Braamfontein’s pulse quickens towards the end of the week. By Friday, the street’s come alive with foot traffic – hipsters moving this way and that in vintage clothing and loose hanging jewelry – and the sound of traffic, conversation and disorder occupies the length and breadth of the city.
From 27 – 29 October, Reserve Street (situated at the periphery of Braamfontein) played host to the second Red Bull Amaphiko Film Festival. Featuring a roster of over 30 local films and a variety of workshops for budding filmmakers, the festival displayed the power of film to bring about social change.
Here are some highlights from the festival.
To kick off the festival; entrepreneur, and executive producer Nandi Dlepu moderated a couch session about the representation of women in the film industry. Joined by fellow filmmakers Lebogang Rasethaba, Sibulele Gcilitshana, and Chabi Setsubi, the panel discussed not just why women should be represented but how as well. “There’s this recurring stereotype that women have a psychic ability to solve men’s problems,” said Dlepu. “Most executives who produce film and TV are male. So what we’re seeing is a portrayal of women dictated by the male gaze.”
The solution? Get more women to tell their own stories.
Saturday saw the budding filmmakers given the lowdown on the importance of telling our own stories, and how to tell those stories as beautifully as possible. Motheo Moeng – who did the cinematography on Thina Sobabili – dropped some knowledge on how to “paint with light” while also sharing some anecdotes from his time in the industry.
As the cliché goes, it’s advisable to save the best for last. The controversial – and critically acclaimed – initiation film Inxeba served as the festival’s curtain closer. Screened to a capacity audience, the film follows Xolani (the protagonist) as he enters into his sacred rites of passage while also contending with his sexuality.
Words by Rofhiwa Maneta.