Action! on our streets

2015-09-08 06:00

Cameras will start rolling on Muizenberg’s streets next week as the all local film Shussh goes into production. But the month-long shoot will be about more than getting the right shot, as the production team gears up to launch an outreach programme too.

Based on a book by Muizenberg novelist Tracey Farren titled Whiplash, the movie will also feature an all Cape Town cast. The feature film tells the story of sex worker Tess, who is followed by her abusive past.

“The main character in the film, Tess, happens to be a sex worker, but this is not the main theme of the movie. She is a woman who is carrying pain and who has a huge internal journey to go through,” explains the production team’s Mareike Kramper.

Beyond that, it’s also a story about abuse and gender-based violence, which prompted the production team to develop an outreach programme to run alongside the movie.

“Abuse and gender-based violence are silenced issues and we decided to create an outreach programme to increase the awareness of the topic and engage people on different levels. One in every three women in South Africa will be exposed to sexual abuse in her lifetime – the highest rate in the world outside of a war zone. We have to try to use new ways to get people talking,” Kramper says.

Locals are encouraged to get involved in the film, Kramper says.

“We use social media to create a relationship with the audience and engage everyone with the filmmaking process. The film collected over R100 000 via crowdfunding, so we try to have a close relationship with our community and keep them up to date on what is happening in the filmmaking process. It would be wonderful to draw Muizenberg residents into this community,” she says.

The shooting will take place from Tuesday 15 September to Sunday 11 October.

The film will be shown as part of an extensive awareness campaign, which will see screenings and discussions held at schools, prisons and civic organisations. A teacher and community guide will also be produced and the film will be distributed to libraries.

“We hope that we break the silence and that people start talking more about the topic. Sex is a suppressed issue in society and people do not dare to speak about it. People are often judged by their way of life, but do not question or ask how someone got to a certain point. Understanding and compassion contribute to healing,” she says.

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