Industry support and development is alive and thriving at the Gauteng Film Commission. With one of the Commission's key objectives being the transformation and development of the audio visual industries in Gauteng, the GFC is actively involved in several projects to achieve this.

To keep you updated as to these developments, we report on activities being undertaken on content development, the various scripts and productions being supported, as well as on training and development.

Content Development

  • Blink and you are Dead - is essentially a film about a disenfranchised and disenchanted youth who are emerging from the ashes of a forgotten dispensation; into the emerging 'democracy' that is South Africa. Train surfing to them is a means of escaping the social imperfection that surrounds them and it helps them to finds meaning in their fractured lives. Some do it to impress, others do it to steal. But most do it for the pure thrill of adrenaline rushing through them every time they successfully manage to cheat death. These youngsters range from 9 - 18 years

    This story holds a mirror up to the South African society in general  it is the story that plays off against a phenomenal niche culture that have developed amongst the youth in Soweto, who practice this extreme sport of train surfing as a form of self-expression.

    The film explores the psyche of these youngsters as they dice with death daily, and offers an insight into an unknown world where various cultural and social issues are explored. The story itself carries an enormous amount of emotional currency. We aim to explore the visual feast of the township, and pay cinematic homage to grass roots South Africa. By engaging with the community as filmmakers, we will be able to impart skills, thus empowering the youth and influence their life choices.

    It is not a film about train surfing, but about the forgotten youth in our townships. It plays off against the backdrop of train-surfing, and will be highlighting the impact of every decision made on their lives. This film is not meant to encourage this practice, but to discourage it.

  • 4 Cities - an 80 min documentary/essay that is developed by filmmakers Jyoti Mistry, who lived and worked extensively in these four cities(Johannesburg, Vienna, Helsinki and New York City): this series draws on the observation and experience not just of the filmmakers but the characters featured in the vignettes on each city. There are cameo appearances in each city of well known writers and performers that lend an alluring edge - each of these cameos appearances present the celebrities in space that are not readily associated with them. These appearances invite the viewer to reconcile the perceptions of the city with how the experiences of the city are often different from these projections and perception.

    The defining element in the project is a meditation on the geographies of each city. Using the layout and landscape of each city, the vignettes allow characters to weave in and out of the city's space, revealing their backstreets, their complex navigational grids and the walls that conceal the lives of the people who inhabit it.    

    The New York City: production completed in May 2007/ Post-   production currently underway.
    Johannesburg: production scheduled for 2008
    Vienna: production scheduled for January 2009
    Helsinki: production scheduled for summer 2009

  • The Ring, Forgotten Past. Till Death, a Township Breed and Gangster Money - Seleke Communications working together with Langelihle Productions is presently producing a slate of five feature films. This project will be done in a period of seven weeks.

  • 4 Episodes of Comedy by Mboswobeni Comedy Film Production, intends to make a 26 minute a day comedy show.  The Mboswobeni comedy film production will going into partnership with TV productions to sell a TV show to the SABC.

  • Internal affair - is a story about a 25-year-old woman called Tumi.  Tumi is a beautiful young woman who lives with her 9-year-old daughter Kamohelo in a shanty town.  She works as a cashier for a supermarket store.  She's always been a woman of high principles until she meets and falls in love with Tebogo, a township thug who hides behind his good looks and charming personality yet at night he turns into a monster that robs people of their belongings.  Of course, Tumi refuses to believe all this because Tebogo has become a mirror in which she sees her own beauty.  Even though Tebogo has become abusive physically and emotionally, she continues to have a relationship with him.  Until her conscience is woken after a visit to a church and, even though at first she ignored it, she eventually listens to her conscience and starts to fall in love with her 'self'.  She starts an Internal Affair.

1. Training and Development

  • The "Friends of FEPACI'" is a series of monthly events where attendees engage on issues of social and cultural advancement. Friends of FEPACI explore challenges and accomplishments within the audio visual industry and the creative arts in general to collectively identify solutions, honor milestones and generally promote innovation within the sector; using film as a medium.

    By exploring and employing film as a medium of transformation, FEPACI hopes to build audiences for film as well as create opportunity for the cinema audio visual industry to thrive; on behalf of its members. The idea is to convene a monthly Friends of FEPACI gathering within the City of Johannesburg; where the FEPACI's Secretariat is currently situated. This series introduces a new lifestyle. This activity is intended to be a reference point in social circles in the future, e.g. 'see you at the Friends of FEPACI next week, did you hear who Friends of FEPACI are showcasing this Wednesday' etc.
  • Big Fish - The Film & TV industry was recognised as one of the 7 pillars of economic development for South Africa.  With small classes, this NGO is able to address a need and fill a gap in South Africa which is not being addressed by business, the industry or government in two ways :

    Big Fish provides short courses and master classes for freelancers in the industry who need to up skill to get to the next level, but due to the intermittent nature of freelance work cannot afford to pay for short intensive courses.

    By offering longer courses at entry, intermediate and advanced levels, Big Fish is giving previously disadvantage individuals an opportunity to have top industry training to help develop the industry and change the participant's lives forever.

For any more information on any of these productions or initiatives, please contact Nthabeleng Phora at the GFC on +27 11 833 0409 or email Nthabeleng@guatengfilm.org.za