Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Moeletsi Mbeki will chair a debate hosted by The Star newspaper on xenophobia next Tuesday, 17 June 2008 in the Wits Great Hall at 6 pm.
Discussants Kgalema Motlanthe of the ANC, and policy experts Wilmot James and Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen will take a critical look at government policy and make concrete proposals about how the country can move beyond the current impasse.
Info: Lebo on (011) 633 2323 or email email@example.com
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
We have very real financial constraints at the moment, we have just over R100, 000 for five of the seven films, Don Edkins has just managed to raise the budget for two of the films that come from
The five films that are being made outside of
At present we are unable to financially support any more films, until we can raise commitment from the donors.
Claudia Rinke is heading up the efforts on this front and we can only remain hopeful that some donors see the worth of our work.
So yes, we are still entertaining proposals; help us turn the best ones into films.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Shot most of our film Friday & Saturday. Wooooooooooooow! Somehow some sweet old chaps who were in exile don't all have fond memories !
Landed me a real xenophobe in a place called Bottlebrush - even had me thinking untill the concert at the refugee centre - have spent the last week at the centre.
After the first few notes from the saxophone a few people raised their heads; a few more notes and the kids started to dance ................then the band played and the people started to dance...........and then we left.... the heads dropped back into their own brutalised worlds.
Richard and the crew.
Photo courtesy of Halden Krog for The Times
Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave
Running Time: 24 min
A film by: Catherine Muller, Joao Ribeiro, Desiree Markgraaff and Adze Ugah
Production: The Bomb Shelter
This is not a hard hitting story of xenophobia, but the story of an individual whom, tragically, the world presently knows as the 'Burning Man'. Our intention is to create a film that reclaims Ernesto Nhamuave's identity and memory.(FAR member - Desiree Markgraaff, Producer - right)
We hope this documentary will explore who Ernesto really was - what he dreamt of, whom he loved, and who loved him. From the detail of the bed in which he slept, to the last family member who touched him before he passed away, to his favourite drink in the morning when he woke up, to the quirky little things that made him unique: which football team he supported, what the kids in his village remember most about him, who his best friends were. This documentary will be a collection of memories for man who belonged to a community and family. A man who never deserved to die.
The underlying premise of our film is that Ernesto in many ways represents the facelessness of poverty in our country. The tragedy of his story is that it took this most horrific, callous act before South Africans would sit up and take note. Ernesto's story - and the story of so many living below the poverty line - represents the human reality behind the NGO stats, the pop concerts to raise money for the poor, and the well-meaning speeches of civic officials. The fact is, pictures of human suffering still do not move a society to change. But Ernesto's life, and his untimely death, cannot be for nought.(FAR member - Adze Ugah - right)
' The Burning Man', is the story of a real individual who represents the pain and suffering of millions of ordinary citizens who are both the victims, and perpetrators, of this crime. We intend to make this a poignant, beautiful and thought provoking film.
Working title: AFROPHOBIA
A film by: Sechaba Morojele
This documentary wants to understand the current “agrophobic” climate that exits in
The documentary will investigate this theory by looking at the lives of two different South African people from recently violently affected “agrophobic areas” who have been living in abject poverty since and before 1994. From these two case studies we will try to understand/explain how poverty in South Africa is deeply rooted in South Africa’s extended colonial history and how 14 years after the birth of our new democracy the situation has actually gotten worse: “The poverty traps set by apartheid remain an important explanation for the persistence (and the worsening) of poverty in South Africa "
Though South Africa is a better country from a political and human rights point of view, one can however argue that a corresponding socio-economic transformation has not yet taken place. The main reason for this is the so-called “elite compromise” where the apartheid corporate sector managed to force the ANC to accept a neo-liberal and globally orientated economic policy for the “New South Africa”. This policy produced an economic system that systematically excludes the poor half of the population from mainstream economic and political activity and prevents the possibility of any comprehensive redistributive measures.
This “elite compromise” together with the inheritance of a self-perpetuating poverty trap and the failure to control the influx of many African foreigners into South Africa could be part of the answer to the growing frustrations and “explosive rage” that our country has experienced in the recent weeks.
The other part, as will also be investigated in this documentary through interviews with the relevant scholars, professors, etc, relates to the increasing levels of afrophobia in the country. Though many have argued that the high levels of poverty and the lack of service delivery are at the root of the current afrophobia attacks, afrophobia itself must have had a significant role to play in the violence. This afrophobia, one wishes to argue stems from anti-black racism that is still rife in
We cannot forget the role the media has played in igniting these current afrophobia attitude  and how it together with the middle class have shown a great sense of complacency towards the plight of the impoverished majority.
Though anti-black sentiments are a well known phenomenon within White South Africa, Black anti black sentiments need to be dissected to better appreciate afrophobia; how and when did Black South Africans start hating their fellow Africans and why and does this form part of a greater black colonised mind that harbours a great sense of self hate towards their own kind?
Friday, June 6, 2008
FAR was contacted today by SAfm producer Thamba Dlamini, on behalf of Eric Miyeni, and it has been arranged that FAR will be interviewed @ 19h30 tonight on the Eric M after dark show!
So listen to get the latest updates & happenings on what the passionate crew of Filmmakers Against Racism is covering across
Already the response has been amazing, donations are coming in, the public is becoming aware, positive things are being done by people with big African hearts. So catch the show, and feel a part of it.
Here was the email we received this afternoon –
I would like to propose an interview with one of the representatives from SA Filmmakers Against Racism / Xenophobia.
I am the Producer of an evening programme on SAfm, called Eric M After Dark hosted by Eric Miyeni.
Our show is about positive story we talk to people who are contributing positively to SA and other parts of this world. It would be our pleasure if someone can be available to do an interview with us today from 19:30-19:45pm just to give us and our listeners an insight about this wonderful initiative.
We are asking for this interview with a hope that it will send a strong message across to the perpetrators of this disgusting behaviour of xenophobic attacks that has put our country on the map for the wrong reasons.
I hope you will find this in order and your response in this regard will be highly appreciated
SAfm: Producer / Eric M after
Like our earlier post received from Nonso Dike, with his visual poetic contribution, people are standing up and raising their voices. That is a good thing!
Be a part of it.
Plz kindly find attached within, a prophetic visual poetry for FAR humble initiative. This was an experimental pilot project produced early April of 2007 with John Njaga Demps, me and Samora Sekhukhune. I remember someone in the crew asking me why so much poesy on "Unity" amongst Africans + SA filmmakers. Alas! Now we know why.
Anyways, on behalf of my crew members, attached is my content (visual) donation/support to FAR beautiful initiative. May the blessed team feel free to use it as a PSA if they deem it fit.
Long live AFRICA...!
Long live AFRICAN FILMMAKERS...!!
Long live FAR as a healing vehicle to us all...!!!
Meantime, Hallelujah Bless Up + oneness love to us all...!
Nonso A. Dike
Thursday, June 5, 2008
They called him Mugza", he was the faceless subject of the horrific image which will be seared into our memories and the global perception of our country alongside those of Nelson Mandela leaving prison or people queuing to vote.
Reporter Beauregard Tromp found out a few details about this man and the misfortunes that led him to become the world's most famous victim that day and wrote about it movingly. "Mugza" only had a nickname and was heading for a pauper's funeral, this report said, but at least he was being humanised.
The Sunday Times' Victor Khupiso gave us his name and spoke to a brother-in-law who said he would bury the body.
Fifty metres down the road, in a cold, steel, refrigerated hole, lay Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave.
For almost a week, the public knew him only as the flaming man. In Ramaphosa township, he was known simply as Mugza.
For Jose and Severiano he was a brother, a husband and a father who sought a better life in
Ernesto was struggling to make ends meet. As a security guard in
A running joke in
On Thursday, Jose and Severiano got a call from their brother-in-law, Francisco Kanze. Stabbed, beaten and with a cement block thrown on his head, Kanze would survive the attack on him and Ernesto in Ramaphosa on May 18.
The image of Ernesto burning to death would bring the reality of the xenophobic horror home to people around the world.
Although Jose and Severiano are strictly speaking cousins of Ernesto, the three grew up metres from each other near Inhambane, the tourism area 550km north of
Jose held no hope that it was all a mistake. All he wanted now was to take his brother home. The body was sent to Germiston mortuary, hospital officials assured. Body number 1247 was pulled out. This time the entire body was burnt. The face was unrecognisable. Only part of a leg and a foot had escaped relatively unharmed.
"I knew it was Ernesto because of his toes. He has a birth defect on his middle toe," said Jose.
At the Germiston Community Hall, Mozambican official Edmundo Matenja has a ledger that is nearly full. Most of the names recorded in them are people looking for family members lost when they fled. At the back of the ledger is a list of six names, their fate known.
Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave would be number seven.
Excerpt by Beauregard Tromp
May 27 2008 The Star
HDV – By Rehad Desai, Nicolaas Hofmeyre, Francesco Biagini, Tony Bensusan, Nami Mhlongo.
Supported by many others film activists and professional filmmakers
Editors Khalid Shamis and Lentsoe Serote, Ravi Desai
Equipment donated by Visual Impact, DV8, The Cameraman, Wits University
Production Company Uhuru Productions
This is a story about the increasing hardships facing refugees in the city of Johannesburg told through the experience of three African men; Leo, Chibombe and Patrick. Their stories will testify to the struggle for survival facing the most vulnerable and alienated in a city at the helm of the so-called African Renaissance.
Leo, originally from the
Leo gained refugee status a year ago but remains unemployed, as he is the leader of the Congolese community in
He defined from his expert position his fears about the location of the new camp; the migrant labour hostels that surround it have been implicated in the attacks against African immigrants in the area before and present a real security threat. (FAR member Nami Mhlongo - pictured right)
They* defeat the councils attempt to move them by winning a successful court interdict led by the
Chibombi Mayenja is a Congolese refugee at the Jeppe camp. He was beaten and tortured in the DRC for allegedly leaking of information to the press about illegal mining operations. He was attached to the secret service and decided that he and young family needed to escape from the country. He now works as a motors parts inspector and was nominated by his South African co-workers as a shop steward; he is also vice chairperson of his trade union branch and has a good relationship with those he works with.
Still nursing a eye wound he received in a xenophobic attack, he speaks most convincingly about why he and his fellow Africans are being persecuted and powerfully describe the general and present plight of those refugees in the Jeppe Camp. The Jeppe Camp is highly organized and it is they who ensured the interdict route was taken and have agreed to passively resist any relocation that they have not agreed to make. (FAR member Khalid Shamis - pictured right)
Patrick Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean who is ethnically Ndbele. This has given him a language advantage and has ensured an easier integration into South African society. He was an MDC activist and was beaten and tortured by the ZANU – PF youth militia “The Green Bombers”. He arrived in
He describes being subjected to humiliating attacks by South African and what they are doing to others, how he fears to walk the streets, and tells us he is waiting to see what happens before he decides whether to leave the country or not. Patrick unwilling to face the wrath of Mugabe’s present reign of terror is planning to go to
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
A film by: Richard Green and Associates and the
Running Time: 12 minutes
Zulu with English sub-titles
5-6 jazz musicians in their 70’s prepare for a concert. They have all returned from exile.
They discuss the current wave of xenophobia and killings. They tackle all the key issues as they dress and tinker with their instruments. Inter -cut with these images and voices are shots of the people who have been displaced and their homes that have been destroyed. Our jazz men remember the days in exile and how they were housed and fed and clothed and protected by other African nationals.
Finally they get onto the stage - the audience from around
The band begins to play, images of the collective audience.
A look at the irony of Mbeki’s leadership as the Renaissance President, the hope of all in
A film by: Danny Turken, supported by NYU, Wits University and Luna Films
Running Time: 24 minutes
Post Production: in post currently,
After apartheid was established in 1948, and the government implemented the process of displacing black South Africans out of the city, the first official township in Johannesburg was born; her name, Alexandra. Unofficially, Alexandra emerged in 1912 and was proclaimed as a “native township.”
The township was proclaimed prior to the 1913 Land Act, and therefore, residents were exempted from the act and were free to purchase land. Despite the fact Alex is approximately only 12 km outside of
Throughout the 20th century, Alexandra endured gangster wars, a belligerent political culture, health hazards and a severe housing crisis. Dissimilar to other townships that landscape the city, the lack of housing in Alexandra was and continues to be the constant source of tension and frustration for both the residents and the community.
Initially, when I approached the idea of making a documentary on Alexandra, I was set on observing the
Through the progression of the film, the narrative shifts from a harmonious depiction of Alexandra and unpacks the tenuous relationships that extend further beyond its “bonafied residents” (those living in Alexandra for several decades and whose families are from Alexandra) and those who have recently moved into the township. It is further complicated by the escalation of immigrants into the township compounded by the lack of homes, jobs and structural improvement, and eventually toward the xenophobia crisis the country is facing today.
Although the film illustrates the mounting tension within the community of Alexandra, further interviews with specific characters in the film—notably, the leader of the APF, the woman grilling chicken feet and the two men discussing the bureaucracy regarding applying for RDP homes—will provide a greater context and understanding of the origin and motivation for the turmoil and violence that is ripping apart South Africa and its people, and will do so through the voices of the people of Alexandra.
TINO LA MUSICA (Working Title)
Film By Camera/Director Kyle O’ Donoghue and
Miki/ Plexus Films,
The film tells the story of Tino La Musica, a Congolese band based in
The double impact of these events cause the band to fall apart. Musicians have lost their home, their togetherness and even their instruments.
The film follows the story of Mohammed, the producer of the band, as he accompanies his sister to a community centre in Summer Greens, where she has found shelter for herself and her baby, Mohammed has found a temporary squat in a rundown building in
He finds Tantino, the lead singer at
He finds Jino, a dancer, working on a construction site at the 2010 stadium in Green Point, Musa, the drummer, has taken a job as a security guard in Sea Point. Ironically the displacement caused by xenophobic attacks has caused these people previously earning a living from music gigs, to head into the job market as a means to survive. Mohammed is trying to muster up support from the group to perform again.
He is surprised to find the singer/dancer, Ladi, with a transformed appearance staying with Papi, the administrator of the band. Enthusiasm is low; Ladi has shaven his Big Star hairstyle and goatee, as a symbol of having left behind his old persona and Papi responds: “what we do best is singing and entertaining; now they just want us to die”.
The film follows their struggle to get it together again, searching for instruments and finding the will to sing and dance again. We hope the search will lead us to the missing guitarist, Zinga, who everyone lost contact with after the incident at DuNoon. He’s cell phone no longer works, so Mohamed will have to move from Refugee camp to camp to find him. He hopes he can have the group playing at Club La Reference again, and that they can continue building a future together.
The film is co-directed by Okepne Ojang, himself an immigrant from
Film By Don Edkins, Omelga Mthiyane, Marianne Gysae, Riaan Hendricks (in order as pictured below)
South Africans have expressed the desire to reconciliate and re-integrate with the displaced foreigners who are living in dire conditions in refugee camps and community centres across
What is the motive behind this reconciliation? Is it real? What awaits those who go back to the communities where the people who tried to take their lives and looted their belongings still live.
This film allows us to get close to the Soetwater refugee camp and the
Joao Ribeiro and his
Duration: 24 minutes
Delivery: Post Production:
Sulemangy Mussa, 28, plasterer, Mozambican, working in Singamo (
Abdul was married with a South African woman who has decided to stay.
These two guys where friends for long and their family are friends too. Mussa is returning now to Nampula where he and Abdul came from. He will now inform the family about that.
We’ve got contacts for Mussa father who is now waiting for his arrival without knowing about Mussa. We couldn’t stop Abdul to go and apparently he is on his way to Nampula. Will arrive in 2-3 days there. This story can be followed in to directions (Nampula – Abdul and Mussa family) and in
Duration: 24 minutes
Basically I want to try and understand xenophobia and where it came from, showing;
It’s prevalence across all classes within “black”
The media’s role in promoting xenophobia and its (alleged catalytic) affect on the current attacks. Recently there have been complaints about this sent to the media ombudsman. How black foreigners being employed over locals at restaurants, in corporate
Government’s role in fuelling deep distrust in the poor black communities for lack of or poor service delivery and poor economic policies. One will touch on why ANC (through an “elite compromise”) had to agree on a neo liberalism market fundamentalism economic policy as a prerequisite to end apartheid and how this policy was inherently bias against the second economies of the country. This inclusion is important to try and understand whether poor service delivery is simply due to the ANC or whether they inherited a system that made delivery virtually impossible in the first few decades of this new democracy.
How corruption in the housing industry is a cause of great grievance (in Hillbrow Nigerian landlords rent accommodation to foreigners and corruption within the RDP houses has given priority to foreigners).
The effect of the poor monitoring of the influx of foreigners since 1994 and how this has sparked resentment in the locals who feel they have to fight with foreigners for basic resources.
Xoliswa story – women and their vulnerability
Film By Xoliswa and Carolyn Carew Born Free Media
I will follow 2 women
One is called Tembeka Junku who has a son who is 8years old, she is from
They beat her up in front of her child and the police station could not assist her because the police force felt that the Xenophobia was too far spread and they could not help. She stayed at the police station for 2 weeks and on Sunday they moved her to Usindiso (a shelter for women in town).
Her son is not going to school, his school is in Alex. Were she is now she is not happy, she does not like the food, they have to wake up at 4am to bath and out of the bath by 8am, they have breakfast, lunch and supper, however she says that she does not like the food i.e they are allowed only one spoon of rice and she feels that she can not wake up her child at 4 am.
She is not sure where she will go and she is worried about the fact that her child is missing school.
2nd Story….Winnie Mandela took in a Congolese family. The woman who was taken in has a one year old child and Winnie felt that that the child would have died through to exposure (one of the characters I was going to film a woman called Lydia Chimanyange from
The film will explore the journey of these 2 women; I will also follow the 8 year old boy who witnessed his mother being beaten up by the people in Alex. The aim of the film is to explore the vulnerability of these women and the kindness of the
There is still much work to be done, and unfortunately these things also cost money, and so it is hoped that this initial synopsis of each film will draw sponsors out of the woodwork, to donate much needed cash to ensure awesome productions that will have an impact. So please read through them and donate to make a difference!
- A debate on xenophobia hosted by The Star
- Who is FAR, and who can get involved?
- Update from Richard Green - Asikhulume (Let's Talk...
- 'The Burning Man'
- A 2nd synopsis: Afrophobia (continued)
- UPDATE: SAfm interview tonight!
- A visual poetic contribution by Nonso A. Dike
- They called him Mugza - more about Ernesto Alfabet...
- An 8th synopsis: Two Camps
- A 7th synopsis: Asikhulume - Let's Talk
- A 6th synopsis: Affectionately Known As Alex
- A 5th synopsis: Tino La Musica
- A 4th synopsis: Between the Mountain and the Sea
- A 3rd synopsis: Two Brothers
- A 2nd synopsis: Sechaba Morojele plans his film
- A 1st Synopsis: Xoliswa's story
- Seven tales to tell - FAR synopses
- ▼ June (17)