bush-tv-logoBorn Free Media celebrates and congratulates Khalo Matabane on scooping the prestigious award for A Letter to Nelson Mandela. The film was awarded the Special Jury Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the pre-eminent festival for creative documentaries.

The film has been screened on BBC 4, Danish Broadcaster, Finnish Broadcaster, ZDF/ Arte, YL and NHK

Writer/director Khalo Matabane was an idealistic teenager with fanciful ideas about a post-apartheid era of freedom and justice when the great icon of liberation Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

In a personal odyssey encompassing an imaginary letter to Mandela and conversations with politicians, activists, intellectuals and artists, Matabane interrogates for himself the meaning of freedom, reconciliation and forgiveness.

The film juxtaposes Matabane's inner quest for coherence in the current political context and the opinions of people who have known Mandela or whose perspectives and destinies have in some way been shaped by him - people like Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Albie Sachs, Ariel Dorfman, Nuruddin Farah, Pumla Gqola, Wole Soyinka, Ronnie Kasrils the Dalai Lama and Zubeida Jaffer.

Matabane weighs equally the words of erudite thinkers and ordinary people like Charity Kondile who refuses to forgive her son's apartheid operative murderer, Dirk Coetzee despite the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing: I'm just an ordinary mother, I'm not in parliament, I'm just flesh.

bush-tv-logoA Letter to Nelson Mandela was produced by Carolyn Carew of Born Free Media, a South African film and TV production company with a string of award-winning productions behind it, previously winning 7 awards at SAFTAS in 2007, Best Drama at Fespaco in 2008 and at Reims Film Festival France 2008 for When We Were Black which was directed by Khalo Matabane. Most recently for the Documentary, Sobukwe A Great Soul, which won five awards at the SAFTAS in 2013 and Best Documentary at Zanzibar Film Festival in 2014.

The co-producers were Christian Beetz and Kerstin Meyer-Beetz from Gebruederbeetz film Produktion in Berlin who have extensive experience in international documentaries.

The producers are grateful to the following funders:
ZDF/Arte, Storyville BBC, Danish Broadcasting, the Department of Trade and Industry of SA, the National, Film and Video Foundation of SA, CASA Africa, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Gauteng Film Commission.

bush-tv-logoThe production team filmed in South Africa, Nigeria, South Sudan, India, UK, France, Spain, Germany, and USA.

The film has screened at a number of International Film Festvials during 2014, including Syndey, Human Rights in London and New York;  in Brazil, Doc Munich Germany, African Asian Festival in Italy, and will screen at the Durban International Film Festival and Open Doors in Switzerland.

Carolyn Carew