The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) returns for its 35th year to celebrate the wonder and diversity of global cinema. From 17 to 27 July, Durban will be lit up by the glowing silver screens of over 250 screenings in 9 venues across the city. “Hear Me Move” is one of five movies chosen by the panel to showcase the growth of South African filmmakers alongside the smorgasbord of the best of contemporary cinema from around the planet.
Hear ME Move will be previewing twice at the Festival: At the Tsogo Sun-Elangeni Hotel on Saturday, 19 July and at the Luthuli Museum in KwaDukuza (Stanger) on 23 July
Produced by Mzansi’s most respected actor Wandile Molebatsi, better known for his intense and heartfelt acting perfomances, together with the talented directors Scott Smith and Thabang Moleya and the phenomenal screenwriter Fidel Namisi.
After months of preparation and fundraising, the Writers’ Guild of South Africa (WGSA) pulled off the inaugural WGSA Muse Awards in Cresta, Johannesburg, honouring the best performance writers in South Africa for their film, TV scripts and stage plays. Our very own Fidel Namisi became the first recipient of the first award for Best TV comedy script for Tooth and Nails.
Harriet Meier, chairperson of WGSA, feels that the award by writers for writers is long overdue. “Finally there is an award which acknowledges the creators of local entertainment; the incredibly talented writers who take an idea and give it life, a face and a unique character, which is then brought to the screen by the actors, directors and producer.”
WINNING A WGSA MUSE AWARD
Posted on April 17, 2014 Featured in: www.filmmakerafrica.co.za/
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking part in an interview on Channel Ed (DSTV Channel 318) about scriptwriting. The interviewer took me by surprise when he asked me why writers are so underappreciated in the South African film and TV industry. Forced to come up with a quick answer, I said what I wouldn’t have said, given more room to prepare. I gave my politically incorrect opinion.
“Writers are to blame.”
After thinking about this consciously for a while now, and after looking at what my fellow writers in the world’s most established industry have been pushed to do, I feel even more strongly about this than ever. In defence of writers though, I don’t think it’s generally due to passivity or laziness. I think it has more to do with the personality traits that are common to most writers.
Writer/Producer Fidel Namisi and Actor/Producer Wandile Molebatsi are currently co-producing Afrikaans feature film Verskietende Ster (“Shooting Star”), directed by the award-winning Darrel James Roodt and produced by Philo Pieterse and Writer/Producer Stefan Enslin.
The film tells the story of a young man who is forced to use his musical talents to mend his relationship with his father following the death of his mother. Written by Stefan Enslin of Faith In Motion Productions, the movie will feature some stars in the soon-to-be named cast.The film is being shot on location in Johannesburg and Pretoria and will be released later in the year.
The Cannes International Film Festival, known to be the most prestigious and publicised film festival in the world, previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from around the world. The invitation-only is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France. Hear ME Move was screened at the South African pavilion, and attended by international sales agents and distributors. Countries represented included Germany, Japan and the USA.
During their time on the Riviera, the boys did get some time to get around, take in the sights but kept their eye on the prize, which was to distribute the movie. Fidel and Wandile had been to Cannes the year before and this was
Scottnes’ first trip to the Festival.
Catch Lee-Ann Manas’ interview with Wandile and Scottnes’ on Morning Live on SABC2 the morning the pair were leaving to attend Cannes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joX-_j8WES8
In between producing 5 made-for-TV movies for Mzanzi Magic, Wandile has found the time to star as Kingdom Mathunzi in the SABC2 drama, Thola (“To Find”). The investigative thriller plays out against the backdrop of the construction industry and is currently being shot in Johannesburg. Wandile says that his role as Kingdom, the estranged son who returns to his wealthy family after the death of his father, is a role that stretches his acting ability.
It has been a frenetic few months for the Coal Stove team, juggling production demands to get the movies ready for broadcast from August 2014, but without skipping a beat, Wandile has taken on the gig of associate producer with Fidel Namisi on Darryl Roodt’s Verskietende Ster (“Shooting Star”)
October looks to be another busy month for Wandile as he will feature in Kowethu (“Our Place”) scheduled for broadcast on SABC1 next year. We will keep you posted.
27 April 2014 was entered as a significant day in our history, with a key focus on 20 years of freedom and democracy in South Africa. To honour the 20th anniversary of the advent of a free and non-racial democracy in South Africa, the SABC selected Fidel Namisi to write, direct and produce the documentary “Freedom Day” to highlight the journey that the continent has made from being called a “dark continent” to where it is today. The key question: “Was Africa dark, and is it still so? If so – why?” provided the narrative throughout the documentary.
Fidel states that the aim of this documentary “was to provide an analysis into how the leadership on the African continent has shaped who we are as Africans and where we are geographically, politically, economically and socially. It will also serve as a reflection on what it will take to transform this continent from the pariah that it is currently perceived as being and push it boldly forward on the march towards forging a new identity through a process of renaissance.”
He was clear about wanting to keep the exploration relevant to the man on the street by constantly drawing parallels to real life examples that are seen and experienced on a day to day basis by the people who live and work on the streets of this country, people who are from this country itself and from further up north in the continent.
Inspired4Writers talks to screen writer Fidel Namisi about what inspires his narrative, how long it took to write Lucky Numbers & Tooth and Nails, why it’s so important to laugh and more.
Inspired4Writers: As a comedic writer, what informs or inspires your narrative?
Fidel Namisi: I am continually drawn by the fish-out-of-water scenarios. Almost all the comedies I’ve worked on have this as the basic premise. I do hope to explore other comedic premises in the near future, if there’s a funny “hook” to be discovered.
Inspired4Writers: May you share with the Inspired4Writers readers how long it took you to write the two films [Lucky Numbers & Tooth and Nails]? How do you know when the screenplay is ready for production?
Fidel Namisi: Each film took 6 months to write. A screenplay is never quite ready for production. You just sort of realize that it resonates emotionally with you and you can’t take it any further without messing it up.
Johannesburg-based writer and producer Fidel Namisi has written the following piece on the five most common mistakes that occur on feature film scriptwriting collaborations. Namisi writes: It is indeed rare nowadays to find a Hollywood blockbuster or indie film that was penned by an isolated individual working away in self-imposed solitary confinement, armed with only a laptop and an endless supply of coffee and cigarettes. This highly romanticised image of the writer is a far cry from the highly competitive and politicised world of television and filmmaking, where who you know and work with is often times more important than how great your concept is.
South Africa's first dance film, "Hear ME Move" produced by Coal Stove Pictures, will be in cinemas nationwide on 19th December 2014.
Coal Stove Pictures has produced Africa's first dance film for the silver screen, "Hear ME Move", to be released across South Africa on December 19th 2014.
The company also produced the Writers Guild of South Africa Best Comedy Award winning "Tooth and Nails", and was the winner of the 2007 Business and Arts South Africa award. Other credits include the smash hit musical-drama "Remix", as well as TV movies "Papa Carlito's Shebeen", "The Call Centre", "Blood Money" and "Lucky Numbers."
Coal Stove Pictures was started in 2007 by actor Wandile Molebatsi, director Scottnes Smith, screenwriter Fidel Namisi and producer Terence Mbulaheni. Their vision was to give the world a respect, love and appreciation for the artistic creations of Africa by establishing a place of work where artists can feel the joy of artistic creation, be aware of their mission to society and work to their heart's content.
Coal Stove's offices are at No. 163 Smit Street, Braamfontein.