South African Film WIns Three US Film Festivals

The Forgotten Kingdom, produced by Cape Town based ZenHQ Films and Johannesburg based Binary Film Works in partnership with Black Kettle Films and Strongman in New York, has won the Audience Award for Best Film at the Ashland Independent Film Festival, and the Florida and Sarasota Film Festivals. The film has also been selected into competition at the Seattle International Film Festival and has been selected to screen at the Durban International Film Festival in July.

Written and directed by Andrew Mudge, The Forgotten Kingdom follows the story of Atang, an angry young man who leaves the hustle of Johannesburg to return to his ancestral land of Lesotho to bury his estranged father. The film stars Zenzo Ngqobe (Rhythm City, Tsotsi), Nozipho Nkelemba (Rhythm City, Plein Street), and South Africa’s legendary actor Jerry Mofokeng. It marks the first feature film for Binary Film Works, who was brought into the production by ZenHQ Films.

The Forgotten Kingdom is the first feature film to be shot in and about Lesotho, and is being sold internationally through The Little Film Company, and in South Africa through My Movies Sales.


New Artists Announced For 55th La Biennale di Venezia

The Department of Arts and Culture and the National Arts Festival
recently announced the initial line-up of artists for La Biennale di Venezia which opens at the end of May in Venice.

There have been some additional artists that have been added to
the impressive original list that will now form part of the 2013 South African Pavilion at the 55th La Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition is entitled Imaginary Fact – Contemporary South African Art and the Archive.

Gerhard Marx, Maja Marx and Philip Miller recall The Truth and
Reconciliation Commission, through the creation of an installation of seven films with audio; using the source material from their theatre production Rewind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape and Testimony.

James Webb will translate and transform T.Rex’s 1972 glam rock hit,
Children of the Revolution into a South African protest song for

Zanele Muholi has recently made headlines for winning the international Freedom of Expression Index Award in cknowledgment
of the significance of her work in the field of black queer visibility. She will exhibit the entire archive to date, of her seminal Faces and Phases.

In addition to the exhibition mounted on the first level of the
Sale D’Armi in the iconic Arsenale; Venetian authorities have granted permission for an exciting series of public performances to take place within public spaces of the city. Athi-Patra Ruga, Donna Kukama, Kemang wa Lehulere and Nelisiwe Xaba will each interrogate, in some way, the critical concerns of contemporary
archival practice. Kukama and wa Lehulere will adapt existing work specifically for the occasion of the Biennale. Ruga will present his latest incantation of The White Women of Azania, with 4 performers sourced from Venice; and Xaba will perform an extention of her Saartjie Baartman project, entitled Venus in Venice.

Exhibition curator Brenton Maart says “We are pleased to have
finalised the list of artists, and the addition of important photography, multi-media installations and performances will help South African cultural production within these three significant developments in international contemporary art”.

The full list of South African artists taking part includes Andrew
Putter, Athi-Patra Ruga, Cameron Platter, David Koloane, Donna Kukama, Gerhard Marx, Maja Marx, Philip Miller, James Webb, Joanne Bloch, Johannes Phokela, Kemang wa Lehulere, Nelisiwe Xaba, Penny Siopis, Sam Nhlengethwa, Sue Williamson, Wim Botha and Zanele Muholi.

The 55th International Art Exhibition will take place in Venice
from 1 June to 24 November 2013, and the South African Pavilion is curated this year by the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown. The title chosen by Exhibition Director Massimiliano Gioni for the 55th Biennale is Il Palazzo Enciclopedico / The Encyclopaedic Palace.


The Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary 2013: Call For Applications

The Theatre Arts Admin Collective invites applications for the 2013 Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary. This year, 2 bursaries are on offer, supported in partnership with the Baxter Theatre Centre and Distell.

The Bursary offers an emerging theatre director a mentor, a small
budget, a month’s rehearsal space and a week of performance at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective. It is recommended that directors work with already existing scripts as the month-long period has proved insufficient for devised work.

Previous winners of this bursary include Amy
Jephta, Tara Louise Notcutt, Asanda Phewa, Leopold Senekal, Pusetso Thibedi, Kim Kerfoot, Tsepo wa-Mamatu, Thando Doni, Nicola Elliott, Lidija Marelic and Khayelihle Dom Gumede.

“It is so rare to have a space dedicated to one’s growth as a young director, let alone one which provides the close support required to foster growth within individuals,” said Khayelihle Dom Gumede, one of the 2012 winners. “With the bursary I was faced with a unique opportunity to immerse myself in the creative process and deal with the pragmatics of the production rather than extraneous elements” he added.

“Now there aren’t many spaces that can grant you that freedom to just do a show and also learn while working, because the bursary does not only teach you how to put up shows; but there are other aspects that are involved such as budgeting, casting, basically running a show on your own which is what the industry is like in
reality” explained Thando Doni, another 2012 winner.

The 2013 bursaries will run over two periods:
Bursary 1: 15th July – 17th August 2013
Bursary 2: 28th October – 30th November 2013

The Bursary is specifically designed for emerging theatre directors who have had some experience in directing and whose passion is to have a career as a theatre director.

If you are an emerging director and would like to grab this opportunity please submit: a 1-page creative proposal; your CV including 2 references with contact details; and indication of your preferred date to by Friday 10th May 2013. The Bursary winners will be announced on Friday 24th May 2013.


Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show

FROM 10 JULY 2013
TUE – FRI 8PM | SAT 4 & 8PM at The Fugard

rocky-horror-posterThis saucy, racy musical, which features hits like “Science Fiction/Double Feature”, “Dammit, Janet!”,  “Sweet Transvestite” and the infamous “The Time Warp” and “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” tells the story of a newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet, getting caught in a storm and coming to the home of a mad transvestite scientist unveiling his new creation, a muscle man named
Rocky Horror. There they meet some of the strangest creations on the planet.

The production, which has gathered a world-wide following with its hilarious adult content and story line, features a stunning, all local cast and will be directed by Matthew Wild. Designers on the production are Tina Driedijk and Penny Simpson with musical direction and supervision by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and Stefan Lombard.

The Fugard Theatre will be transformed to bring you the Rocky experience of a lifetime! Get dressed in your best gear and come and enjoy this madcap, musical romp!

The Rocky Horror Show stars Brendan Van Rhyn, Paul Du Toit, Jenny Stead, Pierre Van Heerden, Adrian Galley, Andrew Laubscher, Daneel Van Der Walt, Dominique Maher, Lucy Tops, Shaun Smit, Jenna Robinson Child & Angela Inglis.

The production is not suitable for children younger than 16.

Book now


Santa’s Story – Back By Popular Demand

15 – 26 MAY 2013
TUES – SAT 8PM | SUN 3PM At the Fugard.

Santa's Story - at the FugardSanta’s Story returns to the Fugard Studio following a successful run at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square in Johannesburg. Santa’s Story is a moving, one woman show depicting Santa Pelham`s journey of courage and hope through discrimination to heart breaking losses. Her daughter, well known singer Aviva Pelham, performs this meaningful story of hope and inspiration with wonderful
Klesmer music in the Fugard Studio.

Award winning Aviva Pelham is one of South Africa’s foremost performing aritsts, having distinguished herself in countless starring roles in opera, operetta, and musicals and concert. Her vibrant personality and outstanding voice have shone on the stages of major theatres locally as well as in London, Paris and Israel.

Ms Pelham has been nominated in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in Music Theatre and/or a Musical for her role in Santa’s Story. Santa’s Story returns to the Fugard Studio Theatre due to overwhelming popular demand after an initial sold out season in 2012.

Book now


Champ – Final Two Weeks

Winner of the 2012 Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best New South African Script.

5 APRIL – 4 MAY 2013
TUES – THURS 8PM | FRI 6:30 & 9PM | SAT 8PM

Presented by Artscape and the Fugard Theatre, and directed by Greg Karvellas, Louis Viljoen’s wicked new dark-comedy Champ is now playing at the Fugard Studio after an initial successful season at Artscape in 2012.

champ-posterThree actors, scraping the bottom of the barrel while working as children’s entertainers in a mall, find themselves struggling to hold on to their jobs and what little dignity they have left when they encounter a vicious child hell-bent on making their day worse than it already is. Through a combination of exhaustion, wounded pride, middle-class disaffection and a little too much
alcohol early in the day, they enter into a battle with the mischievous and dastardly little boy and set in motion a series of events that will not necessarily change their lives, but perhaps make the day a little more interesting.

Due to explicit and graphic language Champ carries a strict no under 18 age restriction.



2013 Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award

Each year the Academy’s Foundation administers the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award. The competition is designed to motivate novice writers under the age of 30 outside of the United States and offer them the recognition and encouragement that might lead to a successful career in television scriptwriting. The 2013 competition is now officially open!

Please click here to find the guidelines and rules of the competition, which we hope that you will post within your organizations and forward to your local universities, appropriate media newsletters, and
industry colleagues. The winning scriptwriter will be flown to New York City and presented with a $2,500USD prize at the International Emmy® World Television Festival on November 23, 2013. The winning script will be read by actors in front of an audience at the Festival, and the winner will be invited to take part in the red carpet festivities at the 41st International Emmy® Awards on Monday, November 25.

The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2013. Additionally, if you are interested in participating as a juror or know qualified individuals who might be interested in judging submitted scripts from young writers, please email us at


Jane Taylor Considers What Happened “After After Cardenio”

Acclaimed novelist, playwright, curator and cultural critic Jane Taylor will discuss the creative process behind her research and staging of After Cardenio, created in relation to the so-called ‘missing’ Shakespeare play, at the Anatomy Lecture Theatre on Hiddingh Campus, on Thursday 9 May 2013 as part of GIPCA’s Great Texts public lecture series.

Commissioned by Renaissance scholar Stephen Greenblatt to create a work in hypothetical relation to the so-called ‘missing’ Shakespeare play, Cardenio, Jane Taylor first staged After Cardenio in 2011 at Hiddingh Campus’s historical Anatomy Lecture Theatre. In ‘After After Cardenio’, a lecture which brings together visual studies, performance studies, the history of medicine, the origins of neurology, and the history of philosophy, Taylor not only discusses the creative process behind this project, but also considers the volatility of creative engagement with archives.

After Cardenio’s playtext arose from a scholarly engagement with the story of a seventeenth-century woman, Anne Greene, hanged for infanticide, whose body was given over for an autopsy at Oxford University. Greene revived on the anatomy table, and Taylor’s research led her to explore the startling events in relation to the history of neurology and the intersection of Philosophy and Natural Science in the early days of
Natural Philosophy at Oxford. In After Cardenio, Taylor explores the obsessions with the body/soul split, theorised by Descartes, who died the same year that Anne Green was hanged, using distinctive puppetry idioms (with a puppet created by sculptor Gavin Younge).

Tracing a link between the research of key seventeenth century thinkers, Taylor considers the significance of this episode on the thinking of John Locke, who became one of the great theorists of identity in the seventeenth century. Thomas Willis and
William Petty were the anatomists involved in the ‘Anne Green episode’. Willis subsequently invented the term ‘neurology,’ and worked with Christopher Wren (who was to become the celebrated architect of St Paul’s) to produce the first modern illustrations of the human brain. Wren was a student at Oxford at the time of these events, and wrote a piece of poetry about the young woman who seemed to come back to life after death.

Jane Taylor is Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and Mellon Research Advisor at the University of the Western Cape, and a member of the Board of Handspring Puppet Company. She is a published novelist and playwright, curator and cultural critic.  Taylor has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford and at Cambridge
Universities in the UK; and has been recipient of Mellon and Rockefeller Fellowships. She has recently been appointed Wole Soyinka Chair of Theatre at University of Leeds.

Great Texts lectures will take place on Thursdays for the month of May. This lecture will take place on Thursday 9 May 2013 at 17:30 in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre,
Old Medical School Building, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town; and is free. Refreshments will be served from 17:00; no booking is necessary. For more information on the Great Texts series, please contact 021 480 7156 or


The Lone Ranger Rides Again – July 2013, South Africa

The team that brought you the epic genre-defining ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ presents THE LONE RANGER – starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Gore Verbinski.

The Lone Ranger

Incredible Character Banners, the project profile, marketing art and film stills
are available for download now for this highly-anticipated released from

From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, comes Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ “The Lone Ranger,” a thrilling adventure infused with action and humour, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.

“The Lone Ranger” also stars Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper,
James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson and Helena Bonham Carter.

A Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films presentation, “The Lone Ranger” is directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski, with screen story by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Justin Haythe and screenplay by Justin Haythe and Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio. “The Lone Ranger” releases in S.A. theatres on July 12, 2013.

Standby to go west in a way you never have before.


First Film Ever Premiered On Social Network Opens At Cinemas On 12 April

A Lucky ManA Lucky Man’, a new film based on the real life story of legendary former South African gangster Ernie ‘Lastig’ Solomon, opens in cinemas on 12 April. Shot in Cape Town, the film charts Solomon’s violent rise from childhood in the slums of Cape Town to one of the country’s most infamous gangland bosses. It traces Ernie’s quest for identity as he collides with both family and society.

Producer Mark Fyfe and director, writer and co-producer Gordon Clark have become the first filmmaking team in the world to premiere a full-length feature film exclusively on a social network prior to its general cinema opening. Since 18 February, Mxit users have been able to download the movie using the newly-launched Cinemo app. ‘A Lucky Man’ was broken into 18 four-minute episodes, with a new episode uploaded every weekday at 10am.

“We are keen to take advantage of every cinema platform available, especially as mobile platforms become ubiquitous, and the team behind ‘A Lucky Man’ were open to experimenting, which has been a real achievement,” says Kuun. “More than 120 000 downloads have already take place.”

Kuun says it is critically important for independent filmmakers to be knowledgeable about advancing production technologies. “Digital technologies have changed the way filmmakers produce their craft over the last few years, but now they also have to become more familiar with digital distribution. We are very proud to have partners with the team that made ‘A Lucky Man’ and to have been able to premiere the film on Mxit. There has been a great response to this campaign, and we are looking forward to seeing how that impacts the in-cinema opening weekend of the film.”

She adds that consumers are becoming increasingly adept at using technologies readily available to them – from computer laptops to cell phones to tablets and apps. “It’s important for South African filmmakers and sitributors to be comfortable with digital distribution, if we are to remain current and meet growing demands from film fans.”

“A Lucky Man’ is a story of intrigue and a convoluted cultural ethos based on gang structures,” says Fyfe. “It details what happens in a backyard that we all know so little about. Very few people understand what plays out in the Cape Flats on a daily basis. The opportunity to release the film on Mxit has enabled us to get conversations happening around the social issues raised in the film. These chats are being used to raise awareness about drug abuse and to direct users to Mxit communities and services where they can get help should they need it.”

“Today”, says Fyfe, “Ernie has devoted his life to breaking the hold that gangs have over the youngsters on the Cape Flats, extremely active in keeping the peace amongst rival gangs and his life is constantly under threat as a result.”

The film is written, directed and co-produced by world renowned stills photographer and commercials director Gordon Clark, who has extensive experience working on the Cape Flats and has worked with
Ernie Solomon on a photographic exhibition called The Ernie Lastig Occurrence’.

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