After quite an emotional week for the country, with the Oscar Pistorius verdict, I’m hoping to simply wind down this weekend. I still don’t know what to believe. A lot of my friends overseas aren’t convinced he’s telling the truth. The papers here were critical of him being cleared. Reeva was in the industry I’m in, not to mention she was from my home town! It’s my aunt in the courtroom sitting next to her mother. Here are some interesting links for you:
This past couple months has been very busy. On the Skybok front, we filmed a couple awesome places to add to our database of online video profiles showcasing South Africa. Scoot on over to our blog here and read about them. This includes work not only showcasing places here in Cape Town, but also work done at the Durban Travel Indaba. Read about it and see pictures here. I’ve done some voice work at my favourite studio, West Beach Studio, which is run by music producer Frank Smuts who also happens to be one of South Africa’s top triathletes! I did an awesome interview with Grootbos Nature Reserve who recently hosted me to blog about their 5-star luxury resort. Check out the interview here and read my article on the place here. Concurrent to that, I did an interview for HotelsCheap.Org on what to expect when travelling to South Africa – read the interview here. On the PR / Social Media Management side of things, the RetroAfrika Bioscope has received some stunning news regarding their digitally remastered 1980’s South African film Joe Bullet; that it’s to be premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in July this year. Check out their press received here and their gallery of behind-the-scenes at the Waterfront Film Studios here. Up in Johannesburg, The Art Meets Fashion event took place at Constitution Hill and showcased some stunning work by local fashion designers and artists, following in the footsteps of its partner event up in New York. Read about my involvement as an ambassador for this cause here. International collaborations to strengthen ties between South Africa and the rest of the world in order to move us forward in the global arena in any and all creative spheres is something I feel passionately about. I feel we have a pool of undiscovered talent here. Modelling wise, I did a great hair shoot with Sarah Keogh who is an asset to her craft and always produces strong images. I’m looking forward to the BWA Awards (Business Women’s Association of South Africa) in which I’m a finalist in the category of “Emerging Entrepreneur” and whose ceremony is at The Crystal Towers here in Cape Town this week. On the blogging front, an exciting enterprise coming up is a campaign I’m taking part of with City Lodge Hotel Group, where they’re sponsoring me to travel to their hotels around the country and blog. Looking forward to a busy month ahead with lots of different projects! Hopefully I can provide you with some entertaining stories 😉
What have you been up to? Are you in the film industry here in SA?
Skybok is handling Gravel Road Entertainment’s “Retro Afrika Bioscope” Social Media Marketing at the Waterfront Film Studios in Cape Town. Retro Afrika Bioscope is Gravel Road’s specialty release label for classic retro African content. The exciting challenge is to digitally restore 160 films that were made during the 70’s & 80’s in South Africa! We launched the Mayibuye Film Festival which ran on SABC 1 from April 13-27 to showcase 6 films that have been restored so far. We’ve been to film festivals all over the world, including the Berlin Film Festival in Germany, The Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia, The Lumiere Film Festival in France + we also had our North American debut at MoMa in New York! The community is now around 30,000 members online!
Some of the films:
1971 – Joe Bullet
1987 – Ezintandaneni
1988 – Ambushed
1989- Bona Manzi
1989 – Isiboshwa
1989 – Treasure Hunters
See the crew working hard on digitally remastering the films – read more about them here. See the gallery of behind-the-scenes here (Photos by Patrick Ryan, shot on location at the Waterfront Film Studios).
It was the first time these films were seen by audiences in over 40 years, as well as being their first ever TV debut. I think these stories are so important because they are our heritage. It’s exciting to me that we can restore them to perfect condition and show them to modern South Africa. One of our films is Joe Bullet, originally banned in 1973 by the Apartheid government. It has now been recovered, fully restored & premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in July 2014. It’s crazy to think that while it was being made Nelson Mandela was in prison and Winnie had just been arrested!
2 films aired back-to-back every Sunday night in April from 20h30 on SABC 1. If you missed them you can catch them via online streaming. We’ve got an awesome partnership with Wabona, one of Africa’s premiere video streaming services, to make the films available to the public for free (http://wabona.com/). If you are a Mxit user, watch them through that platform via Cinemo (Wabona’s mobile service). A new deal that’s been struck with Commuter TV will see the films running on TV screens in mini bus taxis throughout the country. There’s no excuse not to see these vintage African films!
Become part of the conversation online with us:
Retro Afrika Blog: http://retroafrika.com/
Retro Afrika Twitter: https://twitter.com/RetroAfrika
Retro Afrika Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/retroafrika
Lisbon was one of the most magical, enchanting places I’ve been to. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world. It’s definitely one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. They love their sardines… and I was explicitly told by a local that I wouldn’t truly experience Lisbon if I didn’t experience their char-grilled sardines (with lemon and sea salt).
Not so long ago I traveled to Bavaria, Germany, with family and friends. We landed in Munich and took a train to Oberammergau; the prettiest village I’ve ever been to. The reason we went was to watch the famous “Passion Play”, which is performed there only every ten years.
Something exciting I’ve been reading about is the biographical film of Mandela’s life, “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”, which is being released in South Africa in just five months. Entirely South-African made and the only motion picture with full endorsement from Nelson Mandela himself and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, I can’t wait to see this! Film producer Anant Singh announced on 27 May this year (which marked the 50th anniversary of Nelson Mandela arriving on Robben Island as prisoner) that the film is in its final stages of post production and will be released on November 29. The film started development back in 1996 when Singh was granted the film rights to Mandela’s autobiography by Mandela himself. It’s amazing to think after all these years of planning and execution, we will finally get to see it. Directed by Justin Chadwick, it started its principle photography a year ago and shot for 16 weeks around South Africa. The movie begins in 1924 and follows Madiba from his early childhood, through to his arrival in Johannesburg and culminates with his election as president of South Africa in 1994. During the course of the film, three actors play Nelson Mandela – Siza Pini plays the 8 year old Mandela, Atandwa Kani plays him at 16, and Idris Elba plays the remaining years. I absolutely love Idris Elba, he stars in the British TV Drama “Luther“. People say this role could see the popular British actor as a serious contender in the next Oscar race. I wouldn’t be surprised! Here is a related article if you are interested in reading more about the film. You can also like its official Facebook page here.
Who thought that South Africa couldn’t have its own Hollywood? On the way to Stellebosch from Cape Town, there are huge mysterious structures which have been popping up for some time in an area which a signboard pointing to it labels “Cape Town Film Studios”. Phase 1 ended at the end of last year. That was the construction of sound stages, production offices, workshops, retail spaces, commercial offices and light industrial facilities. There are massive sets which are being built to mimic scenes that are frequently needed for films. For instance, there’s a typical New York street set being built and a typical USA style suburb. Also being built inside the studios are the interior sets which are magnificent replicas of the interior of a medieval castle and caves. Currently there are two drama documentaries being filmed at the studios. These are “The Great British Story” and “The History of the World”. The CEO of the Cape Town Film Studios is a guy called Nico Dekker. He is the former head and CEO of Table Mountain Motion Picture Studios and is assisted by an experienced management team, namely Rashay Magan (General Manager and deputy Chairman), Ross Rayners (Manager of Studio Projects), Fadiel Martin (Accountant) and Anant Singh (Chairman). He was in fact interviewed on CNN. On its website, it’s described as “Cape Town’s first, fully fledged sound stage complex”. Even famous vistors are impressed. Stephen Fry said on Twitter during the filming of “The Borrowers”:
“And – that’s a wrap. 12 hours of larkish fun. Must say deeply impressed with brand new Cape Town Studios. Make Pinewood etc look v shabby”