19 March 2008
MY LAND IS MY DIGNITY
The San are first people, and their culture is one of the oldest on earth. Filmmaker Richard Wicksteed will present and screen his feature length documentary for the first time and will discuss his passion for the first people and their heritage with WITS School of Film and Television’s Tanya Sakota-Kokot.
Recently the Botswanan government began relocating the San from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, tearing apart families, closing services and pouring concrete over water points crucial for the survival of the CKGR residents.
MY LAND IS MY DIGNITY is the story of a handful of San who refuse to move from their land to government resettlement camps.
Visit the WITS digital arts website here
This documentary will be screened at:
WITS Great Hall
Monday 31st March 2008
For more information please contact:
WSOA Film & TV
+27 11 717 9743
The showreel of WITS School of Film and Television appears below
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: PALESTINIAN PRODUCER PERSECUTED FOR HIS DOCUMENTARY ‘JENIN, JENIN’
"Let me tell you about the Palestinian film industry," says actor-director Mohamed Bakri, who made the documentary JENIN JENIN after the demolition of the refugee camp. "Very simply, we do not have one. We have some very talented film-makers, but that's about it. We have no film schools and we have no studios. We have no infrastructure because we have no country."
Acclaimed Palestinian actor and director Mohamed Bakri is one of Israel’s most well-known citizens. He has acted in over a dozen films made by Israeli and international directors including “Hanna K” by Costa-Gavras and is well-known as a stage actor and director. But since producing a documentary on Israel’s 2002 assault on the West Bank town of Jenin, Bakri has found himself virtually blacklisted in Israeli cinema, and now he even faces possible jail time for making the film.
In April 2002, the Israeli military killed fifty-two Palestinians, flattened over 150 buildings and closed off the camp for two weeks. Several human rights groups accused Israel of commiting war crimes. The United Nations suspended its fact-finding mission after Israel refused to allow them entry. Bakri’s documentary JENIN, JENIN was one of the first to tell the stories of the town’s residents during the Israeli assault.
Despite receiving international acclaim, the film was initially banned in Israel until a reversal by the Israeli Supreme Court. Mohamed Bakri was then sued by five Israeli soldiers who were part of the military operation in Jenin. They allege that Bakri falsified information about them.
The Italian film industry has subsequently come out in support of Bakri and his film, with some 50 leading Italian film industry professionals coming out in solidarity.
"There appears to be a real danger that the suit against JENIN, JENIN will turn into a kind of attack against the right to freedom of information and freedom of artistic expression in Israel," states the petition, whose authors warn that the results of such an attack could have sweeping ramifications.
If Bakri is found guilty, the message of such a verdict is liable to be that an Israeli of Palestinian extraction, and all the more so a Palestinian, will have no right to present facts concerning a conflict, in any format," states the petition.
The petition, published in the Italian press, was signed by prominent film industry figures including directors Mario Monicelli ("The Great War,"), Marco Tullio Giordana ("The Best of Youth"), Giuseppe Bertolucci ("Pasolini prossimo nostro") and Saverio Costanzo ("Private"), as well as actor and theater director Moni Ovadia.
( The above appears courtesy of Democracy Now and Haaretz)
To learn more about JENIN, JENIN visit Electronic Intifada as well as the blog of the Italian supporters of Mohamed Bakri.
View an extract from JENIN,JENIN below:
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO ASSIST THE CAUSE OF MOHAMED BAKRI AND 'JENIN, JENIN'?
*Contact Nicola Perugini, one of the Italian campaigners and submit your petitions or letter of objection as part of the Italian campaign: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Write personal letters of objection to the Israeli embassy:
The Ambassador, Mr Baruch, P O Box 3726 Pretoria, 0001
If you wish, you could base your letter on the following:
Dear Madam or Sir:
The Jenin refugee camp is home to 15,000 Palestinian refugees. On April 3, 2002 the Israeli Defence Forces launched a raid on the Jenin refugee camp with the officially stated goal of seizing or killing any Palestinian perpetrators of suicide bombings. A Human Rights Watch report described that raid as “of an unprecedented scale.”
After the raid, Mohammad Bakri, the Palestinian actor and filmmaker, shot his 56 minute film “Jenin Jenin” inside the camp. The film mostly shows pictures of the aftermath of air raids on the refugee camp and interviews with some of the camp’s residents.
Initially, the film was banned in Israel, then the High Court authorized its release, but only 4 public screenings took place in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Meanwhile, a lawsuit was brought against Mr. Bakri, who is currently under trial. He was charged with publicly insulting the Israeli Defence Forces. Should he lose the lawsuit, he would be required to pay the equivalent of US$500,000.
Most of those who have seen the film thought that the charges brought against Bakri were specious. Not only did the Israeli Defense Forces—to quote the above-mentioned Human Rights Watch report again— perpetrate “violations of international humanitarian law, some of them comparable to real war crimes” in Jenin, there seems to be a very tangible risk that the lawsuit against “Jenin Jenin” and its maker may be turned into a sort of “pre-emptive attack” on the right to information and artistic expression in Israel.
The effects of this attack could extend into the future. Should Mr. Bakri be found guilty, this might spread the message that the right to tell facts concerning the conflict in any possible version is and will be denied to an Israeli citizen of Palestinian extraction in Israel, not to mention other Palestinians. That is precisely what many critical voices in Israel, both Palestinian and Israeli, have been denouncing for a long time in spite of many obstacles.
For all these reasons, we wish to express our support of Mr. Bakri. For the same reasons, we think it essential for the global media and public to be allowed to follow the trial’s developments and understand its implications.
WILDSCREEN 2008 CALL FOR ENTRIES
The Wildscreen Festival is back, searching for the world’s best wildlife and environmental films. Entries for the Festival’s prestigious Panda Awards, dubbed the green OSCARS®, will be welcomed until Friday March 28th.
Wildscreen regulars will notice that some of the award categories have changed. For example, the One Planet Award is splitting into two new categories: the Environment Award and the People & Animals Award, reflecting the increase in film entries about environmental issues.
Whatever the budget, wherever the location, we are looking for interesting, innovative and recently made films about the natural world.
Visit the Wildscreen website for more details on how to submit your work.
SHEFFIELD DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL CALLS FOR FILMS ON REGIME CHANGE
The 2008 Sheffield Doc/Fest is now open for submissions and since the festival this year takes place from November 5-9 and coincides with the U.S. elections a central theme in films and panels will be Regime Change.
Other continuing film strands in the festival include Green Docs, Anti Docs, Bent Docs and Music Docs, but the festival accepts documentary films from established or debut filmmakers, television and film school productions of any style and on any subject.
Submissions deadline is 30th June 2008
Please visit the Sheffield Documentary Festival website for entry details.
SUBMIT YOUR DETAILS FOR INCLUSION IN THE NFVF PRODUCERS' HANDBOOK
With the Cannes Film Festival around the corner, the NFVF have decided to assist with the production of a South African Producer’s Handbook to be launched at Cannes 2008. The NFVF envisages printing an initial print run of 3 000 copies to be distributed at Cannes as well as various other channels that the NFVF have identified.
The Producer’s Handbook is a a means to profile your company or yourself over 2 pages which will be allocated to you on confirmation of participation. Participation in the handbook with a 2-page company profile, logo
and contact details is offered at a rate of R3 000 excluding VAT per profile.
Should you require any further information regarding the above please contact Karen Lundie at the NFVF: +27 11 431 0322 or 082 387 2906.
FILMCOMMUNITY is the new network for anyone who works in the film industry anywhere in the world. The site was launched at Cannes last year and presently has 2000 members speaking 100 languages. Membership is free. Click here to join: www.filmcommunity.com
Posted by DFA at 3/19/2008