BBC World provided an insight into South Africa last month (January 2010) with the programme My Country South Africa, which included three documentary films directed and produced by Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking (BigFish).

My Country showcases documentaries, made by local filmmakers, about featured countries, as a way of getting good insight into that country.

The BBC believes that when it comes to understanding a country, "there is nothing like an insider's view" and claims that "a nation's character - its fears, hopes and obsessions - are all reflected in the way a country reports itself to its own people. The films are about social issues, politics, current affairs investigations and observational documentaries. No one film can ever give a complete picture of a country but the BBC hopes that they'll all offer a fresh, revealing or surprising perspective on the nation concerned."

Out of the six films broadcast, three were selected from the award-winning Big Fish. They are God Loves Sinners, produced and directed by Nami Mhlongo; Soul Train produced and directed by Thabo Bruno Mokoena; Spiderman and Romeo produced and directed by Sfiso Khanyile.

"We are intensely proud to see our students' works chosen to represent South African views and to be aired on the BBC," says Big Fish CEO, Dr Melanie Chait. "One of the strengths of our training is enabling filmmakers to become socially responsible and to use the media to affect change. It is very rewarding and thrilling to see this being acknowledged"

In Focus conducted an interview with Thabo Bruno Mokoena in the December 2009 issue, after Soul Train won Best Photography Award at the Sichuan TV Awards in China (for the full interview, click here)


Source: ScreenAfrica on 14 January 2010,
http://www.screenafrica.com/news/television/375100.htm