Young film-makers impress

2009-08-01 00:00

A NEW stable of young film-makers — many of whom are from Pietermaritzburg — has emerged at this year’s Durban International Film Festival, with students and professionals delivering promising films in the main competition, as well as in the short film section.

Oliver Hermanus’s (26) highly acclaimed film, Shirley Adams, has been praised at the festival, and in the short film section Pietermaritzburg’s Thomas Hart presented his award-winning short film Voice of our Forefathers.

Other young film-makers made movies for the Durban Short Film Challenge. The screenings at the KZNSA Gallery this week highlighted a selection of projects that were initiated in May and June with the themes “Blame it on the recession” and “A little bit strange”. The film-makers had two weeks to make the five-minute film and had to recruit volunteers to help them. Durban Film Society chairwoman Tinso Mungwe, who organised the competition, is happy with the response from the young film-makers. “The films reflect the level of talent that we have in this province,” she said.

Two Pietermaritzburg graduates, Sarah Dawson and Bruce Grobler, were among 12 directors selected from 25 to show their films, as well as Michaelhouse old boy Martin Kintu, who wrote and acted in one of the films.

Dawson’s film, which she co-directed with Matt Nefdt, is about a relationship between a boy and a robot, and their separation and reunion. Grobler, who appeared in T he Witness after he begged for money on the streets of Maritzburg to make his film, looked at the possibility of aliens in the capital city. He found none. Kintu acted superbly as a fed-up waiter in Cape Town’s Long Street, who, after being fired for punching a customer, feels the pinch of the recession and turns to comedy to find his freedom.

Praise was given to the film-makers and to the Durban Film Society collective. Festival director Peter Rorvik said the collective is a valuable way of mutual nurturing. “I see a lot of sprouting mushrooms, which don’t last, but this collective looks very sustainable,” he said.

Acting CEO of the Durban Film office, Toni Monty, said the film-makers are passionate, organised and talented in their approach to making their films. “We have a challenge of giving film-makers the access they need to film in the city, and it is a pleasure working with these film-makers,” she added.


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