National Arts Festival Appointed Curators Of SA Pavillion At 55th La Biennale di Venezia

The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown today expressed its delight
at being chosen to curate and stage the South African exhibition at the
55th La Biennale di Venezia, saying that it would embark on the project with the best interests of our country’s artists at heart.

Acknowledging this event as the “world’s premiere showcase for the
contemporary visual arts”, Festival CEO Tony Lankester said that participation in the La Biennale di Venezia was something that all artists should aspire to. “Venice is arguably the most prestigious and well-established visual arts showcase in the world, and having their work shown there is a major opportunity for our artists to get global exposure,” he said.

The choice of the National Arts Festival as curator was announced
by the Department of Arts and Culture today at the end of a public process in which proposals were sought from parties wishing to lead the process.

“We submitted a proposal to the Department and we’re delighted that they have bought into the curatorial vision we expressed,” Lankester said. “In putting the proposal together we drew on the expertise of Brenton Maart, who will be the exhibition curator, and his colleagues from our Festival Artistic Committee – Nomusa Makhubu, Dominic Thorburn, Brett Bailey and Jay Pather.
Together this team will now refine the idea behind the exhibition, and bring it to life through the work of an array of local artists.”

The theme and concepts underpinning the exhibition to be mounted on the South African pavilion will be unveiled to the public once this process of refinement is complete.

Lankester, who is currently chair of the World Fringe Alliance and
Treasurer of the African Festival Network, stressed the importance of global exposure for South Africa’s artists: “A platform like this is an important part of their growth as makers of art, and it enriches the perspective they bring to their work. It is also a step toward establishing their names and reputations in the global arts market and getting due recognition and reward for their talent,” he said.

The 55th International Art Exhibition will take place in Venice
from 1 June to 24 November 2013. The title chosen by Exhibition
Director Massimiliano Gioni for the 55th Biennale is Il Palazzo
Enciclopedico / The Encyclopaedic Palace

The National Arts Festival is sponsored by Standard
Bank, The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Eastern Cape Government, Department of Arts and Culture, City Press and M Net.


And The Oscar Goes To…

Best motion picture of the year

Best performance by an actor in a leading role
Daniel Day-Lewis

Best performance by an actress in a leading role
Jennifer Lawrence

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role
Christoph Waltz

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role
Anne Hathaway
Best achievement in directing
Ang Lee
Best writing, screenplay written directly for the screen
Django Unchained

Best writing, screenplay based on material previously produced or published

Best animated feature film of the year

Best foreign language film of the year

Best achievement in cinematography
Life of Pi

Best achievement in editing

Best achievement in production design

Best achievement in costume design
Anna Karenina

Best achievement in makeup and hairstyling
Les Misérable

Best achievement in music written for motion pictures, original score
Life of Pi

Best achievement in music written for motion pictures, original song

Best achievement in sound mixing
Les Misérables

Best achievement in sound editing

Best achievement in visual effects
Life of Pi

Best documentary, feature
Searching for Sugar Man

Best documentary, short subject

Best short film, animated

Best short film, live action



Donald Gordon Creative Arts Award Winners At Infecting The City

The Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) partners with the Africa Centre in Infecting the (Mother) City with public art projects, from 12 – 16 March 2013.

In line with GIPCA’s interdisciplinary mandate,Trespassing
engages with “off limit” zones within the performance space. The initiators ofthis work, Donald Gordon Creative Arts Award winners Mike Rossi and Ulrich Suesse, have created a crossover performance, featuring acclaimed musician Feya Faku on trumpet, and dance artists Nicola Elliott, Alan Parker and Richard Antrobus.

The composition process was informed by exploring and experimenting with boundaries; by developing new musical sound
and by collaborating in music and mixed media productions. Performers are not constrained by detailed notated scores; they are free to move, participate and improvise with their own contributions – Trespassing Permitted. Improvisation encroaches on composition, jazz invades western classical, African and European sound spectra are interpolated, dancers meddle in the creation of sound. The programme moves from individual performances to an increasingly participatory performance, with parallels being drawn to the reopening and re-activation of city spaces.

Old and new converge with the Cape Consort’s exploration of early
vocal repertoire in Shades of Grey, a fractured audioscape of late medieval European and 19th-century colonial culture in historically informed interpretation. The work is the result of a Donald
Gordon Creative Arts Award, awarded to musicologist Rebekka

Manuscript 4.b.5 of the Grey Collection in the National Library of South Africa – an office book from diocese of Münster – contains the late medieval chants for the office of St Liudger. Late medieval
chant is often seen as “impure” or “decadent” by plainchant scholars and not much is known about it, both in terms of scholarly research and performance. This dearth of knowledge gives the opportunity for experiments such as the use of isons and early improvised polyphony or composed polyphony. In this regard, Shades of Grey follows the tradition of historically informed performance.

In order to ground the music in space and time, it will be interspersed with music from the time of George Grey’s government, and substituted with readings from Grey’s writings on the collection and current views on his government. The music can be perceived as if through an aural kaleidoscope, which even though it fragments the image, unites the fragments into a pattern: the original veneration for the saint in 15th-century Münster, Grey’s inclusion of the music in the collection during his governance of the Cape Colony, today’s research on early music and its historically
informed performance.

The Cape Consortis comprised of Tessa Roos and Vasti Knoesen (alto), Nick de Jager and Lance Phillip (tenor), Charles Ainslie and
Patrick Cordery (bass), and Erik Dippenaar (organ).

These performances are presented by The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, as part of the 2013 programme for the Infecting the City Public Arts Festival. Trespassing Permitted
will be performed on Church Square at 20:00 on Tuesday 12 March and Thursday 14 March as part of Programme B. Shades of Grey will be performed at the Slave Church in Long Street at 12:30 on Thursday 14 March and 10:30 on Saturday 16 March as part of Programme E. For more information on the Festival, see or


Permit Applications And Registration With City Of Cape Town

Letter from the CEO of the Cape Film Commission (CFC), Denis Lillie:

As of today, we can confirm that for the first time in its 12 year history, the Cape Film Commission is registered with the City of Cape Town as an organisation which is able to officially enable the application of film permits within the City of Cape Town property and roads portfolio for our Members.

As many of you know, achieving this registration has been an uphill struggle. We required this registration to afford many of you the opportunity to apply for film permits as Members of the CFC. Previously there was an implied requirement that to apply for a permit, especially if you were not registered with the City as a Production Company, you would have to align yourself to a local production company. Many of you have expressed to us on many occasions that you did not want to do this and have requested that we register on your behalf, this we can now do.

The CFC registration now means that subject to the provision of certain required documentation, our individual members and SMMEs together with inbound production companies can now come through the CFC and use their CFC Membership number, our postal address, together with PL insurance obtained through us, to apply for a permit to film on City property and roads.

The registration cost with the CFC for applying for permits using your CFC Membership is a flat rate of R500 per annum to cover administration costs. Permit applications through the City are still free of charge with associated costs for roads closures, traffic officers etc.

Please note that we also manage the referral process for filming on Western Cape Provincial Property. We also serve as the interface with Home Affairs on visa and work permit applications where you may be encountering some challenges. The CFC is also the DTI, SEDA and SETA partner for the film industry.

With many of our Members from Gauteng, KZN and from the international community wanting to film in and around Cape Town, the opportunity that has been granted to us from the City of Cape Town is a welcome addition to the services we offer and we thank them for that.

We look forward to working with you on this new initiative.


Fanie Fourie’s Lobola Showcases The Best Of SA Music

New romantic comedy Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, a contemporary romantic comedy about love and tradition in a rapidly evolving society, is a real treat for South African music fans with a soundtrack that features a number of popular and lesser-known local artists.

“The 23 tracks on the soundtrack represent many different genres of South African music,” says producer and co-writer Janine Eser, who also selected music for the film. “The selection process was exciting because the broad choice of tracks came to represent the collection of diverse characters in the story, which is about what happens when an Afrikaans guy and a Zulu girl fall in love. Choosing the right music was a vital part of the filmmaking process and the music almost became an additional character in the movie.”

Adam Schiff, the composer of the score for the film, and Eser spent many months listening and trying to find a combination of music tracks that would work in the scenes and with the characters.  “We chose well-known artists like Hip Hop Pantsula, Jack Parow, Freshlyground, Radio Kalahari Orkes, Lira, Mi Casa, Teargas, Bongo Maffin and fokofpolisiekar,” says Eser. “But we also felt that a few underground tracks would be interesting, so we included artists like Mix n Blend, Richard the 3rd and P.H.Fat. There was an amazing range of spectacular South African music to choose from.”

A highlight of the film is Chris Chameleon in the role of Fanie’s successful brother Sarel, a cheesy Afrikaans pop star. “He‘s not only a fantastic artist, but also a skilled comedic actor. As a well-known singer himself, he understands the dynamics of Sarel’s character. His contribution to the film, and all the songs he wrote with Hunter Kennedy (Die Heuwels Fantasties/fokofpolisiekar ) and Fred Den Hartog (Die Heuwels Fantasties) is truly brilliant. He not only took his role to heart, but his three “Sarel Fourie songs” added another dimension to the soundtrack.”

Composer Adam Schiff says both the score and music tracks should enhance the emotion or mood that is already present in a scene. “In ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’, in a comedic scene like the one where the timid but friendly Fanie meets Dinky in a bakery, the score plays with the existing comedic dynamics and heightens them subtly for maximum effect.” In scenes that are more ethereal, such as when Dinky is walking down a dirt road to meet with Fanie for their first date, the visual image is filled with an otherworldly quality, which is almost suspended in time. “Fanie is transfixed by her beauty,” says Schiff. “She’s walking down a dirt road, but it looks like she’s walking the red carpet. The score had to make us feel that we were in that magical moment with them.”

Schiff’s score is a mix of comedy and drama. It incorporates musical ideas from both lead characters’ backgrounds and weaves them together into a body of music that captures the main themes of the film in a modern way.

“Instead of a large orchestra or musical group, I used various South African instrumentation in an intimate and neatly intermingled manner,” says Schiff. “Traditional Afrikaans instruments like the banjo and concertina represent Fanie’s universe, while Dinky’s brings in drums, marimba and kalimba. The instruments don’t always sound natural as I treated them to give the score a more modern resonance.”

On the process of scoring a film, Schiff says it should be organic and echo the characters and tone of the film. “Instrumentation and melody need to combine to form the aural heartbeat of the film,” he says. “Once the instrumentation is decided on, usually by experimenting with different combinations of instruments while watching the visuals, I start writing the themes or even mood pieces that become themes later on as the score progresses.”

With ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’ Schiff believed it was important to feel that each melodic choice was rooted in specific African instrumentation. But he also wanted to allow the score to have a modern, non-traditional feel. The result is a score that feels as contemporary as the film.

Official Website: