Ons is maar almal net mens

Production by Robyn Wertheim & Cindy Archillies

Ons is maar almal net mens is a highly personal film about negotiations of the “coloured” identity within two families and over three generations. Six people discuss whether or not they consider themselves “coloured” and what it means to them. As filmmakers we are members of the two families which made this film a highly personal one. We asked each character when they first found out that they were coloured and what this label meant to them.

Die Physikanten at Scifest Africa 2014

Report by Lillian Magari & Noxolo Mafu.

Following the theme “Into the Space”, Scifest Africa 2014 welcomed award winning German scientist performing group: Die Physikanten. Creating a giant tornado of fire, crashing oil drums using air and making gigantic smoke rings, Die Physikanten aimed to make science exciting and accessible.
Sascha Ott, a scientist from Die Physikanten, believes that the purpose of the show is to allow children to become eager to learn more about science. Although the children were entertained and enthusiastic to interact with certain experiments, science teacher at Ntsika Secondary High School, Solomon Johnson explains that this excitement does not always filter into the classrooms beyond the annual SciFest. The inability to provide such experiments to local school children in a sustainable way, due to lack of resources, creates an absence in general science knowledge for young pupils.

Estela Bravo in Grahamstown

Report by Deneesha Pillay & Megan Flemmit

The video records filmmaker Estela Bravo’s visit to Rhodes University with her husband, Ernesto and Dr Mzu Theo Nodikida, the Cuban ambassador to South Africa. She speaks to students and members of staff about her life and experiences and the significant ties between Cuba and South Africa. Estela visited Rhodes to screens her films “Mandela and Fidel” and “After the Battle”.

‘Bloodsucker’ — Bushido Bill

Report by Dumisa Lengwati & Taryn Isaac, School of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University

You never know when a bloodsucker is in your midst…
Bushido Bill — an awesome Grahamstown band, mess around, gig, hang out and have lots of fun together. Shawn, the lead singer, starts dating Danielle after he notices her at a gig: a femme fatale, irresistibly gorgeous. However, she does come with a fatal flaw: she is a gold-digger of note! The men in the group, Shawn, Dylan and Dylan (drummer and guitarist) don’t mind a bit — they are entranced by her feminine wiles, her flattery, her sensual looks. But Chelsea, the bassist, a femme fatale in her own right, won’t have any of it. She gets increasingly jealous and angry the longer Danielle is in their group. Not one to upset group dynamics however, she decides not to do or say anything until it the negative effect Danielle has on Shawn are manifest — he spends all his money and attention on her until he has none for himself. He becomes drawn, dishevelled — a real mess. An epic battle ensues between the ladies, and the victrix will leave you surprised!

Conversations with Paul Myburgh

Production by Jacek Kaminski & Raphaela Linders 24min

“If you want to know then we must talk. There are no short answers, not if you really want to know” – Paul Myburgh.

After living with the Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert for over seven years, Paul John Myburgh shares his thoughts and concepts on their ancient wisdom with modern humanity. Filming numerous conversations with Myburgh, this documentary aims to convey some of his more fundamental philosophies from his film and book, and to remind modern humanity what we have forgotten from the knowledge and way of life of the /Gwikwe bushmen.

I seek a Safe Place

Production by Amaal Salie, Debbie Potgieter & Palesa Mashigo 24min

Over 500,000 Congolese refugees have flocked to South Africa over the past decade, escaping the civil war that has plagued the DRC. Many of them leave their countries with professional qualifications only to arrive in South Africa and are then forced to do menial jobs like car guarding. In addition to this, refugees are often victims of xenophobia and other forms of discrimination due to the misconceived Ideas about why they fled their country of origin. This documentary follows the lives of three Congolese refugees and attempts to change the stereotypical perceptions attached to foreign nationals in South Africa.

Xakhubasa: The White Pride

Production by Robyn Perros and Tassyn Munro 24min

An inside look into the lives of South Africans with albinism; a story of the challenges and the triumphs of living in a country where they are largely marginalized by others who struggle to place them into the proverbial “rainbow nation”. Albinism is a medical condition, yet the social manifestations of albinism are faced on a daily basis by those affected by it. Through the stories of Sphonakaliso Mpisi and Jake Scott, the many myths and misconceptions surrounding people with albinism are tackled in an attempt to bring an end to the ignorance that persists.

Paper Dragons

Production by Minette van der Walt, Katja Screiber & Kirsten Allnutt 24mins

South Africa’s patchwork-quilt of cultures ranges from Khoisan to Afrikaners, Cape Malays, Indians and many others in between. So where do Chinese and Taiwanese fit in? Do they fit in? Who are ‘they’? And what are they doing here? Paper Dragons is a documentary that explores the experiences of Chinese and Taiwanese descendants living in South Africa. The film delves Into the lives of seven individuals, taking the viewer on a journey of cultural exchange. From the rural Free State to Johannesburg’s second China Town, Chinese and Taiwanese communities have a presence that Is both nation-wide and historically significant.

Two Stories

Production by Martin Bleazard, Justin Archer & Rosanna Scott 24mins

Winner of the Audience Prize 2012 at the 7th RUTV Documentary Film Festival

Two Stories profiles the experiences and impact of two people from different backgrounds. Jan and Nosiphokazi live in two townships in the Eastern Cape. Their presence in these places has affected them and those around them profoundly.
Nosiphokazi Fihlani, a corrective rape survivor, lives in the Grahamstown township and stands bravely against those who discriminate against her and so inspires other lesbians to be open in a community that wants to keep them silenced.
Jan Blom, a rowing coach from Holland, came to the Port Alfred township after his partner died and started an organization to train disadvantaged children in sports and basic education.

Facing the Music

Production by Sungeni Chithambo, Charmian Africa & Thomas Mills. 24min

Music is a recreational activity offered in prisons nationwide. Five male ex-convicts in Grahamstown explain their crimes and show the power that music has played by giving them discipline, self-worth, focus and an occupation to help avoid further crime. Music alone cannot be credited; the characters highlight the importance of family support as a driving force behind successful reintegration into society and a curb to potential re-offense. This documentary takes a look at Norman Plaatjie and friends, all ex-prisoners trying to re-adapt into the community.

The Red Ribbon Drug

Production by Tarryn Ross, Kelley Wake & Christopher Tucker – 24min

South Africa has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world: with women being the most vulnerable sector. We share the lives of HIV positive women whose prognoses have been dramatically changed since the roll-out of anti-retrovirals – the Red Ribbon Drugs. While ARV’s prove to be the miracle drugs that allow infected persons to live a full life, the stigma remains and the rate of infection is still climbing. We meet people living positively with the virus, re-examine the failed history of the state’s disease intervention and find out how ARVs are being misused by people in the Eastern Cape.

Woodstock – The Art of Living

Production by Aimee Caulfield, Candice Ford & Gabi Zietsman 24min

Woodstock in Cape Town is emerging as an artistic suburb fostering a tightly-knit and diverse community adapting the dilapidated charm of a notorious inner city suburb with some simple innovative design interventions. We see how some professionals within the community make a difference and are drawn to the inclusive spirit that the community can offer. Violet’s Walk, a Peace Garden, a graffiti project, radical cycling and other innovative projects offer a model of a mixed community adapting to an urban future without passively waiting for commercial development and central planning.

Courting Tradition

Production by Candyce Bruce, Julie Campbell & Enathi Mqokeli

The Traditional Courts Bill is highly contested legislation that is seen as being unconstitutional, undemocratic and may be negative for vulnerable rural women. Courting Tradition engages critically with this bill by presenting diverse voices on the tabled law as well as what should be done to challenge its retrogressive powers over rural society. A contrasting history of the traditional and magistrates courts is presented to outline the future challenges to ensure effective justice beyond party alliances.

The Roots of our Ills

Production by Bradley Jannsen, Ntombikayise Mlangeni & Lisa Bluett.
Digital Korruption Productions – 24 minutes
Winner of the RUTV 2011 Doc Fest Audience Award

Nutrition is a fundamental part of human existence. So why are South Africans suffering from nutrition related diseases when a simple change of lifestyle would ensure a longer, healthier and more productive life? This documentary debunks myths about what is actually traditional food, examines how traditions can negatively affects health, and looks at indigenous foods that should be preserved and promoted in the Eastern Cape.
Download The Roots of our Ills as Flash file

Anything but the Bucket

Produced by Andy Leve, Duduetsang Makuse & Prinesh Naidoo
Pretty Dandy Productions – 24 mins
School of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University

People In Kwandancama Township in Grahamstown still use the bucket system introduced during apartheid. They are some of the more than 130 000 people in the Eastern Cape still using the bucket and want the chance to use “proper” flush toilets. We document the journey of Siliwe Ntlanjeni and her frustration in the community and help her to look at the economically and environmentally viable alternatives to those who really want anything but the bucket.
DOWNLOAD Anything but the bucket – hi-res