From Mboswobeni Mulugana's '30 cent Comedy Show'
Scene from 'Don't Trust No One', part of Mboswobeni Mulugana's 30 cent Comedy Show - see Mbosobweni Comedy Film Production below.

From alternative distribution of low-cost comedy DVDs to a startup multichannel video application, from workshops in disadvantaged communities to a high-end broadcasting partnership ... it was a lively, productive third quarter for the GFC.

Audience development

'Asicamthe nge bio' Screenings

The GFC will be supporting the "Asicamthe nge bio" Screenings, a new platform for distributing proudly South African audio-visual content among previously disadvantaged communities.

The initiative, to be led by BPCS Consulting, will start among the West Rand communities of Randfontein, Munsieville, Bekkersdal, Simunye and Caltonville, and will involve screening of local films along with training and mentorship opportunities for the youth.

BPCS Consulting will work closely with West Rand municipalities to access available infrastructure and facilities for implementing the project, while building hype and encouraging active community participation across the district.

Audience turnout figures will be used to gauge market demand, while community feedback will also be sought to help guide the future direction of the project.

Skills development

Yanaya Gender Film and Dialogue Workshops and Screenings

The GFC is supporting the Yanaya Gender Film and Dialogue Workshops, an initiative of Yanaya Communications and its subsidiary, Nayanaya Pictures.

Scene from 'The Lost Girls of South Africa'
Scene from Nayanaya Pictures' Bafta-nominated documentary The Lost Girls of South Africa. (Image: Nayanaya Pictures)

The workshops will take the form of motivational master-classes conducted in each case by a women filmmaker in partnership with gender-based NGOs, government departments, academics and human rights organisations.

These classes are mainly intended for young people who aspire to filmmaking as a career. South Africa is a country that has mystified the notion of filmmaking, and audio-visual exposure can de-mystify it, especially for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The screenings, meanwhile, will look to raise awareness through films - mainly by women filmmakers - of issues around violence, the silencing of women and the challenges that women and children face.

A panel made up of experts and people from the community will engage with the audience following each screening, thereby creating a platform for fostering dialogue around women and children's issues in our society.

The GFC partnered with Nayanaya Pictures on the first Yanaya Gender Film and Dialogue Workshops for 2016, which were aimed a beginner filmmakers and took place in Diepsloot and Orange Farm on 16 and 17 January.

Distribution support

Mboswobweni Comedy Film Production

The GFC supported the production of low-budget comedy DVDs by Mboswobweni Comedy Film Production, a start-up company that explores alternative models of distribution. The company was founded by young filmmaker, actor and entrepreneur Mboswobeni Mulungana, who studied film at the Johannesburg-based Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking.

 

 

Mulungana's straight-to-DVD comedies are filmed in various locations in Gauteng and Limpopo province, and are sold to niche township markets in Thohoyandou, Soweto and elsewhere.

DISCOP Africa

The GFC was one of the sponsors of the 2015 edition of African TV content market and exhibition DISCOP Africa Johannesburg, which took place at the Sandton Convention Centre in November. Launched in 2008, DISCOP Africa is the continent's leading film, television, adaptation rights and packaged channels market. It became a biannual event with the launch of DISCOP Africa Abidjan in May 2015.

The 2015 Johannesburg edition of the event recorded a 50% increase in attendance. Over 2 000 TV content producers, distributors and other industry players from across the globe gathered in Sandton, where three days of intense meetings, conferences and business dealings yielded a number of major deals and announcements.

The next DISCOP Africa Abidjan takes place from 31 May to 2 June, followed by DISCOP Africa Johannesburg from 2 to 4 November.

Online TV and video application 'Ghost'
Innovative online TV and video application 'Ghost'.

Alpha Reign

The GFC has partnered with private investment firm Alpha Reign on Ghost, a startup, multi-channel video application that monetizes talent, enabling artists to showcase their work globally online while earning money in the process.

In September, Ghost invited South African artists across various genres - including music, dance, poetry, film, acting, animation, comedy, stunts - to submit videos of themselves and their work to www.ghost.social

The best videos stand a chance of winning R5 000 and featuring in Ghost's lineup of artists at the launch of its mobile app in 2016.

One of the finalists in the 2015 HackJozi startup competition, Ghost was created by entrepreneur and investment banker Taolo Modisi, who also founded Alpha Reign.

"Ghost has a unique revenue structure where artists can upload videos and make money doing what they love," Modisi told Daily Sun in October. "The platform offers a great way for artists to market themselves."

Production support

The GFC provided support for a feature film, a documentary and a new reality television show, in various stages of development/production, during the third quarter.

The Unsigned Talent Show

The Unsigned Talent Show aims to uncover, promote, empower and educate new South African talent by providing a platform for up-and-coming musicians, dancers, designers and DJs to showcase and market their skills/products.

The show will incorporate live music and dance performances, events, interviews and music videos. Targeting young people from across the continent and the globe, it will showcase the best of upcoming local talent, and feature some iconic leaders in the South African entertainment industry.

Still from Vincent Moloi's powerful documentary 'Skulls'
Still from Vincent Moloi's powerful documentary Skulls. (Image: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam)

Skulls

Skulls is an emotional personal account of various Nama and Herero descendants of the 1904-8 Genocide in Namibia, during which German occupiers collected and informally traded in the skulls of human victims.

The documentary, helmed by South African filmmaker Vincent Moloi, comes against the backdrop of calls for reparation, land reform and the repatriation of all remaining skulls from Germany to Namibia. Land is a strong secondary issue, as it is a current thorny issue that Namibia continues to face, with the descendants of German colonialists still owning an estimated 80% of commercial land in Namibia.

Into - Ngoxolo

When a capable, optimistic young man, Qhawe, is robbed of his manhood and dignity, all he has left is his hatred and desire to wreak vengeance upon those that wronged him.

Unable to consummate a new-found love with the troubled, beautiful Nosisi, he kidnaps the only one of his assailants that he was able to identify, and sets about torturing him to extract the names of the rest of his assailants.

In a small rural town where everyone thinks they know one another other, the secrets harboured by Qhawe and Nosisi will eventually set in motion an unforgiving lynch-hunt for the two damned lovers.

Broadcast partnership

The GFC has entered a partnership with On Digital Media (which runs South African satellite pay TV service StarSat together with China's StarTimes Media SA) to support the local industry by giving independent South African producers the opportunity to produce and own their own content IP through pre-licence deals.

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission