❤ My Work, Skybok

Gravel Road’s “Retro Afrika Bioscope” at Waterfront Film Studios!

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Tamika Doubell

Skybok has become part of the team at Gravel Road Entertainment’s “Retro Afrika Bioscope” Division 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 our 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 ( 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:

Retro Afrika Twitter:

Retro Afrika Facebook:

Gravel Road

Tamika Doubell Waterfront Film Studios

Tamika Doubell Retro Afrika Bioscope

Tamika Doubell SABC1


Tamika Doubell Mayibuye Film Festival

South African Interviews

Mandela biopic starring Idris Elba coming soon!

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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.

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South African Interviews

The Oscars ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ 2013

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January 10th 2013 means a lot to a lot of people. Especially to 71 countries from around the world. Mean nothing to you? Well it won’t, really, unless you’re part of the group that’s been involved in creating your country’s best film or you’ve been involved in entering it into the highly-anticipated Academy Awards next year………….. Or unless you’re a film fiend, like myself! This year a record number of entries have been accepted. 71 entrants from countries around the world, which include a first-ever entry from Kenya, a Palme d’Or-winning entry from Austria and the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion award-winner from South Korea, all think they’ve got what it takes to win the coveted title of ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at The Oscars  2013.

Nairobi Half Life directed by David (Tosh) Gitonga:

Amour directed by Michael Haneke:

Pieta by Kim Ki-duk:

Last year the winner was an Iranian drama about a couple considering a divorce.

It’s titled A Separation.

See its trailer here:

It examines the moral and social conflicts that arise in a Tehran family after a couple apply for a divorce, and was recently criticised as a “dirty picture” by Iranian hardliners, despite its commercial success in the country.


This year, though, Iran has withheld its submission. The Iranian cultural minister said his country is boycotting the 2013 Oscars to protest against the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims made in the U.S. The controversial film sparked riots in the middle east a few weeks ago and has been banned in many countries, such as Russia, for being extremist. The filmmaker behind it has been arrested and sent to prison for violating the terms of his probation for a prior conviction.

Under the terms of his five-year probation, he was ordered not to own or use devices with access to the internet without approval from his probation officer

The Los Angeles Times

The man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, created a 14-minute, anti-Muslim movie trailer which was blamed for riots in Benghazi in September in which the American ambassador to Libya and three others were killed. To date, no full-length version of the film has surfaced.

Here is the  Innocence of Muslims trailer,  with over 16 million views worldwide:

Other hot entrants this year for The Oscars 2013 include France’s The Intouchables directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano:

Morrocco’s Death for Sale directed by Faouzi Bensaïdi:

and Denmark’s A Royal Affair directed by Nikolaj Arcel:

And as for South Africa?  Well it seems that Darrell Roodt’s latest work, Umfaan(or Little One), is our submission to the race.

The film tells the story of a child rape victim left for dead in a township near Johannesburg, and is eventually found and rescued by an older woman, who becomes very close to the little girl, and decides to launch her own investigation into the girl’s rape.


There’s nothing about it online, no trailer for it on YouTube and unfortunately, according to my research, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for it to be selected as a finalist. See Johannesburg’s Times Live article on it here: So now we wait to see who is chosen to be among the finalists – to be unveiled on January 10, 2013. The 85th Academy Awards telecast will follow on February 24, hosted at the Hollywood & Highland Center by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.

Here are some more articles on the 2013 Entrants:

Blog, Brand Promos

South Africa’s New Animated Feature Film To Hit Cinemas This December!


South Africa’s answer to Madagascar 3? The new “Adventures in Zambezia” – South Africa’s latest full-length animated feature film. Hot on the tail of previous animated films to come out of the country, namely “Lion of Judah” (2011) and “Jock of the Bushveld” (2010), it’s set to release in SA in Summer 2012. Cape-Town based Triggerfish Studios gives Dreamworks a run for its money with this touching African-inspired story about a young falcon leaving home to make a life for himself in ‘Bird City’.


❤ My Work, My Life in Africa, On-Camera

Cameron Van Der Burgh in The Bay

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Recently I had the honour of meeting South African Olympic gold medalist, Cameron Van Der Burgh. He flew to Port Elizabeth to give a talk at a corporate breakfast at The Granary in Stanley Street. What struck me most about him as he spoke us through his vigorous training routine leading up to the Olympics was his humility. He seemed very down to earth as he explained his typical schedule for a day in preparation for his life-altering race. Let me put it to you simply – a lot of training in the pool and in the gym, as well as meetings with his physios and a lot of studying towards his degree through UNISA each day. He trains with Dirk Lange and is based in Pretoria. Talking about his history, he elaborated on some of his highlights; he’s won numerous World Championship medals since his debut in 2007 when he took a bronze medal. His first world long-course record (27.06s) was obtained in the 50 m breaststroke in the semifinals at South African nationals in April 2009. He won the 50m breaststroke at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in a time of 27.18 seconds – a new games record – and the 100m world title at the 2010 short course world championships. He’s represented South Africa at the 2008 Summer Olympics and, most recently, at the 2012 Summer Olympics where he won the gold medal at the 100 meter breaststroke in a new world record of 58.46 seconds! He’s won the FINA overall World Cup twice. He certainly seemed very chuffed with his successes but still had a nice sense of humour and was able to laugh at himself easily, which was great to see. On Twitter he describes himself as “Olympic Champion and self proclaimed Fifa king ;)” – Follow him at I didn’t know he was born in 1988, making him the same age as me! Check out his website at: It was a fantastic morning with a continental breakfast buffet available to all the guests afterwards. I was also very happy to see I got some coverage with him in the October issue of the ‘Sport Elizabeth’ sports publication!

Another thrilling experience I had recently was the release of a music video I am in. It’s the video for the song “Hold On” by popular South African band Mac Stanley, previously known as Flat Stanley. It was a huge honour for me to do this video – I play ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and I come in toward the end of the video when my prince charming finds me after searching through a forest and we share a very long on-screen kiss! 😛 I absolutely love the song and its message is very beautiful! The video has already had close to 1000 views on YouTube after being out for just 2 weeks! Watch this space – This band is going places. Check out their website:

South African Interviews

Keen for South Africa’s Most Anticipated Feature Film


I sometimes like to think of myself as somewhat of a journalist!

And today proves no different as I sit down and read an article about an up-coming film based on a South African fable. A few of you have written in about wanting some news from the film industry…… and I can’t think of a better story. I will always remember a story I heard when I was growing up. It’s set in 1843 about a girl travelling through the desert with her younger brother. After getting lost with him during thunderstorm, she uses her body to shelter him from the cold thus sacrificing her life for his. What a powerful and heart-warming tale. If you’re a South African, have you ever heard this story? It’s called The Story of Rachel de Beer. I’ve always kept it at the back of my mind and have re-told it myself a few times to friends from abroad. For me it symbolizes unconditional love. Which is why you can imagine my delight when I recently read this article about it and its creation into a film here in South Africa! My eyes lit up immediately; I know this will be good. I will let Wikipedia elaborate a bit more:

The fable goes that in the winter months of 1843, Rachel was part of a trek from the Orange Free State to the south-eastern Transvaal. During one of their nightly stopovers, the members of the trek realised that a calf called Frikkie, much-beloved by their children, was missing.

A search party was formed, in which Rachel and her six-year old brother also took part. However, during the gathering dusk Rachel and her brother got separated from the search party and became lost. As the night progressed it got very cold and started snowing.

Realizing that their chances of survival were slim, Rachel found an anthill hollowed out by an aardvark, took off her clothes, put them on her brother and commanded him to get into the hollowed-out anthill. She then lay in front of the opening of the anthill in order to keep out the cold.

The children were found the next morning by the trekking party. Rachel was dead, but her brother had survived.

It is possible that neither of the children existed, however, as the history of the period is not well documented. To date no undisputed proof has been presented to substantiate any claims regarding Racheltjie de Beer.

Fiction or not, Rachel de Beer is entrenched in the Afrikaner culture, which is evident by the number of streets and schools named after her.

And so the film has been born, shining a light on the Voortrekkers living in Van Reenen’s Pass during the 1800’s. Naledi, the publishing house behind the new Riaan Cruywagen autobiography, have just obtained the rights to publish a novel  (in both Afrikaans and English) based on the screenplay of The Story of Racheltjie De Beer by Brett Michael Innes. Production will start in early 2013 and will be directed by Brett Michael Innes himself. Here is the trailer for it:

❤ My Work, Microphone, Modelling, On-Camera

On-Goings in the Film Industry


Blue Bikini + Blonde Hair

So things in the film world have certainly heated up and I’ve gotten quite a bit of work as well as gone to a great deal of castings and auditions in the past two months. One thing about being an entrepreneur in this industry is you have to keep networking and keep going out and creating your own opportunities. Getting to castings through agents is awesome, but you can’t only rely on them. You have to get to know what’s going on in your city in your industry, and make sure you are attending those events and passing around your business cards! You have to use social media to spread awareness of your brand and your services. Don’t underestimate word-of-mouth. You have to keep up communication with old contacts and build up relationships with new ones.

  • Network
  • Create your own opportunities
  • Know what’s on in your city
  • Research
  • Business cards
  • Social Media
  • Communication
  • Relationships

For those of you who are wondering what a casting looks like, well this is it. In Cape Town, there are different casting studios around town.


I booked a commercial for Fortuneo bank in France which I shot two weeks ago – the product is a credit card. I really enjoyed it! Looking forward to more!

What I’ve also recently been busy with is shooting for “Death Race 3: Inferno”, the new instalment of the “Death Race” feature films. It’s directed by Roel Reiné and the screenplay is by Tony Giglio. The production company working on it here in South Africa is Moonlighting Productions ( My role in the film is a member of Olga’s Pit Crew. I met some of the actors starring in the film including Luke Goss and Danny Trejo. What great guys!

I’ve MC’d a couple of events in the past few weeks – one for a selection of up-and-coming designers in the “FCM Fashion Show” at the trendy ZAR nightclub here in Cape Town, and another for a Varsity College function. It was a group of students who were completing their final year practical assignment. For those of you who don’t know what “MC” stands for… it’s short for “Master of Ceremonies”.

Tamika Doubell

I really love MC’ing – I love organisation and structure, so overseeing that an event runs smoothly is my forté! It’s a very rewarding experience. For fashion shows specifically, I love helping the DJ select the playlist for each designer. I also love the research aspect of each designer and their label – their influences, their target market and how they got where they are. I enjoy communicating that to an audience as the models walk by. The welcome is my favourite part of the event, as it’s my job to set the mood for the night. What really works nicely is if the organiser has something to offer the guests such as canapés, cocktails, gifts or a raffle later on. I must say that being part of these events makes me want to be involved with event management! Looks like sooo much fun (although stressful, I’m sure) You can view all the pictures from the events here: FCM Fashion Show and Cutting Edge Fashion Show.

Tamika Doubell

On the modelling front, I recently did the summer shoot for the Longstreet Fashion Boutique here in Cape Town. I don’t think there is a more iconic street. They’ve just got new stock for their summer collection this season. One of my good friends, Nella Coetzer, took the snaps. You can click here and view them. What I love about the Longstreet brand is that it’s sassy, fresh, stylish & dynamic! It’s very colourful and vibrant..beautiful pieces for daytime. We shot in Longstreet and Kalk Bay. Shortly following the Longstreet campaign, I shot an editorial at a beach in Cape Town with local photographer Seagram Pearce.

Tamika Doubell

Blonde Hair Longstreet Cape Town

Windswept Cape Town

Sunset Beach Cape Town