driving regardless of where we are shooting, and to that end, you will see that the Hilux GR-Sport is mostly driving on existing paths and, in the few instances where you see it travelling over untracked sand, you will notice that we do not drive over any flora or fauna – just sand.”

Wheels24 digital readers also shared their views on the matter:

“The law disallows beach/coastal dune driving already, so hardly anyone will be able to drive like this. The ad shows what the vehicle is capable of. Rather go to any one of the other 100s of countries where no restrictions exist and moan/protest there!” – John Read

“There’s not even one thing that portrays the beach there, the only thing we see is desert. Toyota bakkies have been the best-sellers for so long; I believe the competitors are behind this.” – Thabo Ndwandwe

Gail Schimmel, CEO of ARB, commented on the verdict: “People must understand that we understood that they [Toyota SA] did not actually break the laws while filming. That is not the issue. The issue is that to the consumer watching the ad; it looks like they are driving in a natural sand dune area, which is against the law. It looks ‘cool’ and encourages other drivers to maybe do the same.”

The final ruling gave Toyota the option to either fix the ad to meet ASA’s requirements or permanently withdraw their existing ad.

However, ARB’s Schimmel cautions: “There are always two routes: withdraw the ad, or amend the ad in a way that brings it into line with the decision. The risk with amending is always that they might not manage it and face another ruling against them.”

Since the ruling, Lorgat has confirmed that Toyota South Africa has opted to amend their existing commercial. “The final ruling was made once the media schedule had concluded, so there was no actual need to withdraw the TVC from stations. We are, however, in the process of adding disclaimers on to the TVC in order to continue using it on social platforms.”

Establishing the Garden Route as a premier film destination

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

The Garden Route is a tourism gem with much to offer, including hiking trails in Heidelberg and Mossel Bay and water adventures from Witsand all the way to Plett.

The area boasts game farms where visitors can walk with elephants and giraffes. For the wine-lovers and foodies, there’s the Calitzdorp tastings and tours, and chocolates at La Chocolaterie in Great Brak. And to add to its many attractions, the region is now being developed as a premium film destination.

Garden Route Film Office

“The Garden Route Film Office is fairly new – it is the first year where municipalities such as the Garden Route District Municipality and Mossel Bay Municipality joined forces to promote the Garden Route as a film destination,” shares Jeanetta Marais, a resident of the Garden Route for over 19 years and vice chairman of the Garden Route Film Office.  

Marais and her team at the newly-established Garden Route Film Office have embarked on a marketing drive to position the region as a premium film destination, “We attended the Durban International Film Festival to market our region and have put together a 30-second ad that will be screening soon on DStv promoting the region,” she comments. “We are also planning to attend and take part in the inaugural Knysna Film Festival (KFF), creating awareness amongst our communities of the opportunities the film industry holds.”

iKasi Media

Lika Berning is part of the Garden Route Film Office board and founder of iKasi Media, which offers film training programmes for unemployed youth from rural areas in the Garden Route. “We offer a 3-months NQF Level 4 training programme in Film, TV and Digital Media targeting unemployed youth. Our mission is to bring access and real transformation in the film industry. We focus on accessible skills like using your mobile phone to create content and practical, industry-linked skills to prepare learners to be on set. We also place learners on local and international productions in the region,” shares Berning.

In June this year, iKasi Media held a graduation ceremony that saw 22 of its learners graduate, with some selected to work at the Knysna Film Festival this year where four short films made by iKasi student directors will be screened.

“These [student films] can be seen on our YouTube Channel – iKasi Creative Media. We are also hosting screenings in the Knysna community for audiences who do not have access to the festival. Our line-up includes Mama Africa, a documentary about the life of Miriam Makeba by Mika Kaurismäki, and Have you Heard from Johannesburg: Oliver Tambo by Connie Field. These films are supplied by AfriDocs,” explains Berning.

iKasi Media has also partnered with KFF to offer workshops to young people at the festival. “We will be running a five-day orientation programme to introduce the youth to career opportunities in the Film and Television industry. The training includes an overview of the script to screen process, Mobile Journalism and Set Etiquette,” shares Berning. “The programme is part of our recruitment and selection process for the MICT Seta accredited training, which takes place in Thembalethu George.”

The Knysna Film Festival

Patrick Walton is an advocate of the Garden Route’s potential as a film destination and festival director of the Knysna Film Festival, which is gearing up for its first edition this October: “The Garden Route is an emerging area for film production, skills upliftment and development; what better way to raise awareness of what it has to offer than to bring the industry to experience it for themselves?” says Walton.

According to Walton, the inaugural edition of the festival has received industry-wide support and interest from filmmakers around the world: “We are enthused by the reception we have had from around the globe. Our profile on FilmFreeway has had submissions from 21 different countries and we are now about to reach just over 100 submissions. Most notably, a number of producers have approached us directly asking to submit their film, which is a good sign that there are conversations about the festival happening already.”

Additionally, the festival has had over 20 submissions from film schools and has recruited 12 interns who will be shadowing the organisers during the festival.

While financial support for a first-time event can be challenging, Walton has opted for a barter exchange system with a number of businesses in the Garden Route. The festival has also managed to confirm sponsorship deals with the Garden Route Film Office, Knysna Waterfront and the Film and Media Promotion arm of Wesgro.

“We are still awaiting a few outcomes from other contributors we have approached – but irrespective the Knysna Film Festival is a go,” assures Walton.

The Knynsa Film Festival will be taking place from 29 October 2019 until 2 November 2019 at venues in and around the Garden Route, Western Cape.

Inside the making of etv’s Isipho

From rainmakers to diviners and traditional healers, Africa is well-known for its belief in and ties to the supernatural world.

Isipho is a fictional tale that follows a group of young people with supernatural powers who are recruited to an Academy where they are taught to use their gifts for the betterment of the world.

Produced for e.tv by Herbert Hadebe’s HerbVision Multimedia in association with The Ntintili Factory, production on the lengthy 208-episode series began with an intense research phase which saw Busisiwe Ntintili – founder of The Ntintili Factory and executive co-producer of the series – and her writing team interview numerous South Africans who work in alternative healing and creative therapy.

“There are supernatural occurrences every day. We often overlook these supernatural events in our lives and simply call them coincidence or gut feeling. But I believe that concepts such as karma, luck, intuition or déjà vu speak to the supernatural in our daily lives,” comments Ntintili. “The writing team did a lot of research into the fields of alternative healing, spiritual and supernatural gifts and African history around African knowledge systems. We also found that there is a budding network of alternative schools that deal with training people in spiritual gifts and alternative healing.”

Casting took place earlier this year in Johannesburg, attracting new and well-known actors from across South Africa. Renowned television personalities Themsie Times and Nimrod Nkosi were cast in the roles of Gogo Nqobile and Moses Shezi, respectively. Other noteworthy talents who make a comeback to the small screen with iSipho include Thobani Nzuza as Lwandle, Saint Seseli as Pastor Rametsi, Sparky Xulu as Mpendulo, Wandi Chamane as Nomzingeli and Karabo Maseko as Neo. Additionally, the series introduces two new faces to South African viewers: Precious Ngidi as Ntombi Shezi and Mbalenhle Mavimbela as Tandzile.

Isipho follows Moses Shezi, a professor, husband and father who possesses a special gift that allows him to see into the future.

Ntombi, a research scientist working for large pharmaceutical company Impilo Labs, is Moses’s only child. When Ntombi discovers that the company she works for is selling potentially harmful pills, she begins a crusade to get the pills removed from market and, by doing so, puts her life in danger. Moses begins having visions of his daughter’s impending death and is desperate to ensure that they do not become a reality. This sends him on a quest to find the four individuals who appear in his vision of Ntombi’s final moments. Upon finding them, Moses learns that they too possess supernatural gifts.

“Isipho is not just about people who can predict the future or lift heavy objects, or feel other people’s pain,” comments Nintili. “The gifts are really a metaphor for the talents and knowledge that Africans have possessed since ancient times.”

Shot in Muldersdrift and Johannesburg, principal photography on Isipho began in May 2019 and is expected to finish in early 2020. The series is being shot on the Sony FS7 camera, which happens to be executive co-producer Herbert Hadebe’s go-to camera for most of his shoots. “We wanted the Isipho look and feel to capture the mystical, magical realism tone of the series, while still operating in a modern world that audiences can connect with,” comments Hadebe. “I have personally fallen in love with the Sony FS7 paired with prime lenses. This allows you a cinematic look while still delivering a full high definition, glossy and crisp feel for happy prime time viewing.” Rush Post is handling the edit while audio and final mix is being done by On-Key Sound Studios.

Episode one of the series aired on 1 July 2019 at 18h30 on DStv Channel 194. The series is a half-hour drama airing every Monday to Thursday, with repeats the following day at 14h00. Isipho is also screening on the VIU.com streaming platform.

“The reception to Isipho so far has been extremely positive,” comments Ntintili. “Viewers are delighted to watch something that is quite different in tone and content to what they have been used to…They are finding the characters relatable and already have favourites on the show.”

Overall, Hadebe and Ntintili hope that – through the series – South African viewers will realise that there is a special gift in all of us and that all we need to do is believe in our greatness and our gifts in order to improve our lives.

“We might not be able to predict the future or lift a truck, but we have gifts that span the gamut of human experience. Gifts like empathy, courage, creativity, intellect, invention, entrepreneurship and leadership. These are the gifts our society needs to be able to tackle the issues facing us like unemployment, crime and wealth inequality. These are the gifts our country needs to be able to grow and compete on a global stage,” concludes Ntintili.

Facebook series 2De Vrou spotlights issues of polygamy in the Muslim community

2De Vrou is a three-part Facebook series created by Cape Town filmmaker Sedick Simons. The series marks his filmmaking debut under Koefia Films – a platform that Simons intends to use to create Halal-permissible Islamic content that will educate and stimulate discussion in the Muslim community.

The controversial series, 2De Vrou, tackles issues pertaining to polygamy in the Muslim community, more especially the pain often felt by women in the community when their husbands take on another wife. “Our film in no way undermines the Quran and Sunnah (our lifestyle or our beloved prophet). It tackles a pertinent issue in our community and contextualises it for people who deal with this on a daily basis. Most Imams (may Allah bless them) and Muslim men today focus on the Fiqh/Sharia but very little on the emotional trauma some of our women experience,” explains Simons, who felt that making 2De Vrou could help bring the plight of women affected by this issue to the fore, and lead to a much-needed discussion about this common but largely unspoken-about practice.

Part one of the series is a 10-min short film set in Mitchells Plain, which follows a married woman named Nuraan. A wife and mother who practices her faith diligently, Nuraan is distraught when – on a visit to her local butchery – she discovers that her husband has taken a second wife. This new information puts her faith and marriage to the test when Nuraan questions her rights as a Muslim woman and her husband’s betrayal for keeping his new wife a secret from her for more than six months.
The short film sees Nuraan confront her husband as well as the local Moulana to voice her concerns. Her journey to find a possible solution to her predicament leads to an open conversation on the topic with some of her close family.

Still to be shot, part two of the series will focus on how polygamy impacts the children involved, the second wife and the husband. While in Part three, the team will look into the reasons why the Prophet took on more than one wife.

According to the Quran, the religion permits men to have up to four wives, with the condition that he treat all of them equally. “You may have heard of someone that didn’t treat his wives with fairness and justice. Maybe someone did it purely out of lust. Maybe that person was abusive physically and emotionally. But the act itself was allowed by God so we cannot think of it as wrong. We cannot eliminate it,” says Simons. “Men marry for different reasons: care, love, lust, friendship, etc. No matter what the reasons, when a man takes a second wife, the first wife and children in most cases experience some level of emotional and behavioural issues.”
The female lead Nuraan is played by Nuraan Ajam – wife of Simons’s cousin, Achmat. The couple play the main characters in the series, even using their real names.

Simons says that idea for the series was actually sparked by Nuraan’s relationship with her husband: “I admire the bond between Achmat and his wife. They do everything together…I thought about what would happen if a third person entered their relationship. This sparked thoughts about how couples in polygamous relationships navigate the struggles of their relationships. I discussed the idea with them and the rest is history.”
Simons educated himself on the topic by discussing it with several local scholars: “I read online articles and watched videos on polygamy presented by international Muslim scholars. I also interviewed local Muslim women to get their thoughts on the subject,” he shares. “This is a subject that very often is discussed between friends, family, husbands and wives. I thought I could touch on the emotions a woman goes through – even though she is a practicing Muslim and understands polygamy is allowed.”

Part one was shot at the Simons house in Mitchells Plain, the butchery in New Woodlands and at the Al-Masjidur Rawbie mosque in Portlands.

“My filmmaking methodology is guided by Islamic principles shaping the production process. The manner in which the characters are dressed in the film is also according to Islamic principles,” explains Simons, who shot the first installment on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 camera, paired with Sigma 18-35 lenses. Aputure Amaran LED light panels and No Name fluorescent tubes were used to light select scenes. Besides having a team to help with the lighting for the shoots, Simons handled everything else himself – from the script, to production, post and final upload.

The first episode in the series was released in late-June of 2019 and went viral within days. As a result, Simons was asked to be a guest on various radio shows to discuss the film.

The first installment of the three-part series has sparked much-needed discussion on the topic, with several women coming out to share their personal stories of living in a polygamous relationship and how they cope with having to share their husbands. 2De Vrou received mixed reactions from Muslim men who are for and against this practice.

Simons says that he hopes to start shooting part two in the first week of August. “I’m busy writing part two and because I work solo, things take a bit longer. I also need to work around my cast’s schedules. This is not a paid-for production, it’s self-funded.”

Simons is already working on other film ideas with roots in the Muslim community. Through his films, he intends on changing the way the world views his religion and his people, and this starts by educating citizens about things that take place in their own backyards.

“Western films depict Islam in a very negative way. Muslims are always terrorists or the bad guy… It has always been my dream to create Halal-permissible Islamic content that can educate and stimulate discussion in our local community. The only way to tackle this problem is to create our own Halal Islamic content that is both informative, educational and entertaining for everyone. Not just Muslims,” Simons concludes.

Behind the scenes of FCB’s new Coke Phonetic Can campaign

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

Though twenty-five years have passed since Apartheid, its effects are still apparent in South Africa today. During the Apartheid era, when black South Africans possessed names that were deemed too difficult to pronounce, they were often given common western names.

Creative director at FCB Joburg, Suhana Gordhan, expands: “Imagine that your name was Bonganiokuhlekwamadlamane. Now imagine that you grew up at the height of segregation in Apartheid South Africa. Your name was a problem, and so was your native language. The government decided it was easier to just call you ‘John’. This was the struggle with identity that generations of South Africans faced under an oppressive system. Twenty-five years later, the effects still linger and language still divides us.”

FCB Joburg won the Coca-Cola South Africa account in 2011, and kick-started their partnership with the soft drink by printing South African names on cans in the global Share a Coke campaign.

Share a Coke with Bobby was the 2013 TV commercial and campaign that saw Coca-Cola swap its brand name to feature 600 of the country’s most popular names. Additionally, Coke ran a consumer-led activation campaign which allowed ordinary South Africans the opportunity to have their proudly-African names printed on a can. In the midst of its success, a can was found with a profane Tsonga word written on it. The profanity slip prompted discontinuation of the consumer-led element of the Share a Coke campaign.

“The ‘slip’ was a very unfortunate incident whereby one individual took it upon themselves to abuse the ability to put one’s name on a Coke product. This resulted in hundreds of thousands of South Africans losing out on the opportunity to enjoy receiving their name on a Coca-Cola. There will always be individuals who deliberately try to deviate from the norm, but the joy brought to the larger population is far greater and more beneficial for the brand than the negative ripple that these acts create in small circles,” comments FCB Joburg Business Unit director, Struan Bourquin.

Now back with an added educational element, the agency presents the Coke Phonetic Can campaign. “For me, this was a very special campaign because I think the subject matter is especially unique to South Africa,” comments Gordhan on the new campaign. “I love that a big brand like Coca-Cola can commit to using their real estate on packs to help solve a social problem. In the past, Coca-Cola has placed people’s names on cans. However, The Phonetic Can took it further by adding the pronunciation to people’s names.”

To execute the campaign, Gordhan had an equally dedicated and passionate team working by her side, namely senior art director Jonathan Wolberg, senior copywriter Paul Frade, as well as art directors Jeremy Miller and Yaseen Mahomed.

“Our vision was to introduce South Africa to South Africa, by putting the phonetics of each name from all the different languages and cultures on Coca-Cola packs, effectively teaching South Africans to greet each other, by name, correctly,” Gordhan shares. “At its core, Coca-Cola aims to bring people together, regardless of their differences. So, this campaign felt like a perfect fit to do just that in the realm of Share a Coke.”

The FCB team worked with the Department of Home Affairs to gather names from every part of the country. The list comprised the most popular South African names in all eleven languages and across all nine provinces.

“We started with a list of over 12 000 unique names and ended up with a list of 1 000 names to go on packs, which would give us a high enough coverage of the population,” comments Bourquin.

When undertaking the phonetics challenge, the agency consulted with linguistic professors from multiple universities as well as professional writers who spoke the eleven official languages. Together with these language specialists, the team worked to develop a simple, non-academic phonetic system to help South Africans pronounce each other’s names better.

“The big idea or concept was that by adding the pronunciation to people’s names, the Coca-Cola packaging became much more than an acknowledgement of identity – it became a teacher, a change-maker. Wherever there was a Coke can, there was an opportunity to learn, or at the very least, to just try. The can became an invitation to say a name without fear. It became a way to bridge language divides, an educational tool and a symbol of cultural pride,” says FCB Joburg chief creative officer, Jonathan Deeb.

The Coke Phonetic Can campaign commenced in November 2018 with just the name and pronunciation initiative, but by the first quarter of 2019, it expanded with countrywide activations on TV, radio, cinema, billboards and social media platforms. And, excitingly, the vending machine model that was introduced with the original Share a Coke campaign made a comeback, allowing many South Africans the opportunity to get their hands on a personalised can. “The response was overwhelmingly positive,” remarks Bourquin. “It has shown us that South Africans really embrace truly South African stories and executions.”

Produced by Johannesburg-based Bioscope Films, under the direction of Fausto Becatti with DoP Fabian Vettiger, ordinary South Africans were featured in over 30 pieces of TV and online content sharing the story behind their unique names. “The brief from FCB was to focus on finding real people, with real names, and to tell genuine and entertaining stories with the knowledge that South Africa has such a diverse and interesting populace. A big part of my treatment was to put an emphasis on the heartfelt or more meaningful stories to balance out the funny ones, having had a personal history with a name that is almost always mispronounced,” Becatti shares.

The stories were shot using three cameras: the Sony Venice as the A-cam; the Arri Amira as the B-cam; and the Canon 8mm camera as the C-cam. “The Venice was chosen because of its full-frame sensor with the intention of shooting wide open, and giving us a sense of a medium-format portrait look and feel,” explains Becatti. “We kept it very simple in the set-up as our master shot, without too much movement, to act as the most basic shot of documenting a story.

“The Arri as a B-cam would capture a bit more movement and alternative angles to keep the edit interesting, and also to capture more of the character’s mannerisms or quirks both in their way of talking or their homes or rooms,” he continues. “The C-cam was simple but an incredibly important choice in the mix because it acted as the purest form of capturing our characters’ spirits. The 8mm film, not only rich with a sense of nostalgia but also loose and gritty, meant that we got cutaways that were the most raw and pure versions of the people.”

The Coca-Cola YouTube channel created a teaching series titled Share a Sound to teach complex sounds such as the ‘q’ and ‘x’ click sound commonly found in Zulu and Xhosa names. The series has since gained much attraction from viewers, including a school teacher who has requested the use of the series in the classroom.

Bourquin expands: “We received a message on our YouTube channel from a school teacher asking if she could use the content as a learning tool. This is, of course, exactly the intention of the campaign and led us to create specific sound boxes which could be used to further help learners understand how to pronounce our names.”

Radio station hosts such as 702’s Bongani Bingwa shared their support of the campaign with their listeners. Other national radio stations went as far as changing their names and jingles for the day to the most difficult names in South Africa.

In addition, out-of-home activations were strategically implemented in different regions with deliberately mismatched languages broadcast to introduce communities to other native languages besides the ones spoken in that area.

“People who were featured on billboards even shared pictures of themselves standing under their billboards. These were shared to social media. I think it meant something for these young people to be represented by the brand in such a personal way,” says Gordhan.

The project was one of the largest integrated campaigns ever tackled by FCB Joburg and has been awarded internally amongst FCB’s global creative executive committees. “Navigating the sheer volume of content that we created for the campaign to ensure diversity and inclusion was probably the biggest challenge. This was one of those liquid ideas that continues to allow us to expand our content arsenal,” highlights Bourquin.

The campaign received two shortlists at Cannes Lion this year, and Coca-Cola’s No Sugar offering, which featured across all content during the campaign, has experienced an increase in sales.

“I believe that this campaign is relevant to our times – a time in South Africa when social cohesion is more necessary now than ever before,” concludes Gordhan.

KEY CREW:

Senior art director: Jonathan Wolberg

Senior copywriter: Paul Frade

Art directors: Jeremy Miller and Yaseen Mahomed

Director and photography: Fausto Becatti

DOP: Fabian Vettiger

Editors: Daniel Mitchell, Tumi Ditshego, Joe de Ornelas, Keno Naidoo, Jarryd Du Toit, Mohammed Chopdat

Nite Jogger campaign from adidas celebrates the creative awakening of the night

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

adidas recently launched a new, reflective training shoe collection for the “night time creator.” The trendy sneaker, aptly called Nite Jogger, is inspired by a 1970s shoe of the same name.

“The youth of today burns into the early hours of the morning, expressing themselves creatively without the boundaries of what their mundane day to day provides. Whether its work or school or making ends meet during the day, the night time is when the magic takes place and this is where we wanted to play – at night, in the heartbeat of this creative awakening,” says Martin Magner, creative director of Andpeople.

Andpeople – a creative agency of youth engagement specialists – has been working with adidas Originals South Africa for over seven years now. Their partnership is inspired by their shared vision of creating value in youth culture through creative empowerment.

“The brief was to establish the adidas Nite Jogger’s unique proposition within the market and the creative process took place within our dynamic team. We are all actively part of this creative awakening – between us we throw nightlife events, teach yoga and make music all on top of our 9 to 5s,” Magner comments.

With the campaign tagline, ‘What you are in the day is not what you are at night’, the team at Andpeople fittingly chose to play with music and dance as the central themes. Magner expands: “’What you are in the day is not what you are at night’ guided us into the music and dance space. When looking at South Africa, the most accessible form of creative expression is dance. Dance allows us to communicate without words and express who we are – something that every one of us can relate to, and experience on every corner, club or household when the sun goes down.”

Durban’s gqom music sensation, DJ Lag, and sultry singer and songwriter, Shekinah, were brought together to create a song and subsequent music video for the campaign. Using the phrase ‘Creative Awakening of the Night’ as inspiration, they were tasked to develop a catchy tune that resonates with young people and encourages dance expression. “Pairing DJ Lag’s nation-moving gqom sound with Shekinah’s hearty, smooth as honey vocals felt like a no-brainer. I’m the biggest fan of an unexpected collaboration, and the collision of these two is something I never knew we needed. Shekinah and Lag both have their unique audiences and together they’re a force,” says Magner about the unique pairing.

The vibey track and accompanying music video – directed by award-winning director Kyle Lewis and shot by Devin Tosselli – is titled Anywhere We Go. The video features dancer Thami Njoko, wearing the adidas Nite Jogger sneaker while expressing himself through dance after dark.

“From the very beginning we wanted the focus to be on the expression of dance as well as the track itself – the integration of the artists is nuanced but present, never overshadowing the dance performance,” comments Lewis. “I wanted to focus on those who are inspired by the music and the emotions behind it rather than do the traditional artists-feature. Both Lag and Shekinah were on the same page as me: it was like after they contributed their creativity, they wanted to pass it on to someone else.”

Lewis says that the brief was open and collaborative, and everyone was given respect regarding their creative process and input in the project: “It was a fantastic process… they allowed me to conceptualise and create the visuals and trusted me completely, which can be rare in this field. It’s always a blessing to be allowed to create in this way as a director.”

Lewis sought the assistance of producer Vjorn du Toit to find a gifted dancer that could execute his vision. After a brief search, the pair found their guy while doing a random search on YouTube. “His control of his body and his knowledge of various different genres of dance was awe-inspiring. He really captivates you and draws you in, which is exactly what I was looking for,” comments Lewis.

Anywhere We Go was shot on the ARRI Alexa and Phantom cameras, paired with Panavision C Series Anamorphic Prime lenses. The shoot took place at night, at a paper recycling plant in Epping, Cape Town. Njoko glistens as he performs, bare-chested and wearing only Adidas track pants paired with Nite Jogger sneakers.

“I wanted to explore dance and how it can express inner emotions without words. I wanted to use sci-fi as a notion of not feeling like you belong,” shares Lewis, who took a creative risk by incorporating the use of VFX to complement the performance. “I am a big fan of in-camera, but for this piece, I wanted to explore more VFX, especially with the sci-fi tone. It was a departure for me but my incredible FX artist and long-time collaborator, Blake Prinsloo, put me at ease.” The pair started the process by doing a full 3D scan of the dancer. More effort was placed on 3D and compositing to achieve the desired look. Post-production was handled by Stephen du Plessis from 2+3 Post Productions in Cape Town.

Shekinah makes brief appearances in the video as television noise captured in an old black and white TV, while DJ Lag appears in the form of a silhouette on the wall, with the lyrics of the song running across him. “With Lag, I wanted him present but in an interesting way. It was inspired by the adidas aesthetic as well as the lyrics of the track,” Lewis shares.

The video was released on multiple digital streaming platforms on 24 May 2019. DJ Lag, who has been working with adidas for two years now, shared about how the brand has been a strong supporter of his music and dedicated the track to all creatives chasing their dreams, saying: “This is for all creatives that never sleep on calling the dream.”

  • Gezzy S Sibisi

KEY CREW

Producer: Vjorn du Toit

Director: Kyle Lewis

DoP: Devin Tosselli

Editor: Stephen du Plessis

Music: DJ Lag and Shekinah

The making of musical documentary The Sound of Masks

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

Mozambique was under Portugal’s control for over four centuries before gaining independence in 1975. Since then, many stories have been told about the country’s past and post-colonial state, but none as visually entrancing as Sara Gouveia’s musical documentary film, The Sound of Masks. Screen Africa spoke to Gouveia about what went into the making of the film…

Gouveia spent most of her early years living in Portugal. As a creative and curious young girl, she enjoyed expressing herself through visual and performing arts. However, it was only later in life – while pursuing her studies in visual arts – that her interest in filmmaking surfaced.

“When I was 18 I moved to the UK to study visual arts and that’s when I started experimenting with photography and video. I instantly fell in love with both mediums… In 2007 I was invited to study for an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, so I took that opportunity, which took me to China for a year. In 2008, I moved to South Africa and I worked on a documentary film with Angela Ramirez and Calum MacNaughton called Mama Goema: The Cape Town Beat in Five Movements (2011). I would say it was after we finished that film that I decided I wanted to pursue filmmaking as a career and I haven’t looked back since,” Gouveia shares.

In 2013, Gouveia and some of her industry peers decided to open their own film and video production company – Lionfish Productions – in Cape Town.

Lionfish has produced a variety of projects over the past six years but the documentary film, The Sound of Masks, has been their biggest undertaking thus far. The idea for the film came about in 2011 after one of Gouveia’s many trips to Mozambique. “I was interested in working on a project that looked at colonial history, since I grew up in Portugal, so there was that historical connection,” she says. “I felt we had been told a narrative in Portugal that didn’t seem to reflect what I had seen in southern Africa or how people in Mozambique perceived the Portuguese, so I started to question that Euro-centric version of history.

“When I met Atanásio and his dance group they spoke of that history through their work, so it seemed fitting to make a film with them,” she explains. Atanásio Nyusi is a legendary Mapiko dancer, a compelling storyteller, a father and a librarian who Gouveia was first introduced to when Nyusi’s dance group, Massacre de Mueda, performed at the Out of the Box Festival in Cape Town in 2011.

“I was intrigued by their performance, which was a mix of traditional and contemporary dance, music and theatre, and I was particularly captivated by the way Atanásio directly addressed the audience, asking uncomfortable questions, kind of like saying, ‘Let’s not forget’,” expresses Gouveia.

In The Sound of Masks, Nyusi performs the enchanting Mapiko dance – the traditional masked dance of the Makonde that originates from the north of Mozambique and Tanzania. “The masks can represent anything the sculptor feels inspired to create, such as men, women or even animals and the lipiko (dancer) represents a spirit,” Gouveia expands.

The Mapiko dance has evolved with each generation. Nowadays it is used as a catalyst for social commentary and is also performed during initiation rites of passage, as well as in various celebration ceremonies.

In the film, Gouveia delves into Nyusi’s life behind the masks, revealing his beliefs, fears and aspirations as a father and a custodian of the Mapiko tradition.

“Atanásio’s journey is emotional. He’s trying to leave a legacy as an artist and his plight in promoting Mapiko in a contemporary context is inspiring, but he has also realised that he has perhaps failed to pass this knowledge down in his own home. That becomes clear when he says he feels indebtedness towards his son. This is the moment he realises the growing distance between the two of them and all the stories he could have shared with him; sometimes we don’t notice things until it’s too late. These aspects of Atanásio’s life converge to comment on the tension between past and present, tradition and modernity, in a radically shifting country.”

Through Nyusi’s journey, the film explores significant events in Mozambican history and what remains today. These stories are told by ex-combatants that Nyusi spends time with in the Zona Militar in Maputo – an old military neighbourhood.

“The neighbourhood was initially an area of Portuguese military headquarters and during the war it was occupied by Mozambican combatants. This was a central area of the city with access to hospitals, schools, supermarkets and other facilities that made life easier for soldiers. The group of Makonde combatants in the area made a point of keeping their traditions alive and, these days, one can still find Mapiko being performed under the large mango tree, usually during specific national commemorations or during the initiation rites, when the place comes alive,” Gouveia shares.

The area is also where Nyusi and his group hold their dance rehearses. Most of these dancers are descendants of the ex-combatants and use the dance to teach the newer generation to keep their heritage alive.

Production

In 2013, Gouveia and her small team from South Africa commenced production on the film. She says that she imagined the film having two story-worlds: “the first was the vérité-world, where we see Atanásio in his day-to-day life, and the other was the oral storytelling world, where his art, memories and traditions come together to tell mythological stories that also teach.”

However, the team soon realised that the dances on location didn’t translate well on camera and opted for a studio set-up for the dance scenes. “Once that space had been established we could then have the dance sequences on location and it was easier for the audience to take meaning from the stories being told. Intercutting archive with the dance sequences allowed us to highlight the meaning behind some of the masks,” says Gouveia.

The archival material used in the film was obtained from different sources including INAC (Instituto Nacional de Audio-Visual e Cinema), ZIMMEDIA, Moving into Dance Mophatong, RTP and Notícia, as well as from the personal archive of both Atanásio Cosme Nuysi and Paolo Israel.

The film was shot on the Sony FS7 camera with some sequences shot in 4K. “(It) offered us great slow-motion options, which for the dance sequences was a must. You can also record sound into the camera, which is wonderful,” says Gouveia.

The studio sequences were filmed in Cape Town at the Höerskool DF Malan. The rest of the film was shot periodically on various trips to different parts of Mozambique. Additional scenes were shot on the Unity Bridge across the Ruvuma River, on the border between Mozambique and Tanzania.

In 2017, Gouveia partnered with a Portuguese production company named Ukbar Filmes: “I showed them a very rough cut of the film then and they saw the potential and jumped on board… They managed to find finishing funds in Portugal, which allowed us to wrap the film in November 2018, just ahead of its premiere at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam).”

In terms of post-production duties, Khalid Shamis handled the offline edit: “I wanted to work with him for two reasons: firstly because he is a really talented storyteller, and secondly because he is familiar with Mozambique and I thought it would be beneficial to have someone who knows the energy of the place in the edit room,” says Gouveia.

Tiago Correia-Paulo, a Mozambican musician and songwriter, created the soundtrack for the film. Online was done in South Africa and Portugal by the respective production companies.

Festivals

The Sound of Masks had its world premiere at IDFA and its African premiere at the 2018 Marrakech International Film Festival.

The film is screening at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) – currently running until 28 July – where it is competing in the Documentary Film section, and all this after making its first appearance at the Durban FilmMart in July 2014, where it was awarded the Most Promising Documentary Pitch.

Most noteworthy, The Sound of Masks will make its way to Mozambique for the Maputo Fast Forward Festival happening in October later this year.

“The film really comes down to connecting past, present and future: knowing the past, to understand the present and to imagine the future,” concludes Gouveia.

KEY CREW

Director and DOP: Sara CF de Gouveia

Editor: Khalid Shamis

Sound: Pedro Góis

BBC StoryWorks develops uplifting pan-African campaign for Emirates

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

Dubai-based airline Emirates has long been in the business of connecting Africans with the rest of the world.

In its latest campaign, the airline called on its existing partnership with BBC Global News, which saw the account handed over to BBC StoryWorks.

“BBC StoryWorks is the commercial content team within the advertising sales division of BBC Global News,” says Richard Pattinson from BBC StoryWorks. “So if there’s a campaign beyond a media buy that involves the creation of branded content, or sponsorship of one of our great BBC editorial series, then we get involved.”

Pattinson and his team were provided with a campaign brief which asked them to increase awareness of Emirates across Africa. “To do this, we worked closely with Emirates’ creative agency, Leo Burnett, to develop a creative campaign consisting entirely of authentic African stories that would resonate with local audiences,” says Pattinson.

The creative team selected fashion, art, literature and music as the central themes to drive their African stories. Three creatives from across the African continent were chosen to be featured as cultural ambassadors and pioneers who celebrate and embody the spirit of Africa.

“At the heart of it, we wanted to produce a snapshot of modern, urban Africa that would resonate with a young and vibrant African audience. This meant it was really important for us to stay true to the stories presented in the films, and to avoid any clichés or worn out narratives. By focusing the campaign on the inspirational talent from across the continent, it allowed their stories to shine through and takes Emirates closer to the heart of their audience in a way that is authentic,” shares Pattinson.

With the aim to showcase Africa as a vibrant, revitalised continent where talent and creativity thrive, the campaign unfolds as a series of commercials or short films that present the inspirational stories behind each creative.

Africa Dreams with Shanelle

Shanelle Nyasiase is a 21-year-old South Sudanese model who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Kenya. Her short film titled Africa Dreams with Shanelle, shows how being an internationally recognised supermodel takes Shanelle to different corners of the world, but it’s her home, Nairobi, that gave her the wings to fly.

The ad is shot at a vibrant street market, dense with colourful African fabrics and garments. Through the ad, Nyasiase recounts how she had dreams of travelling the world as part of a cabin crew from a young age. However, her travelling dreams turned out better than she ever imagined.

Africa Soars with Abiola

Africa Soars with Abiola features Abiola Oke who left New York and a budding career on Wall Street to return to his hometown in Lagos, Nigeria where he started his own media company, OkayAfrica.

Oke shares how creative talents in Africa are reclaiming the narrative of the region and how his company, OkayAfrica has grown to be the leading digital media platform that connects a global audience to African music, film, culture and entertainment.

Africa Moves with Blinky Bill

Kenyan musician, producer and deejay, Blinky Bill Sellanga’s musical identity stems from Africa but transcends to the rest of the world. The performer collaborates with artists from Africa, Europe and other parts of the world.

In Africa Moves with Blinky Bill, the artist explains how his Nairobian roots have inspired his creative talents. Emirates also worked with Sellanga to create the anthem for the pan-African campaign that includes a music video with snippets from all parts of the series.

The music video and song is meant to act as a hero piece for the campaign while the profile films let viewers delve deeper into each creative’s story.

Speaking more about Sellanga’s involvement in the project, Pattinson said: “We worked with Kenyan musician, Blinky Bill, who was also profiled in one of the films to create the music for the campaign. He’s a real talent and was able to translate the original brief into an incredible piece of work. It was always going to be a challenge to create a piece of music that is truly ‘pan-African’ given the sheer number of different musical styles, influences and languages across the continent, but we hope we managed to produce a piece of music that made people feel good and want to get up and dance!”

The campaign roll-out began in February with the short films airing on the BBC World News television channel. The digital launch took place a few weeks later on BBC Reel – the curated global home of BBC’s rich video archive.

“We’ve had a really positive reception so far to the campaign. We share the same view as Emirates in that, it’s impossible to ignore the energy and talent coming out of Africa today – in music, fashion, sport and art – and we wanted them to join the conversation and celebrate amazing, inspiring stories of people constantly pushing boundaries and challenging African stereotypes,” Pattinson says.

“Hopefully we’ve managed to produce something that makes Africans feel a sense of pride, and also something that continues to drive forward the modern positive narrative around the continent and the supreme wealth of incredible talent coming to the fore at the moment,” Pattinson concluded.

 

South African short film Lace screens at Cannes

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

The short film Lace follows Garvey, a man hopelessly in love and planning to pop the question to his girlfriend Vida. However, on the night that he is to propose, tragedy strikes and his world is turned upside down. Unable to move on, Garvey uses technology to replay his last moments with Vida over and over again.

The film stars Enhle Mbali Maphumulo as Vida and Richard Lukunku as Garvey. Lesang Tshoke and Adam Lindberg also feature in the short film.

The result of a 48 Hour Film Project (48 HFP) challenge, Lace is the debut film from Johannesburg-based production company, VIVA Pictures.

Producer Neo Ntlatleng comments: “When we formed VIVA Pictures, we were looking to produce narrative projects, and director, Kgosi [Choene] told me that he would like to enter the 48 Hour Film Project. We felt that making a film in 48 hours would be a great way to get our first film – as a company – under our belt. The success of the film is attributed to the talented cast and crew that offered their weekend and time to make Lace.”

VIVA Pictures was among sixty teams participating in the Johannesburg edition of the contest last year. The challenge was to write, shoot and edit a movie in just two days – over the weekend of 22 to 23 September 2018.

The annual competition takes place in various cities across the world. Participating teams are assigned a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue, and are to use all four elements to create a film in just 48 hours.

“Just before kick-off time for the 48 Hour Film Project, each crew was given two genres to choose from. We were given sci-fi and film noir, and we decided to go with sci-fi,” shares Ntlatleng. “With Lace, we wanted to showcase the breadth and depth of African cinema. Through the growth of film styles like sci-fi and horror, African cinema is becoming more marketable and bankable from an international perspective,” he added.

Aiming to stay true to their genre and achieve maximum emotional impact, the VIVA Pictures team managed to produce a relatable sci-fi film. Their unique approach paid off when the short film won several awards at the contest including Best Writing, Best Directing, Best Special Effects and Best Actor.

The film went on to represent South Africa at the 2019 Filmapalooza International Film Festival in March this year, which sees the winners of the Best Film award from each city around the world compete on a global stage.

At Filmapalooza, Lace scooped the Best Actress award for Enhle Mbali Maphumulo’s performance as Vida, Best Writing for Kgosi Choene and the writing team, and the film came in second overall in the Best Film category.

Lace was received exceptionally well at Filmapalooza. Out of the 5000 short films that were produced globally for the 48 Hour Film Project in 2018, 130 ‘Best Film’ city winners competed in this year’s festival,” shares Ntlatleng.

Prior to the 48 HFP, director Kgosi Choene had worked with VIVA Pictures on a TV show which won them a SAFTA award. So when he was approached to be part of their team for the 2-day project, he gladly accepted the challenge. “It was an enthralling experience as all of our collective skills as filmmakers were put to the test. The most rewarding aspect was being able to produce a story from scratch in such a short space of time,” shares Choene.

The film was shot on the RED One camera by DOP, Diego Ollivier. “We used the RED One camera for a smooth, clean, futuristic aesthetic and we shot with a steady cam rig to give a handheld vibe to make the story more visceral and intimate,” Choene informs.

Lace is an intimate film that shows viewers the deep connection and playful relationship shared by Garvey and his partner. However, everything takes a surreal turn when the viewer later realises that the story is not projecting real-time events, but is instead a replay of the protagonist’s thoughts.

Choene expands: “Our greatest achievement aesthetically was managing to get the audience to feel as though all of what was happening was in real time and all through the perspective of the protagonist. So, we shot it all in one take and added glitches in post-production to give the desired effect.”

Visual effects were done by Tshwanelo Modise. Editing was handled by Kudakwashe Mpambawashe and sound design was carried out by Leroy Zokufa with the film score composed by Zethu Mashika.

“Because we were working with a science fiction story, we wanted it to seem as though the environment in which the characters are in seemed as ordinary as possible until we find out that it’s a different time in the future. We drew inspiration from Black Mirror which demonstrates the dangers technology can have on normal individuals,” shares Choene.

Lace has been celebrated for bringing a new wave of African storytelling to the fore. The film is currently travelling on the international festival circuit having recently played at the Cannes Film Festival. Lace will also be released online later this year.

“I believe the film will be accepted well, not only due to its take on the sci-fi genre, but also because it has universal themes that include love and loss. South Africa has proven time and again, that it can produce quality films that are of international standards and this was just a showcase of that,” Ntlatleng concludes.

KEY CREW

Writers: Kgosi Choene, Richard Lukunku, Neo Ntlatleng, Kudakwashe Mpambawashe

Directors: Kgosi Choene and Linda Radebe

Producers: Sekgametsi Mokoena and Neo Ntlatleng

DOP: Diego Olivier

Editor: Kudakwashe Mpambawashe

Music composer: Zethu Mashika

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