GFC supports screening of Ayanda at DIFF
South Africa's Fulu Mugovhani stars alongside Nigeria's OC Ukeje in Ayanda, which has been chosen to open the 2015 Durban International Film Festival. Ayanda is one of six Gauteng-made movies that the GFC is supporting at DIFF.

It's been a busy April to June quarter for the Gauteng Film Commission, with three supported productions completed or nearing completion, audience development screenings successfully mounted in townships across the province, and a number of activities set to unfold at the upcoming Durban International Film Festival.

Supported productions

Cuckold, written and directed by Charlie Vundla, tells the story of a young professor consumed by alcoholism who is saved from self-destruction by a former schoolmate and begins a journey to save his house, marriage and his life. The film was screened at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and will be screened at the Durban International Film Festival.

African Jazz Fantazia, a documentary about the history of South African jazz during the 1950s and 1960s, features the works of Gedeon Nxumalo's Afrikan Jazz Fantazia. It was produced in collaboration with the Gauteng Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Johny Mekoa and Khaya Mahlangu, who assembled the orchestra and worked on the music. The film will be screened at the opening of the 2015 Joy of Jazz music festival at the Sandton Convention Centre in September.

Whispering Leremi's Tale is a documentary about South African soccer star Mpho Gift Leremi, who died aged 22 in a car crash in 2007. The documentary highlights the flashy lives of soccer stars, their spending patterns, recklessness and drinking sprees, and how this eventually led to the premature death of the talented and popular midfielder. The project is in edit phase, and on completion will participate at the Tshwane One City Film Festival in August, the 2016 Pan-African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles, and the 2016 Encounters South African International Documentary Film Festival.

GFC supports screening of Tell Me Sweet Something at DIFF
Nomzamo Mbatha and Maps Maponyane as the unlikely couple in Tell Me Sweet Something, one of six Gauteng-made movies that the GFC is supporting at DIFF.

Audience development

The GFC collaborated with the provincial Department of Education and Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation in a programme of Youth Month film screenings at the Nasrec Expo Centre outside Soweto from 8 to 15 June.

At the same time, the Commission partnered with Tamol Media in conducting Red Carpet Screenings of proudly South African films in Sedibeng District Municipality. Tamol Media works with municipalities nationwide to access available infrastructure and facilities for building audience appreciation of local content in historically disadvantaged communities. The project serves as both a marketing tool and a means of gauging market demand.

Durban International Film Festival (DIFF)

The GFC will be a strong presence at the 36th Durban International Film Festival (16-26 July), where it will support 15 participants in Talents Durban and the Business Model Canvas Workshop, sponsor The GFC Award for Best South African Short Film at the festival, and fund the screening of six Gauteng-made films.

Talents Durban

GFC will support 11 emerging filmmakers from Gauteng to attend the 8th edition of DIFF's Talents Durban, a five-day programme of workshops and seminars delivered by film professionals, academics and intellectuals.

Presented in cooperation with the Berlin International Film Festival's Berlinale Talents, Talents Durban provides emerging African filmmakers with training, information and networking opportunities across a range of disciplines.

GFC supports screening of The Shore Break at DIFF
Multiple award-winning The Shore Break is one of six Gauteng-made movies that the GFC is supporting at DIFF.

A total of 40 African filmmakers are selected to participate following an open call throughout Africa, with a view to fostering new  collaborations across the continent as well as with filmmakers from around the world.

GFC will also deliver a presentation at Talents Durban on its role in South Africa's fast-evolving film and TV industry.

Business Model Canvas Workshops

The GFC will support four Gauteng trainers from local organisation the Documentary Filmmakers Association (DFA) to participate in the Business Model Canvas Workshops taking place during the 2015 Durban FilmMart from 17-24 July.

Thirty South African filmmakers will be selected to take part in the three one-and-a-half day workshops, which will train them in using the powerful Business Model Canvas tool to plan their projects.

Business Model Canvas is a business tool that is used as training module for creative content producers in Canada. Its power lies in its narrative and visual approach to planning, which makes it easier for users who don't have formal training in business management.

The workshops will be hosted by the DFA in partnership with the Canadian Film Center Media Lab, the National Film and Video Foundation and Durban FilmMart.

GFC funded film screenings

The GFC is proud to fund the screening of six Gauteng-made films on this year's DIFF programme:

GFC supports screening of Necktie Youth at DIFF
Sibs Shongwe-La Mer's Necktie Youth is one of six Gauteng-made movies that the GFC is supporting at DIFF.

Ayanda

Highly anticipated film Ayanda, set in Johannesburg's vibrant Afropolitan community of Yeoville, has been announced as DIFF's opening night film. Directed by Sara Blecher and produced by Real Eyes in association with Leading Lady Productions, Ayanda had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on 13 June after a successful screening at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Ayanda tells the story of 21-one year old Afro-hipster Ayanda, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery when her late father's motor repair shop is threatened with closure. Fulu Mugovhani of Scandal fame plays Ayanda alongside Nigerian actor OC Ukeje, backed up by a strong South African cast including Ntathi Moshesh, Kenneth Nkosi, Jafta Mamabola, Thomas Gumede, Sihle Xaba, and veteran actress Vanessa Cooke.

The film presents a new role model for the young African woman, and gives voice to her entrepreneurial spirit. With this in mind, the film's producers have designed an extensive multimedia strategy with a large pan-African outreach programme.

Tell Me Sweet Something

Tell Me Sweet Something is a romantic comedy directed by Akin Omotoso and starring Nomzamo Mbatha and Maps Maponyane as an unlikely couple that fall in love. The film will have its world premiere at DIFF on 25 July, and go on to screenings in KwaMashu township outside Durban as part of the publicity drive ahead of its nationwide release by United International Pictures on 4 September.

The film was produced by Rififi Pictures in association with Mvest Media, the National Film And Video Foundation, Ladies & Gentlemen, the Department of Trade And Industry, the Gauteng Film Commission, Pana TV and Crowd Funders.

The Shore Break

The Shore Break, a documentary about a local community polarized by plans to mine titanium on the Eastern Cape Wild Coast, will have its South African co-premiere at DIFF, following its screening in June at the Encounters International Documentary Film Festival, where it won the Backsberg Audience Choice Award.

Directed by Ryley Grunenwald and co-produced by Johannebsurg-based Marie-Vérité Films and Cape Town-based frank films, The Shore Break was in competition at the recent International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, and was named "best feature length documentary" at the 2015 International Environmental Film Festival in Paris.

The film was made under the Department of Trade and Industry's Film Rebate Scheme, with additional funding from the National Film and Video Foundation, Gauteng Film Commission, Ford Foundation, Knowledge Network and Heinrich Böll Foundation, among others.

Necktie Youth

Necktie Youth, previously named Territorial Pissings, was written and directed by Sibs Shongwe-La Mer and produced by Urucu Media. The film has featured at several international film festivals and received positive reviews in Variety, Indiewire, Cineuropa, New York Times and Le Monde among others.

Impunity

Impunity, the only South African feature film in official selection at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, will have its South African premiere at DIFF.

Rights of Passage

Also launching at DIFF will be Rights of Passage, produced by Natives at Large and  Jungleworks, which was the feature anthology film of the National Film and Video Foundation's Youth Filmmaker Project in 2014.

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission