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Kevin Kriedemann

Kevin Kriedemann
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Kevin consults on PR and marketing for Africa’s film industry. Current clients include Showmax, Triggerfish and Tulips and Chimneys; previous clients include Al Jazeera, Egg, Encounters, Film Afrika, and the Oscar-nominated short films Asad and Revolting Rhymes. Before changing sides, Kevin edited The Callsheet and The Filmmakers Guide To South Africa and freelanced for the likes of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter as a journalist. He’s also co-founder of Africa.film, a site where you can watch Africa's best videos, as chosen by the continent's best filmmakers and the world's top film festivals and websites.

Kyle Lewis directs Ungovernable BMW commercial

Cape Town-based director Kyle Lewis, who recently signed to Egg Films for commercials representation, has released Ungovernable, a new ad for the first-ever BMW X2.

OpenCo’s creative team of Kyle Schoeman and Nicola Sprawson invited Lewis to workshop the script with them. The piece is an ode to “those who tear normal up” – something Lewis has become known for himself.

“BMW is a great example of why we’re so excited to represent Kyle for commercials,” says Colin Howard, Egg Films’ managing director. “Kyle is now getting opportunities to show his broader talent, with advertising as his main focus.”

Leading international trade Shots called Ungovernable “inspiring” and Lewis “legendary.” This is his eighth feature on Shots in just over two years – the most of any South African director during this time.

Lewis thanked everyone he worked with on BMW, including producer Will Nicholson, DOP Willie Nel, editor Jade Bowyer (PostModern), stylist Nola Williams, art director Gerhard van Zyl and composer Tapiwa Musvosvi.

Having made his name as one of South Africa’s most acclaimed music video directors, Lewis transitioned seamlessly into advertising with Egg’s sister company, Arcade Content, where his instinct and flair for African youth culture has been in demand with everyone from Absolut to Nike to Volkswagen over the last three-and-a-half years. Recent advertising accolades include a Gold Loerie and Silver Bookmark and Apex awards.

Arcade Content will continue to represent Lewis for brand films and music videos; he’s represented in the UK by Black Dog Films – the music video arm of RSA Films (Ridley Scott & Associates), which also reps the likes of multiple Grammy and MTV VMA winner Jonas Akerlund.

iNumber Number season 1 trailer

Showmax got off to a winning start at the SAFTAs when their first ever entry, iNumber Number, took home the TV Drama Golden Horn for Best Achievement in Directing for Catherine Cooke, Rolie Nikiwe and Rea Rangaka.

This co-production with Mzansi Magic is a spin-off from Donovan Marsh’s SAFTA-winning film of the same name. Presley Chweneyagae and Sdumo Mtshali reprise their roles as cops Shoes and Chilli. Chilli infiltrates an infamous crime family to bring down an untouchable patriarch, while criminals are trying to intimidate Shoes into withholding evidence. When these cases collide, the cops find themselves at a crossroads where their brotherhood bond will be tested.

iNumber Number (season 1) is now streaming on Showmax.

Touki Bouki trailer

Beyonce took to Instagram to announce her new On The Run II stadium tour with Jay-Z, with a striking poster image of the couple on a bull-skull-trimmed motorbike, inspired by Djibril Diop Mambety’s Touki Bouki, a classic Senegalese film from 1973. Her Instagram post racked up over 3m views in under 24 hours.

Available to stream on Showmax in Africa, Touki Bouki is the story of two lovers – a cowherd and a university student – who dream of escaping to Paris from Dakar.

Winner of the FIPRESCI Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973, among other awards, Touki Bouki is widely considered a classic of world cinema, regularly appearing on lists like Sight & Sound’s 100 Greatest Films Of All Time and Empire’s 100 Best Films Of World Cinema.

Beyonce’s not the first celebrity to celebrate it. Oscar-winning Martin Scorsese (The Departed) hailed Touki Bouki as “something else again… A cinematic poem made with a raw, wild energy… Touki Bouki explodes one image at a time.” Touki Bouki was digitally restored as part of Scorsese’s World Cinema Project.

TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe similarly hailed it as “A favourite. Beautiful. Fully punk.”

More than 40 years after its release, it still has an 83 per cent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The New Yorker praising its “incisive and flamboyant” imagery; The Village Voice calling it “a cult film” and a “fanciful tale of mad love in the noonday sun”; and Basia Lewandowska Cummings calling it “one of my favourite films of all time” in Africa Is A Country.

Nine awards for African-linked films at Berlin International Film Festival

2018 marked the first year a short film from Rwanda competed at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival – and it won!

Samuel Ishimwe’s Imfura took home the Silver Bear Jury Prize in the short film category – one of nine awards given at this year’s festival to African-linked films. This weekend’s awards went to:

Imfura – Berlinale Shorts: Silver Bear Jury Prize
Gisa, a young man, travels to the village of his mother, who disappeared in the genocide. He wants to comprehend, to remember, but is instead forced to choose a side in a fight over an inheritance, a shell of a house. Berlin’s programme says, “The film’s hybrid form, its fusion of documentary and staged material, gives it a great sense of immediacy.”

Burkina Brandenburg Komplex  – Berlin Short Film Nominee for the European Film Awards
Directed by German Ulu Braun, Burkina Brandenburg Komplex is set in a presumably African village, inhabited by Germans, and “describes a geographical construction that makes use of ‘our’ medial and collective image of Africa and puts it to the test,” according to Berlin’s programme.

Styx – Ecumenical Jury: Panorama Prize Winner; Label Europa Cinemas; the Heiner Carow Prize; & 2nd Place, Panorama Audience Award: Fiction Film

Directed by Austria’s Wolfgang Fischer, Styx follows a German woman on a solo yacht trip who encounters a sinking boat of refugees off the coast of Mauritania. Kenyan teen actor Gedion Wekesa Odour shines as one of the refugees: Variety called his performance “superb” and The Hollywood Reporter praised him as a “find.” The Ecumenical Jury citation said Styx “discovers the biblical story of the Good Samaritan in the challenge the EU faces in the arrival of desperate immigrants from Africa. It is a film of high artistic quality, which tells a tale of suspense, and confronts us with the ethical dilemma that individuals and nations must face when we are asked, ‘Who is my neighbour?’”

Fortuna – Generation 14Plus: Youth Jury Crystal Bear & the International Jury Grand Prix

Directed by Switzerland’s Germinal Roaux, Fortuna is the story of a 14-year-old Ethiopian refugee (Kidist Siyum Beza) who has found shelter with Catholic friars in Switzerland. The International Jury praised its “sincere performances” and “sublime black and white cinematography,” adding, “This film transcends religious and political dogma in a beautifully realised tale of purity and survival as seen through the eyes of a strong-willed Ethiopian girl.”

Supa Modo –  Generation 14Plus: Children’s Jury Special Mention
Directed by Kenyan Likarion Wainaina, Supa Modo is the story of a terminally-ill girl who dreams of being a superhero, and how her village helps her achieve that dream. The children’s jury citation praised the film as “touching” and “gripping,” adding that it “shows the resourcefulness of the girl and the humanity and the strong willpower of the entire village in their efforts to make the last months of her life something special.” It’s produced by One Fine Day Films and Ginger Ink, the team behind Kati Kati, Nairobi Half Life, Something Necessary, Soul Boy, and Veve.

18 African-linked projects screened at Berlin this year: the winners and

• 7 Days in Entebbe, a Ugandan-set feature film by Brazil’s Jose Padilha
• Afrique, La pensée en mouvement Part I, a documentary by Cameroon’s Jean-Pierre Bekolo
• Before I Forget, a short film by Egypt’s Mariam Mekiwi
• Besida, a short film by Nigeria’s Chuko Esiri
• Circleen, Coco and the Wild Rhinoceros, an African-set animation by Denmark’s Jannik Hastrup
• High Fantasy, a feature film from South Africa’s Jenna Bass
• Jahilya, a feature film by Morocco’s Hicham Lasri
• Kinshasa Makambo, a documentary by the DRC’s Dieudo Hamadi
• Liberty, a  Danish TV series set in Tanzania and shot in South Africa
• Shaihu Umar, a 1976 feature film by Nigeria’s Adamu Halilu
• 
Tahia Ya Didou, a 1971 feature film by Algeria’s Mohamed Zinet
• We Live In Silence, a short film by Zimbabwe’s Kudzanai Chiurai
• What Comes Around, an Egyptian-set documentary by Reem Saleh

This was more than four times as many African-linked films as were at Sundance in January and,  encouragingly, two-thirds of them were directed by Africans.

Africa has a proud history at Berlin, with over 50 films, documentaries and short films linked to the continent having won, dating back to 1952. You can explore all these winners at https://africa.film/berlin-international-film-festival-winners-from-africa/.

It’s been a great start to 2018 for African-linked films: And Breathe Normally won Best Direction at Sundance for its story of a struggling Icelandic mother and an asylum seeker from Guinea-Bissau; Black Panther is currently the highest-grossing film of the year; and next Sunday, two African-linked films will be competing for Oscars: the Kenyan-set Watu Wote, by German filmmaker Katja Benrath, in the Live Action Short Film category and Revolting Rhymes, animated in South Africa by Triggerfish Animation and Germany by Magic Light Pictures, in the Animated Short Film category.

 

New Showmax ad captures how we all share a love of stories

“I always enjoy working on stories that are real and authentic, so I was really drawn to this script… It’s a story that every family will understand.’ – Jonathan Parkinson

Star Films’ Jonathan Parkinson directed the heart-warming new Showmax ad about a grandfather trying to connect with his granddaughter, written by Showmax’s creative team.

The ad has charmed South Africa’s normally cynical Twittersphere: when media personality Anele Mdoda tweeted that it was “so cute,’ her followers responded with their own stories of how the ad had them in tears.

“I always enjoy working on stories that are real and authentic, so I was really drawn to this script,’ says Parkinson. “It’s a story that every family, will understand.’

Showmax’s launch commercial, “There’s A Show For That’, won Bronze at this year’s Loerie Awards, but “Love of Stories’ marks the first campaign created by Showmax’s in-house creative team. Parkinson was full of praise for creative director and writer Philippa Heal and the team: “Everyone on the Showmax team was willing to explore, and they appreciated the strong push towards the emotional, rather than the practical, going for “feel’ rather than overloading with too much information.’

“Why did we make such an emotional ad?’ says Nicola van Ast, head of acquisition for Showmax. “Because SVOD is jargon; internet TV can be damn scary. We needed to bring our brand into people’s homes and hearts. Then, just maybe then, they’ll be open to being educated on how to use our product.’

With Showmax as a client, it was important that the commercial felt as cinematic as the thousands of shows available on “Everyone’s Anywhere TV’. Award-winning DOP Rory O’Grady more than delivered, shooting with anamorphic lenses with that alluring 1:2.39 format. The cold that seeps through the initial frames wasn’t just a trick of Nic Apostoli’s grade though; Newtown played its part perfectly, gifting them a “coldest day’ to fit the script.

For Parkinson, the real stars of the show were Ernest Ndlovu as the lonely but resilient 75-year-old grandfather and Unathi March as his easily distracted five-year-old granddaughter, who together kept the balance between realism and emotion. “I love working with children, as they are the real magic in life,’ says Parkinson, who also made the popular “Oreo Princess’ ad a few years ago. “I had seen Unathi in another casting and realised that she would be ideal for this role. It’s very rare to come across a five-year-old who can be so relaxed delivering dialogue in front of the camera and a crowd of people. She reminded me so much of the little girl on the Oreo commercial and she was amazing; what a little friend to make, with such a great sense of humour.’

Ashley Kadish and Maggie Post produced the spot, which was edited by Graham Smith at Orchestra Blue, to a Michael Kiwanuka cover.

Showmax titles rack up 26 nominations at Kalasha Awards

A 2018 Academy Awards contender, Kati Kati tells the story of Kaleche
(Nyokabi Gethaiga from Going Bongo and Nairobi Half Life), a young
woman who finds herself in an afterlife resort, stuck in purgatory with other souls
played by some of the best talents in the industry, like Elsaphan Njora, Peter King
Mwania, Paul Ogola, Mumbi Maina and Brian Ogola.

Kati Kati tops the list with 13 nominations:
• Best Feature Film
• Best East African film
• Best Director (Mbithi Masya)
• Best Actor (Elsaphan Njora)
• Best Actress (Nyokabi Gethaiga)
• Best Supporting Actor (Paul Ogola)
• Best Original Screenplay (Mbithi Masya and Mugambi Nthiga)
• Best Director of Photography (Andrew Mungai)
• Best Lighting Technician (Siobhan Wilson)
• Best Editor (Louiza Wanjiku)
• Best Special Effects
• Best Sound Design (Florian Holzner)
• Best Production Designer (Emmanuel Murabu)

Watch the Kati Kati trailer:

Wakwe
In Wakwe, a happily married couple fights against all odds and their parents’
disapproval to preserve their love. Wakwe has six nominations for:
• Best Actor (Ayub Bakari)
• Best Director of Photography (Lucky Collins)
• Best Lighting Technician (Kevin Mutua)
• Best Editor (Hamad Kamole)
• Best Sound Design (Khamisi Mohammed)
• Best Production Designer (Shadrack Mwabuni)

Inherited
Featuring the ever-bold Gerald Langiri (Fundimentals, House of Lungula,
Stay
), Inherited tells the story of a man (Langiri) who is forced to inherit
his brother’s wife due to an old tradition – even though he is already married.
Inherited has five nominations for:
• Best Feature Film
• Best Director (Grace Kahaki)
• Best Original Screenplay (Mona Ombogo)
• Best Director of Photography (Philippe Bresson)
• Best Production Designer (Grace Kahaki)

Tumaini Senta
A medical drama, Tumaini Senta features Nice Githinji (How to Find a
Husband, House of Lungula
) as Dr Tabu, who decides to give back to the
community by setting up a clinic in one of the most notorious slums, together with her
college friend. Tumaini Senta has two nominations for:
• Best Actress in a TV Drama (Nice Githinji)
• Best Actor in a TV Drama (Olwenya Maina from Nairobi Half Life)

Watch the Tumaini Senta trailer:

In addition, Showmax is streaming the first season of New Beginnings, which
is nominated for Best TV Drama and Best Actor in a TV Drama (Joed Kariuki from
How To Find A Husband). New Beginnings tells the story of Sean
(Neville Misati/Nouhoum Kone), who wakes up from a coma after five years
to find that life left him behind – his wife (K24 anchor Maya Hayakawa) is now
married to his best friend Derek (Kariuki).

Watch the New Beginnings trailer:

Showmax also has a number of previous Kalasha winners, including the hit films
House of Lungula, Fundi-Mentals, Something Necessary, Veve, and Ni
Sisi
, as well as TV series like Groove Theory, Tales from the Bush Larder,
Classmates
, and Stay. Saida, which won Best TV Drama in 2014,
comes to Showmax on 30 November 2017.

The Kenya Film Commission received a record 237 entries this year. The Kalasha
International Film Festival will run from 4 to 8 December 2017, the awards gala will be
held on 9 December, and a market is scheduled for March 2018. For more information,
visit the festival website.

Dan Mace directs new Start Refreshed Hunter’s ad

Egg Films’ Dan Mace directed 140BBDO’s new Start Refreshed Hunter’s ad, a
celebration of the doers rather than the dreamers.

“The script really resonated with me because as a young director, I’m still starting
something,’ says Mace, who hasn’t had time to dream since hitting the ground
running at Egg in May.

“I treated this one like a sensory film where you can really feel all the elements
combined,’ he says, praising DOP Fabian Vettiger, art director Elmi Badenhorst, editor
Stephen du Plessis, and Simon Ringrose from Say Thank You for the way each
discipline complemented each other.

Start Refreshed was conceptualised by 140BBDO’s creative team of Mike
Schalit, Alexis Beckitt, Bianca Bernstein and Bruce Harris.

Mace’s “start something’ attitude is certainly paying off: his award-winning short film,
Gift, screened at TED Global between talks by presidents and pioneers in
August, while Here’s To Us, his Tusker ad for Net#work BBDO, saw him
selected for OnePointFour’s On The Cusp Of Greatness New Directors’ Showcase in
October, alongside the likes of The Blaze, 2017 Cannes Film Craft Grand Prix winners
for Territory, and Jonas Lindstroem, a 2017 Gold Clios winner for Kendrick
Lamar’s Element.

Watch the director’s cut:

South Africa up for a hat-trick at the International Emmys

Revolting Rhymes is nominated in the Animation category at the International Emmy Kids Awards, where it’s up against Oddbods, Siesta Z, and Trude’s Flatmate.

Produced by Magic Light Pictures, Revolting Rhymes was animated at Magic Light’s Berlin studio and Cape Town’s Triggerfish Animation.

This means South African companies are now up for a hat-trick at the International Emmys, as Penguin Films’ Disney Cookabout is nominated for Non-Scripted Entertainment at the Kids Awards, while Is’thunzi’s Thuso Mbedu learned last month she is a nominee for Best Performance by an Actress.

Directed by Jakob Schuh (The Gruffalo) and Jan Lachauer (Room on the Broom), Revolting Rhymes is an adaptation of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s classic book of surprising fairytales. It’s voiced by a stellar cast that includes Dominic West (The Affair) as The Wolf; Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) as Red Riding Hood; and Gemma Chan (Humans) as Snow White.

Since premiering on BBC One at Christmas 2016, Revolting Rhymes has racked up four international awards: Best Animated Short at TIFF Kids and Best Animation at the World Banff Media Festival in Canada; Best Storytelling at Shanghai International Film and TV Festival in China; and the Cristal for Best TV Production at Annecy in France, the world’s premier animation festival.

The International Emmy Kids Awards will be presented at MIPTV in Cannes on 10 April 2018.

Last week, the BBC released the first image from Magic Light Pictures’ third collaboration with Triggerfish: an adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Highway Rat, a swashbuckling tale of bandits and biscuits the whole family will enjoy. David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) leads an impressive cast as The Highway Rat.

Stick Man, Magic Light Pictures’ previous Donaldson/Scheffler production animated at Triggerfish, premiered on BBC One on Christmas Day 2015 to record ratings of 9.3 million viewers, with an overall 41 percent audience share, the fourth highest rated programme of the day. The film also won critical praise and a raft of global industry awards including the Annecy Crystal and a BAFTA nomination.

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