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MTV Documentary Films Acquires award-winning South African Short Film, “My Father The Mover”

The Tribeca-winning short, My Father the Mover, is one of only a few handpicked foreign documentaries acquired by MTV Documentary Films MTV Documentary Films, a division of MTV Studios, has acquired breakout director Julia Jansch’s upbeat African dance tale, My Father The Mover, which won Best Documentary Short Film at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film is part of an exciting lineup of award-winning new feature and short film acquisitions under executive producer Sheila Nevins. The lineup tackles the social, political and cultural topics affecting the immediate lives and future outlooks of young people today.

Following its launch with Academy Award-nominated short St. Louis Superman and award-winning feature Gay Chorus Deep South, MTV Documentary Films will qualify MY FATHER THE MOVER for the Academy Awards and do a full awards campaign. “Culling the magnificent Film Festivals with their extraordinary choices of documentary offerings, it is a gift to acquire films with heart and soul, insight and vision,” said Nevins.

My Father The Mover tells the story of Stoan (a.k.a. Mthuthuzeli Stoan MOVE Galela), a self-taught dancer who uses African electronic Gqom beats to motivate kids in the township of Khayelitsha, South Africa to jive through their hardship and find their superpowers.

Jansch has always been stirred by characters and narratives that unveil what makes us most human. While talking to Stoan, Jansch learned of the work he does in his community. She was moved by his spirit and wanted to get his story out into the world in the hope of providing a platform for him to raise awareness about his work.

The South African director, writer and producer wanted to make the film in a way that felt as real and immersive as being with Stoan in the flesh and he invited an intimate crew into his home and dance class. “This story is very important to me because Stoan’s message and methodology is one of freedom. And while the kids in his dance group face very unique circumstances, I found his story and his work to be universal. I found his way to be so moving… he is The Mover after all, and I knew his story would resonate on a global level,” said Jansch.

Julia began her career in development, working for FremantleMedia and RadicalMedia in New York. Her short films have premiered and won at A-list festivals around the world, and she is currently writing her first feature. She has an MBA and an MSC from Oxford University and a filmmaking diploma from the New York Film Academy.

The MTV acquisition is a career milestone for the young New York-based filmmaker, who describes the project as a miracle.

MTV Documentary Films continues the rapid expansion of the global youth brand across its network of channels, platforms, events and third-party development through MTV Studios.

My Father The Mover Winner – Best Documentary Short Film at Tribeca Film Festival Filmmaker: Julia Jansch Executive Producer: Sheila Nevins Logline: African electronic Gqom beats motivate kids in the township of Khayelitsha, South Africa to jive through their hardship and find their superpowers.


Die Tribeca-bekroonde kortfilm, My Father the Mover, is een van slegs ’n paar handuitgesoekte oorsese dokumentêre wat deur MTV Documentary Films uitgesaai gaan word.

MTV Documentary Films, ’n afdeling van MTV Studios, het die regte bekom om Julia Jansch se inspirerende Afrika-dansverhaal, My Father The Mover (wat aangewys is as Beste Dokumentêre Kortfilm by die Tribeca Film Festival-Rolprentfees), uit te saai. Dié kortfilm is deel van ’n opwindende versameling bekroonde speel- en kortfilms deur uitvoerende vervaardiger, Sheila Nevins. Hierdie lys van films spreek die sosiale, politieke en kulturele onderwerpe aan wat die onmiddellike lewens en toekoms van hedendaagse jongmense raak.

Na die afdeling se amptelike bekendstelling met die Oscar-bekroonde kortfilm, St. Louis Superman, en bekroonde speelfilm, Gay Chorus Deep South, gaan MTV Documentary Films My Father The Mover ook laat kwalifiseer vir die Oscars en ’n volledige toekenningsveldtog van stapel te stuur. “Daar is baie rolprentfeeste met uitsonderlike dokumentêre beskikbaar en dis vir ons ’n voorreg om films uit te saai met hart, siek, insig en visie,” sê Nevins.

My Father The Mover vertel die storie van Stoan (oftewel Mthuthuzeli Stoan MOVE Galela), ’n danser wat kinders in Khayelitsha, Suid-Afrika, help om uit te styg bo hulle omstandighede (armoede en mishandeling) en hulle eie ‘superkragte’ te ontdek deur middel van elektriese ‘Gqom’-danse.

Karakters en stories wat menslik is, het Julia nog altyd geïnspirereer. Tydens haar gesprek met Stoan, het sy gehoor van die werk wat hy in sy gemeenskap doen. Sy het aanklank gevind by sy gees en wou sy storie met die wêreld deel en vir hom ’n platform skep om mense bewus te maak van die werk wat hy doen.

Omdat dié Suid-Afrikaanse regisseur, skrywer en vervaardiger graag wou hê dat die fliek so eg as moontlik moes wees, het sy besluit om dit nie net in dokumentêre styl te verfilm nie, maar ook die regte Stoan te gebruik as akteur. Hy het ’n klein rolprentspan toegelaat om in sy huis en klas te verfilm.

“Die storie is vir my belangrik, omdat Stoan se boodskap en metodes gaan oor vryheid. Alhoewel elkeen van die kinders in sy dansgroep se omstandighede verskil, is die werk wat hy doen universeel… hy is nie verniet The Mover nie en ek het geweet dat sy storie sou aanklank vind by ’n internasionale gehoor,” sê Jansch.

Julia het haar loopbaan in rolprentontwikkeling afgeskop by FremantleMedia en RadicalMedia. Haar kortfilms is al by rolprentfeeste regoor die wêreld bekendgestel en sy is tans besig om aan haar eerste vollengte rolprent te werk. Sy spog met ’n MBA- en MSC-graad van Oxford Universiteit en ’n rolprentdiploma van die New York Film Academy.

Die feit dat MTV uitsaairegte bekom het vir haar kortfilm is ’n mylpaal vir hierdie rolprentmaker, wat tans in New York woon, en die projek as ’n wonderwerk beskryf.

MTV Documentary Films gaan voort met die uitbreiding van die wêreldwye jeughandelsmerk deur middel van sy netwerk van kanale, platforms, funksies en derdeparty-ontwikkeling deur MTV Studios.

My Father The Mover
Wenner: Beste Dokumentêre Kortfilm by die Tribeca-Rolprentfees
Regisseur: Julia Jansch
Uitvoerende vervaardiger: Sheila Nevins
Prikkel: Afrika elektriese ‘Gqom’-danse motiveer kinders in die plakkerskampe van Khayelitsha, Suid-Afrika, om uit te styg bo hulle omstandighede en hulle eie ‘superkragte’ te ontdek.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za
And IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/