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 (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