Durban artist ‘one of SA’s best’

2010-01-16 00:00

CLAIRE Angelique, the first female recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for film, is not only one of South Africa’s edgiest upcoming scriptwriters and film makers, but also an award-winning choreographer, dancer and video artist.

In between juggling multiple creative careers, she has managed 15 bands and DJs, co-ordinated national community radio youth programmes, ventured into public relations and writes for many South African arts, music and entertainment publications. All of this at barely 30 years of age.

“This award has put me on the best natural high I’ve had since being green-lighted for the production of my first feature film, My Black Little Heart,” said Angelique about winning the Young Artist Award for 2010.

My Black Little Heart, a dark and deeply personal narrative exposing Durban’s sinister side, was ­produced by Zentropa Entertainment, with cinematography by Slumdog Millionaire’s Anthony Dod Mantle. It featured on the 2009 National Arts Festival’s film programme in Grahamstown, after premiering at the Durban International Film Festival in 2008.

“To be assaulted by a South African film made by a young Durban girl which is original and unique and which is made with a total respect and understanding of film language, is very rare,” said Trevor Steele Taylor, National Arts Festival committee member for film. “She is one of the best that we have in South Africa, and her talent should not be ignored.”

Angelique graduated with a bachelor’s ­degree in film and television from the Cape Town International Film School in 2004, after completing a BA majoring in drama and performance studies, English and Internet science through the then University of Natal. She was presented with the most outstanding student and student most likely to succeed awards from the Cape Town International Film School in 2002. In 2004, she was the first South African film maker to be selected to attend the Berlin International Film Festival’s Berlinale Talent ­Campus, and was a scholarship recipient for the New York University’s Cannes Film intensive course, run by Robert Nickson.

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