A third year AFDA graduation production was filmed in Kwa-Thema, in Ekurhuleni, recently, and featured extras from a local art school, Lifa ifa Secondary School, demonstrating to the

Senzeni shooting close up
youth that filmmaking can be a sustainable and respectable career.

Senzeni Na?, a story set in 1984 during South Africa's state of emergency, revolves around a young woman named Nokuthula. She is a young political activist, part of a youth liberation movement, who is involved in the armed struggle against the apartheid government.

Producer Nkosinathi Skaka explains that the concept is a time piece which deals with a very essential part of our history.  "I chose this concept because it deals with issues of family, friends, love, hate, betrayal and frustration. These issues have not been investigated and dealt with in past films about apartheid South Africa and it tells an intimate and powerful story about what happened in South African townships during the state of emergency."

Shooting on Senzeni Na? took place in September in Skaka's home town of Kwa-Thema.

"We shot there because we wanted to empower Ekurhuleni and show that it is also a suitable location and destination for filmmakers as it still has its rawness and authenticity, especially when you're shooting a time piece like we did."

All together there were 34 crew and cast members as well as 30 extras, who were sourced from the local art school, Lifa ifa.  "We wanted to show these kids that filmmaking can be a sustainable and respectable career," explains Skaka, adding that the Ekurhuleni district is Gauteng's hidden gem when it comes to locations for shooting film or television productions.

"The community and the local council of Kwa-Thema received us will open arms and the media helped generate excitement around the shoot.  The Nigel municipality, and more specifically Vlakfontein cemetery, helped us a lot and I commend them for their professionalism."

The short film will be screened at Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank on the weekend of 21 - 23 November, as part of the AFDA festival. The principal artistes are Sindisiwe Hirschowitz, Keneuwe Ramashala and Slindile Msimang, while Pontsho Tshabalala is the Producer, Kgomotso Matlala, Director and Eddie Mchunu, Cinematographer.