2010 is proving to be a particularly busy year for the Open Window Film Department. The year got off to a busy start with a selection of Open Window student films being exhibited at the

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Open Window School of Visual Communication
Design Indaba stand of the Gauteng Craft & Design Centre. The sophistication and sometimes sheer chutzpah of the works screened proved to be a hit with the uber sophisticated visitors. Following this accolade 17 student video art films were also selected for exhibition at the Joburg Art Fair. The selection constituted the highest number of works chosen from a South African film school.

More recently, 5 Open Window students were selected to exhibit work as part of the Flags Metamorphosis International Exhibition. The exhibition which was held in Cologne, Germany in April is a participatory art project - a continuously growing series of animations made by filmmakers and artists from around the world.

Through the project, the flags of every nation in the world were transformed into each other through flash animations. Between each two flags, scenes appeared to show an aspect of the relations between the two countries depicted. The exhibition served as an exploration of the meaning and symbolism of flags. Each artist who created a flag animation expressed his or her own views on the values, symbols, and ways of life inherent in national symbolic identity and the relations between different nations. Flags Metamorphosis is a growing project and so far consists of 37 animations (54:00 in all) with artists participating from the United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, South Africa, Germany, Israel, Macedonia, Switzerland, Mexico, South Korea and Croatia. The strong representation by South Africa is due to the creative strength displayed by the Open Window students.

Also in the Open Window pipeline for 2010 is the next edition of iMPAC, the brainchild of Pluto Panoussis Head of The Open Window Department of Video. This annual short-film festival provides a platform for the exhibition of African-made student and non-professional media. The festival explores the potential synergy between sight and sound in the moving image through exploratory filmmaking and was launched in May 2009 with screenings of films made by The Open Window students.

According to Panoussis it is hoped that the festival will extend its scope to include films from students and amateur filmmakers within South Africa and eventually the rest of the continent.

One of the films screened at the festival last year was Neil van Vuuren's 'Promotion' which won the Innovation category at the 2008 Design Indaba. The video deals with the way people have become obsessed with online identities. Currently an animator for TX, a company that manages brand for television, Neil is working on a project for Channel O that traces the progression of music.

Awards garnered by Open Window Film Department to date, include:

  • 2007: M-NET Edit Competition, Winner: Animation Category; Finalists in Animation, Short Film and Music Categories
  • 2008: Design Indaba, Construction New Media Winner: Innovation Category
  • 2009: IMAGO International Film Festival Finalist
  • 2010: Joburg Art Fair (Johannesburg): 17 Student Video Art Films selected for exhibition
  • 2010: Flags Metamorphosis International Exhibition: 5 students films selected for exhibition in Berlin, Cologne and Singapore
  • 2010: Cement and Concrete Institute: Moving Space Architectural Short Film Competition: One of Four Grant Winners
For more information contact The Open Window School of Visual Communication at tel +27 (0)12 648 9200 or visit www.openwindow.co.za