By: Gugulethu Khumalo
A team of young filmmakers have found a way of overcoming the funding challenge that often puts paid to the dreams of many aspirant producers. As a young boy in the city of Polokwane, not particularly renowned for its film industry Sidwell Tshepo Nare and his friends were determined to funnel their way into the film industry. “I saw that there weren’t many creative projects and film in my area which just made me want to do it more to maybe put Limpopo on the map not only international but locally too when we film things we only do so in Joburg and Cape Town,” Nare said.
“There were no funders or grants when we wanted to film, and there was no one to help us out so initially, we all started out with contributing R200 each to the hiring of equipment and things,” he said adding that the rest of the filming process was a combination of creativity and inventiveness.
According to the Gauteng Film Commission of South Africa more than 70% of the filming and television industry in South Africa is based in Gauteng and contributes in excess of R2.5-billion and direct employment of more than 8 500 workers. Nare’s film tracks the life of a troubled boy struggling in the school system. Everyone, including his mother, eventually loses hope when he finds himself completing grade 12 at the age of 24. The story also covers the heavy and relevant topics of abuse and rape. “I didn’t want some soft Hollywood films I want people to see themselves and our country in the film,” he said.
Creatively Nare has taken the approach of an auteur, taking on most of the creative and logistical responsibility in the filming process since they can’t afford the luxuries of a large extensive team. “When we decided to make this film we knew that there wasn’t going to be a big glamorous budget and a big team, all of us had to do more than one job at a time,” he said.
Also, talent in the industry was recognised that young talent in Polokwane in the entire creative process had been sidelined due to the misfortune of not living in a thriving creative community. While his project is not a high budget box office, Nare and his colleagues recognised that their film and many others like it were going to give people that first shot into the world of the film industry.
The trailer for Ke Maemo is now up on YouTube, Nare and his colleagues are working on a series of other projects that are set to come out throughout the year. They hope to see more projects from young black south African creatives pave their own way. – Mukurukuru Media.