The GFC has supported a range of documentaries in the third quarter, some still in production and some already complete, raging in subject from music to history, religion, environmental sustainability and the state of cities.

berea The documentary Berea explores the inner-city Johannesburg suburb.

They are:

  • SA Music Journey
  • Berea
  • Holy Man
  • Garden Of Hope

SA Music Journey

This is a documentary by South African drummer, composer and arranger Vusi Khumalo who, in his long career, has performed with renowned musicians from across the world. Khumalo will trace the story of musicians since the 1960s to illustrate how local music has evolved. During the making of the documentary the production company plans to interview over 60 musical icons from around the world. The full-length documentary will be released theatrically and go through the whole film value chain. Vee K productions has managed to attract sponsors that include Yamaha, Joy of Jazz and Paul Simon.

Berea

Berea is a short film produced by Puo Pha productions, a women-owned production company. The film aims to highlight life in Johannesburg, particularly the inner-city suburb of Berea. On completion, the film will be screened at the Rotterdam Film Festival in the African Metropolis Project, where it will be competing with film from other cities – Lagos, Abidjan, Cairo, Nairobi and Dakar.

Holy Man

This feature-length documentary explores the historical story of Sheikh Yusuf of Makassar (1626 – 1699), a saint and religious leader of the Muslim community and the man who brought Islam to South Africa. His struggle against Dutch colonialism led to his exile to the farm Zandvliet outside Cape Town in the 16th century. The area surrounding Zandvliet farm was later renamed Macassar in honour of Yusuf's place of birth. On 27 September 2005 Sheikh Yusuf was posthumously awarded the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in Gold for his contribution to the struggle against colonialism.

The documentary has so far attracted both local and international broadcasters. The religion channel in South Africa, as well as the TVRI channel in Indonesia intends to license the documentary on its completion. The film will be distributed through Pro College, as well as various faith groups. Currently there is a commitment to air the documentary on channel 347 (ITV).

Garden of Hope

A five-minute documentary about urban sustainability, Garden of Hope looks at a community garden started in the derelict grounds of an abandoned school in Soweto that is now a site of transformation and hope. Started by Plea environmental agency, the garden has seen former thugs and petty criminals become planters of vegetables and keepers of bees. The film was screened at the opening of Siemens Crystal in London, England.