Elements Film Lab is an initiative of the Shnit ExpandedTalent Focus Programme for Playground Cape Town in 2016. Over the festival weekend filmmakers will participate in a series of workshops, discussions, conversations and engagements that will further their paths in creating world-class short films. In 2015 the first Elements Film Lab was hosted at the historic Cape Town Club on Queen Victoria Street, a short walk from the festival hub at the Labia Theatre – the oldest independent theatre house in Cape Town.
This year we reignite the spirit of the lab at Truth Coffee on Buitenkant Street, Cape Town. The steam punk themed venue is sure to inspire new creatives, artists, writers and filmmakers to produce and share their unique stories.
Tickets costs only R300 and includes:
Full access to the Elements Film Lab with complimentary coffee and lunch. Ticket sales close Monday 3 October 2016.
Join the Elements Lab team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – volunteers will participate at labs and other Shnit events, receive festival screening privileges and be included in industry only events.
Hosted by: Sean Drummond Speakers: Brent Palmer, Nosipho Dumisa, Meg Rickards and Daryne Joshua
Our panel of experts each come with a unique collection of experiences across multiple formats of filmmaking, web series, documentary, shorts, features, episodical and series – including live performance. This panel discusses telling stories in different formats, exploring how the format influences the story and the craft of developing stories for those formats in particular. They share their experiences in taking these stories and getting them produced for a live viewing audience.
Round Circle Intros
Organisations: Creative Nestlings, Women in Film and Jameson Indie Channel
Organisations, institutes and individuals are given the opportunity to talk about what they offer filmmakers. These 20 minute slots give filmmakers a great opportunity to engage personally with industry figures and make personal connections. By expanding their networks filmmakers will open up new opportunities, ideas and inspiration.
Selling Films Workshop
Hosted by: Sean Drummond Speakers: Mayenzeke Baza and Pascal Shmitz
AAA Entertainment offers a workshop on the yay’s and nay’s when it comes to selling your film. With vast knowledge on the African and world film markets – AAA Entertainment is able to offer filmmakers an accurate and in-depth account of what it is like to have your film screened within continental Africa and worldwide.
Production War Stories
Hosted by: Sean Drummond Speakers: Rafiq Samsodien, Uga Carlini and Brigid Olen
Producers gather to talk about how they finance their films and the war stories that comes with getting films made. They will share their different theories, approaches and what really works to finance projects, while they share with participants of finance horror stories and things to not do.
In Conversation with Akin Omotoso
Hosted by: Didintle Ntsie Speaker: Akin Omotoso
Didi Ntsie concludes the 2016 lab with an intimate conversation with Akin Omotoso. Akin, fresh from successful premier of his latest film “VAYA” at the Toronto International Film Festival dives into his work, production processes and his personal thoughts on the creative journey a filmmaker goes through. Akin brings a wealth of experience and success and it is an honour to host him at Elements Film Lab.
Stick Man was produced by the UK based Oscar-nominated, BAFTA and International Emmy-winning production company, Magic Light Pictures – and if you haven’t already guessed it, animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish. The 26-minute short film was directed by London-based Jeroen Jaspaert and co-directed by South African Daniel Snaddon and was screened to nearly 10m people on BBC1 on Christmas day 2015. Voice cast include the likes of Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous),
Triggerfish seems to be doing something right, as this is one of many fantastic projects to come out of the Cape Town based animation studio. The team will also be working on another adaptation for BBC’s Christmas special, the ultimately popular Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.
“I’m so proud of the team who went beyond the call of duty to bring Stick Man to life,” says Snaddon. “Thank you to Michael Rose and Martin Pope of Magic Light, and the partners at Triggerfish, for this opportunity, and to Jeroen for bringing out the best in us.”
“This was Africa’s strongest showing at Annecy yet,” says Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest. “In addition to Stick Man winning the TV category, our collaborator Clea Mallinson won the Animation du Monde pitching forum for her short Fairy Wheels; South African Naomi van Niekerk’s powder animation, ‘n Gewone Blou Maandagoggend, won the Jean-Luc Xiberras Award for a First Film in the short film category; and Adama, a film set in West Africa, won the André-Martin Award for a French feature film. We also had a great response to the four TV series we’re developing from last year’s pan-African Triggerfish Story Lab, so it’s exciting times for African animation.”
Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa’s minister of Arts and Culture, congratulated Triggerfish on Twitter. “This is an achievement we can all be proud of as South Africans, because Annecy’s Cristal Awards are considered the Oscars of animation.”
Discovered by Lily Allen and signed to her record label “In The Name Of” (an imprint of Columbia records), Tom Odell mentions in an interview with the Daily Mail “By chance a friend of Lily Allen came to one of his first London gigs in December 2011. Allen came to the next and started telling people his voice was ‘fragile yet powerful’, that he was totally gorgeous and reminded her of David Bowie. She invited him for a beer and by the following month he was signed to her label…”
Still from Wrong Crowd music video
Thomas Peter Odell better known as Tom Odell, the musician born in Chichester, West Sussex, was signed after only four gigs. Tom went onto win the prestigious “Songwriter of the Year”, Ivor Novello Award (2014) and has drawn comparisons to acclaimed musicians like Cold Play, Leonard Cohen and the late Jeff Buckley. Tom is an English singer/songwriter internationally renowned for winning the Brits Critics Choice Award (2013), accompanied by the successful debut of his UK chart topping album, “Long Way Down” in 2013.
Recently Odell shot his music video in Cape Town, South Africa. This is where I had the privilege of meeting this humble and grounded artist and also had the opportunity of speaking to the production team Somesuch from London, England.
I asked ‘Wrong Crowd’ Music Director George Belfield (GB) and Producer Tom Birmingham (TB) from UK production company Somesuch a few questions, here is what they had to say:
Q. What were your thoughts on working with South African crew?
GB: “It was my second time working in South Africa, and I had a great experience. I can’t wait to come back to be honest.”
Q. What was the inspiration for the new music videos?
GB: “Tom came with a few strong ideas that he was really keen on, and we worked together to develop them into a narrative. a lot of inspiration came from 70s films and photography”
Q. Why did you choose Cape Town, South Africa to shoot the video?
TB: “We chose Cape Town as it has great cast, locations and crew and also the exhange rate is very favourable for us at the moment.”
Q. What were your thoughts on working with South African crew?
TB: “The crew were generally very good although as it was such a busy time for filming in Cape Town we didn’t always get our 1st choice so some were not great.”
This just in… Huffington Post recently called Faith47, whose work often has a very spiritual and supernal feel, “better than Banksy”. No offence to the journos at Huffington Post or Faith47 but I don’t think they understand art – Banksy is Banksythere’ll be no other Banksy he’s a pioneer like no other, non the less this bold statement may help attract even more attention to her upcoming solo show in New York in November at Jonathan Levine.
Now back to film… South African artist Faith47 and director Dane Dodds have released Landfill Meditation, a collaborative video inspired by Faiths street paste series of broken down cars.
Landfill Meditation doesn’t chronicle the creation of the murals but rathercontextualises them, linking Faith47’s abandoned cars to other objects and spaces once loved and desired, then later discarded.
“This project is reflecting on the notion of progress and the waste that it leaves behind,” says Faith47. “This is about integrating the worst parts of ourselves and acknowledging the damage we do to the planet as a whole.”
Landfill Meditation makes for uncomfortable viewing: rather than the usual postcard view of Cape Town or Johannesburg, Dane’s camera lingers on unsettling imagery of rats and rubbish, decomposing birds and derelict, hijacked buildings.
“We cannot separate ourselves clean and perfect from the trash we dump out back,” says the video’s voiceover, adapted from Native American author Gerald Vizenor’s short story collection, Landfill Meditation. “Being clean is a delusion.”
Future Sound of Mzansi is being streamed over three episodes on Thump, VICE’s electronic music and culture channel. Thump is screening Future Sound of Mzansi to its two million unique visitors, across nine global channels and with translations into six languages.
The cult documentary explores the past, present and future of the South African electronic music scene and its multiple genres, presented through the eyes of internationally acclaimed musician Spoek Mathambo and filmmaker Lebogang Rasethaba. It was produced by Black Major, with support from Red Bull and WESC.
“Electronic music is a staple of South African popular culture,” says Nthato Mokgata, who is better known by his musical alias, Spoek Mathambo. “The electronic music scene reflects the country’s shifting cultural landscape, 20 years into democracy, so Future Sound of Mzansi isn’t just a film about music – it’s a film about a country in transition.”
Since premiering at Durban International Film Festival last July, Future Sound of Mzansi has screened around the world, introducing global audiences to genres like Durban Qgom, Shangaan electro, Bacardi house, and township tech.
“It was a story begging to be told,” says Lebogang. “I was excited about what was happening in South Africa. The energy, the vibe, the creativity was at an all-time high. For me, it was about documenting South Africa in this highly cinematic environment and changing people’s perspectives on what South Africa looks like, sounds like, feels like.”
The documentary has been featured across the internet, from i-D and Nowness to The Guardian and High Snobiety.
In its review of Future Sound of Mzansi, The Daily Dot wrote, “Arguably, the most interesting music in the world today is coming out of Africa, and some of the most interesting contemporary African music is coming out of South Africa.”
The Daily Dotcould have been speaking about any of the artists featured in Future Sound of Mzansi, like Aero Manyelo, Big FKN Gun, Black Coffee, Christian Tiger School, Culoe de Song, Felix Laband, John Wizards, Jumping Back Slash, Krushed & Sorted, Machepies, Markus Wormstorm, Mix & Blend, DJ Mujava, Naked Boys, Nozinja, Okmalumkoolkat, Panyaza, Rude Boyz, Sibot, DJ Spoko, Zaki Ibrahim and many more.
But the documentary isn’t just a PR exercise for South African electronic music: as The Daily Dot points out, the documentary has some “quietly heartbreaking scenes” that “leave you more invested in the musicians as people, playing against the trope of the DJ as hero.”
“When it comes to Africa, I think a lot of portrayals are quite dark and pessimistic, so I wanted to focus on a really vibrant and creative energy,” says Nthato. “I wanted to portray South African youth energy: the raw creativity, the highly technical intelligence, and the beautiful vibrancy, as well as the struggle, madness, drama and frustrations.”
Watch Now Future Sound of Mzansi – Part one, which focuses on Durban…
Watch Now Future Sound of Mzansi – Part two, which focuses on Cape Town...
Thumpwill release part three, which focuses on Pretoria and Atteridgeville, on 3 June 2015.
The full documentary will be available for a limited time from 10 June 2015.
“This whole project oozes quality. You wouldn’t want a documentary about South African electronic music to be directed by anyone else.”
“A beautifully documented study of the increasingly diverse electronic scene in South Africa.”
“Powerful… Future Sound shows a country in transition.”
“A beautifully shot and thoroughly curious exploration of the scene and all its people.”
“Since the documentary went out, things have changed… Many people never knew each other before, and it brought everyone together.”
DJ Spoko, quoted in Thump
“A powerful exploration and interrogation of South Africa’s fertile creative scene.”
“Beyond being a discussion of the music, Future Sounds of Mzansi interrogates the socioeconomic and geographic realities of South Africa’s legacy of division. It also shows how a generation of creators and innovators is bridging the divides and making the world listen through whatever way is available to them.”
The Mail and Guardian
“A fascinating insight into South Africa’s cultural landscape via electronic music.”
Sony’s latest offerings the Sony F65 , F55andF5camera systems are doing well in the film and broadcast industry, along with the success of the preferred camera technology at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while broadcasting all 64 games around the world in 4K! God bless you Sony! May you continue to grow leaps and bounds.
Atang Tshikare cannot be easily defined. His work is a combination of many different art mediums of which an aspect eventually culminates into canvas fine art.
He takes part influence from his dad, a prolific South African journalist and artist as well South African born Nikhil Singh, and the great American contemporary artist Jean Michel Basquiat.
Mr Tshikare is the recipient of the Future Found Award 2014 he has also been celebrated as an “Emerging Creative” in 2012 hosted by the Design Indaba.
Atang’s mom lends him some of her business know-how, as he is the founder of his own banner called Zabalazaa. Atang Tshikare’s (love that name) canvas art can be found at WorldArt in Cape Town.
This young artist has his first solo exhibition at the Turbine Hall Art Fair in Newtown Johannesburg from 18 – 20 July 2014. Check out this awesome interview for a more personal insight to this proud and promising South African artist.
Gavin Rain reads between the lines of society and, with the use of celebrity/societal icons, manifests a subtle point of view for the onlooker, allowing the imagination to delve into a world within a world. You will get the whole picture and sometimes only the subtext of his mathematical work. Nonetheless, the work of this artist is intricately beautiful and is nearly too expensive for the South African art society/market – each painting sells for a R1000 a centimeter.
This fine artist set out to iconize the freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi. Unfortunately, it takes more than a painting to turn an individual into an icon. His work is sincere, and he is always seeking perfection in every piece. Gavin is learned about the history and evolution of man and art, which is apparent in the journey and workmanship of his craft.
Pointillism – a term born out of ridicule (during the time of the eiffel tower opening) to certain artists but now is a revered technique that involves the eye and mind of the artist to blend divided circular colour spots into a fuller image. This results in a mosaic like treat for the viewer, who can, depending on the artist, get lost in the painting and vivid spots of colour.
One can certainly get lost in the work of Gavin Rain, a Cape Town based artist who was prominent in the 2012 and 2013 Venice Biennale. To view his work visit, WorldArt 54 Church Street near Green Market Square.
Managing director Adrian Lazarus said “The event itself was a complete success with festival goers soaking in the daytime talks, and then arriving at night for the whole red carpet experience. EVERYONE dressed up in their finest outfits – the guys as well. It was a magical occasion.”
Approx. 75 entries were from the African continent, majority of which were from South Africa and Kenya.
Approx. 350 entries were from Europe, USA, and Asia collectively.
Various sections held different criteria – ultimately it was which film connected to the judges of a particular category. Each category had at least 3 judges, and each judge looked at only 3 categories.