Young African Filmmakers To Feature In International Film Festival
The 2021 South African International Documentary Film Festival 'The Encounters' will occur virtually from Thursday, June 10 to Sunday, June 20. The film festival will see the world premiere of 18 young black student filmmakers given the opportunity to witness their films for the first time.
The DOCi Emerging Filmmakers Course, funded by the US Embassy in South Africa, works with emerging and often first-time filmmakers to focus a human-rights lens on their local communities. DOCi works in partnership with the American Film Showcase, a diplomacy platform that provides screenings and seminars with award-winning American filmmakers in over 40 countries.
According to American producer Michael S Murphey, South Africa needs transformation in the tales they tell the rest of the world. Only possible to achieve by providing access to more affordable film schools. When he first started creating films in South Africa 17 years ago, Murphey was struck by how many filmmakers came from affluent, well-resourced backgrounds. Making the above mentioned "difficult to attain, having not seen much of a shift."
Commemorating June 16 1976, Soweto Uprising expanded across the country, altering South Africa's socio-political environment forever. The film's release in June is quite significant. Despite the obstacles of Covid-19, the students collaborated online and in-person in the year 2020 to create three stunning short films that highlight critical human rights issues in Cape Town's slums.
'Toilets to Let', directed by Mona-Lisa Msime, exposes the story of how many township households must fight tooth and nail for a quality, clean, and safe toilet.
'It's Not Enough' follows filmmaker Azola Ntsukanazo as she investigates how a mother of three makes ends meet on a Sassa child support stipend of less than R14 a day for each child.
And in the film 'Street Dogs', filmmaker Sivenathi Ntshwanti focuses on the critical yet underappreciated waste reclaimer work in a densely crowded metropolitan area.
Acting consul general Will Stevens says the United States government is grateful for the opportunity to assist creative young people in preparing for employment in Cape Town's developing film industry. "80% of DOCi alumni find work in the film industry or receive scholarships to continue their education." US companies make significant investments in the city's film sector and are confident that bolstering human resources will help the industry grow even more.