INTRODUCTIONFILMS • FILM MAKERS • MASTER CLASSES

 

 

BEVERLEY PALESA DITSIE

Besides her well-documented career as a human rights activist, Soweto-born Beverley Palesa Ditsie, is also a musician and filmmaker. In the past 10 years she has worked in the television and film industry as an actress, presenter and director on a variety of shows such as S’camto GroundBreakers, Big Brother Africa, Take 5 and Love Life Games. Her award-winning film, Simon & I, co-directed and produced by Nicky Newman of See Thru Media, a moving and personal tale that spans 10 years of South Africa’s history, has been screened worldwide as part of the Steps for the Future series.


 

TONI STRASBURG

Toni grew up in South Africa and went to Britain as an exile in 1965. She is an award winning documentary director, producer and writer and has also worked as an International Peace Monitor and Election Observer for the United Nations. Her film career began in 1981 as a director specialising in social and political documentaries. She spent much of the late 1980s and early 90s documenting the wars in Southern Africa, concentrating largely on the effects on women and children. Her work ranges from writing, developing and directing documentaries, teaching workshops for young filmmakers and as an international human rights consultant. Her recent film, The Tap about the coming of water to a rural village in South Africa, has won a number of awards including best documentary at the Apollo Film Festival 2003. Toni’s film South African Love Story: Walter and Albertina Sisulu had its World Premiere at Encounters in 2004 and its International Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.


 

NGAIRE BLANKENBERG

Ngaire is a cross-disciplinary storyteller. She has worked in community video, video art, current affairs television, youth and children’s programming, actuality series and documentary making for over 13 years in South Africa and Canada. She has been a Director, Series Producer and Executive Producer on programmes such as Positive, Take 5, Zola on 5, The Molo Show, Gaz Lam, and The Wedding Show, and co-directed Nkosi’s Mission – the story of 11-year old AIDS activist Nkosi Johnson. Most recently she has worked in museum planning and development on Constitution Hill and is currently programme manager and senior curator for the Kliptown Open Air Museum.


 

 

ZACKIE ACHMAT

Human Rights Activist. Student activist in the 1980s. Founded various  NGOs providing education support to school students whose education was disrupted by the struggles of the period, and also the National Coalition for Gay & Lesbian Equality and was the architect for key Constitutional  Court challenges affecting this sector. He is a Founder Member of the SA Law Commission Sub-committee on AIDS, and founded the Treatment Action Campaign to work for making HIV/AIDS medication available to all through the public sector. Zackie obtained Honours degree (cum laude) from UWC and has numerous publications to his credit. Zackie has also served as director on key Idol Pictures projects – Die Duiwel Maak My Hart So Seer (The Devil Breaks My Heart); Die Skerpioen Onder Die Klip; and Apostles of Civilised Vice. 1999.


 

DITSI CAROLINO

Ditsi Carolino, started as an NGO worker documenting human rights issues in Mindanao with photographs and slideshows. Since attending a film workshop in 1991, she has been directing documentaries which have screened, and won awards, at festivals around the world. Her focus is on the lives and struggles of ordinary people. Dapit-hapon sa Tambakan (1993) on child scavengers, and Minsan Lang Sila Bata (1996) on child labor, both won the Best Documentary awards at the Gawad CCP and from the Film Academy of the Philippines. Minsan also won a Gold Medal and the Grand Award for Documentary at the New York Festivals in 1999 and the Grand Prix Toutes Category at the Brussels Independent Film Festival in 1998. Riles (2002) was the result of a two-year study grant at the National Film and Television School in England. Ditsi Carolino is a guest of the Festival.


 

ODETTE GELDENHUYS

Odette grew up in Namaqualand. She practised as a lawyer with various human rights and constitutional law firms and NGOs for more than 12 years. After a year of legal teaching and research in the USA, Odette returned to South Africa to take up senior management positions with access to justice organisations such as the United Nations and the Legal Aid Board. Since late 2002 Odette has been a freelance director, writer and researcher, and runs her own production company, Frank Films. Odette’s first documentary Being Pavarotti, which debuted at the 2004 Berlinale, has screened at many international festivals and has won numerous awards. Grietjie van Garies, shot, directed and produced by Odette, had its international premiere at the Berlinale 2005.


 

RUDZANI DZUGUDA

Dzuguda grew up in the Northern Province, an area of constant cultural activity, and studied Drama and Television production in Kwazulu-Natal. In Johannesburg he joined Summit television, working in production and as an editor, and for e.tv news as a cameraman and on e-arts as a journalist. He recently formed his own film company, which produced his first film Mix. Rudzani served as a jury member for the International Amnesty Film Award at the 2004 Denmark International Documentary Film Festival. He was invited to present some of his work at the 2005 INPUT conference for public broadcasters held in San Francisco. He shot and directed 11 episodes of La’titude’s first series, which were shown on SABC 1 in mid 2004. Vuwani is his second documentary film.


 

ISA-LEE JACOBSON

Isa-Lee received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cape Town, and later completed a Masters of Fine Arts at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She started her career as an editor on commercials and documentaries with Lizard Post Production, in which she later became a partner. In 1999 Isa-Lee started her own company, Flying Films. Since then she has edited a number of documentaries and award winning commercials as well as the short film, The Unique Oneness of Christian Savage, which was accepted into the Cannes Film Festival. In 2002 she began researching on her first documentary as a director, Sabrina, now entitled Daddy’s Girl, on which she also acted as producer and editor.


 

FRANÇOIS KOHLER

François Kohler, though he graduated as a lawyer, returned to the National Institute for Performing Arts in Brussels (INSAS) to study filmmaking, particularly direction. Since 1988 he has been working as a film and television writer, director and producer. His long documentary film The Lama and the Turquoise was, in 2000, awarded the Panel Prize at the Trento International Film Festival (Italy). François Kohler is father of a 3 year old boy called Sonam and lives in Lausanne in the French part of Switzerland. François Kohler is a guest of the Festival 1courtesy of SwissFilms.


 

BONGANJALO MARALA

Bonganjalo started his professional television career as a trainee editor while studying at City Varsity Film and Multimedia School in Cape Town. He has, since then, assumed many roles on a number of productions ranging from researcher, assistant editor and assistant director, and then as director. He was awarded a Silver Stone Award in 2002 for his film Home Talk, which was commissioned by the City Council. Together with Jemima Spring, he conceptualized, researched, directed and edited iHoliday eTranskei. He is currently working with Griffin Films in the production team, is a junior editor on Mantswe a Bonono, a series of 24 min documentaries on South African writers, and writes for SABC Education.


 

KIM LONGINOTTO

Kim Longinotto studied camera and directing at the National Film School and made her first films while still a student. Since leaving film school, and in between operating camera for other filmmakers, she has traveled the world directing and shooting films in Japan, Iran, Kenya and now Cameroon. Her particular talent must be her ability to collaborate, often co-directing, always drawing the best from her subjects, her quiet, ever-present camera capturing startling revelations – as seen in Divorce Iranian Style and The Day I Will Never Forget, both of which have played on this Festival. Kim’s talent has been recognized by premier festivals where she has won many awards, most recently at the Cannes Film Festival where Sisters in Law appeared in the Director’s Fortnight section and won the Prix Art et Essai – Cicae (La Confederation Internationale des Cinemas Art & Essais). Kim Longinotto is a guest of the Festival courtesy of the British Council.


 

OMELGA HLENGIWE MTHIYANE

 

Omelga studied Video Technology at Technikon Natal. She worked for Angel Films in Johannesburg as a researcher and production assistant. Through this experience the process of making a documentary intrigued her. She moved to Cape Town where she worked at Sithengi Film and Television Market. In 2001 she was selected for the Close Encounters Documentary Laboratory and was trained in making documentaries. Ikhaya, her first film, was produced for the SABC Project 10 series and has screened at film festivals internationally including Sundance and Berlinale.


 

BEVERLEY MITCHELL

Beverley Mitchell’s been a storyteller since the day she was born, and has worked in the film and television industry for the past 12 years. She’s worked as a cultural journalist, a political journalist and a current affairs producer at the SABC in the mid-1990s. She left in 1996 to freelance. In 1998 she began working as an independent producer, director and scriptwriter. Through her one-person company, Ancestral Vision, she has produced over 800 minutes. Most of her programmes have been commissioned by the SABC. In addition to her own company, she’s also a co-director of two other production companies. Beverley’s spent the last twelve years researching South African history. For her, truth lies in the past. Seeing herself as a storyteller-healer, her passion is memory, identity, culture and heritage.


 

LEONARD RETEL HELMRICH

Dutch born Leonard Retel Helmrich is a graduate of the Netherlands Film Academy and a cinematographer of note. In recent years he has given workshops all over the world to lecture on his ‘single shot’ cinema. He has directed many award-winning documentaries such as Moving Objects and The Eye of the Day. His most recent film Shape of the Moon, which is screening this year on Encounters, opened International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2004 and won major awards there and at Sundance, Chicago, Munchen and Full Frame 2005. Leonard Retel Helmrich is a guest of the Festival courtesy of Holland Film, the Royal Netherlands Embassy and Encounters.


 

MADODA NCAYIYANA

Madoda Ncayiyana is a veteran of radio, TV, video and film productions - mainly as a director, but also as a producer, playwright and actor. He was co-founder of Theatre for Africa in Johannesburg and the director of Maningi Theatre Workshop in Durban. He has received many international and local awards for his plays and performances and, most recently, walked the red carpet at Cannes to receive his award for directing The Sky in Her Eyes (Best African Short Film, 2003). He is currently preparing to direct a full-length feature film, My Secret Sky, in co-production with DV8 Productions.


 

JEPPE RØNDE

Born 1973: Holds a BA degree in Film Science and Art History from The University of Copenhagen. Has directed the documentaries Dancing in The Midst of War, Children of Grief and Søn / Son (2001); all co-produced or bought by Danmarks Radio/the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Had his feature-lenght debut in 2003 with Jerusalem, My Love / Jerusalem, min elskede, which has won several prizes, among others the Audience Award at Nordisk Panorama 2004 and The Talent Dove at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film. His second film, The Swenkas won a Danish Robert in January 2005 and Jeppe won best international director at Hot Docs in Toronto 2005. Apart from directing and often filming his documentaries, he has also benefited from his professional career as a musician, and as a consequence has been able to compose the music to his films. Jeppe Rønde is a guest of the Festival courtesy of the Danish Film Institute.


 

JEMIMA SPRING

Jemima worked in production, as an assistant director and a continuity person on feature films & television drama, before moving over to television and a career of writing, directing and editing, finally becoming the creative element of Griffin Films. Since 2003 she has been pivotal in the production of a range of groundbreaking local documentaries on which she has produced, conceptualised, written, directed and edited. Experience in teaching has given her a passion for both educational television and training, evident in her cutting edge work on a number of inserts for SABC1’s youth educational series Take 5. Jemima produced, codirected,co-edited and shot some of iHoliday eTranskei.