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01 July 2009

DFA My Town 3 minute Documentary Competition Finalists


3 minute Documentary Competition

The town we come from/live in shapes who we are. We occupy its space, it occupies us. In this short 3 minute documentary competition, filmmakers, aspirant filmmakers, artists and students were invited to make a short 3 minute documentary titled “My Town”.

8 films were selected to screen at Encounters from all the entries. The winning film will be announced at a special screening on 18 July @ 19:00, NU METRO, V&A Waterfront.

ALEX, My Township by Matome Senyolo

Affectionately known as Gommora or Dark City, Alexandra is known to many for its dilapidation. Despite this, Alex holds special memories for its inhabitants. This poetic narrative film is a love letter to Alex, a letter that bares all and forgives all, sees beauty where others see damnation. A walk down memory lane. An insight into what makes this a township within a township. A true confession from one of its sons.

Hoedspruit by Warrick Grier

Hoedspruit is a small town on the Blyde River, in Limpopo province. It is a town where wild animals and humans co-exist. The hippopotamus has been called the number one human killer. However, the interface of human and animal settlements in Hoedspruit has set the scene for a rare and unique bond to be formed between a wild hippo and a hunter. This documentary looks at the extraordinary relationship of Tonie Joubert and Jessica, the hippo.

I Used to Come Here When I Was Little by Panayota Athanasiou, Ruth Heyns and Russel Grant

In this nostaligic film the filmmakers explore, “their town”, Johannesburg, as a place filled with childhood memories. They revisit special places form their childhood to see whether or not memories have made them greater and more magical than they are.

Le Marché Oriental by James Webb

The Cape Town Oriental Plaza was an Apartheid-era shopping mall designed to control Indian trade. Artist, James Webb invited Sheikh Mogamat Moerat of District Six’s Zeenatul Islam Majid mosque to sing the Adhan (call to prayer) inside the empty remains of the building a few weeks prior to its demolition in 2008. Le Marché Oriental is a poetic documentation of this experience.

My Town by Caroline Hillary and Johann Vorster (Mzansi Media)

The filmmakers explore jail as a theme for “My Town”. With the rising crime figures, many young men are making a new home inside the jails, and in turn it is becoming “their town”. Filmed at the Maximum Security Division of the Leeuwkop prison, this film seeks to make a poignant comment on “home” in South African prisons.

My Townships by Ayanda Mncwabe

In this hard-hitting film, Mncwabe draws a link between crime and childhood neglect in South African townships. She wonders if parents are to blame for leaving their children at home while they make sure everything is in order at ‘madam’s quarters’? Or are they just trapped in a cycle of poverty as they, ironically, need to care for other children to feed their own.

Rubble/Iron by Garreth Bird

Performing the tasks of disposal services, recyclers, and garbage collectors, the clip-clopping cart horses are a familiar feature of the Cape Town landscape. The horse steels itself, leans into its load and heads off steadily down the road, carting away the rubble left by the formal economy. This film reflects on the quiet heroism of the cart-horses and their owners, who lead a life of long hard days with minimal reward.

Woodstock by Lesedi Mogoatlhe

Mogoatlhe has moved from a township in Johannesburg to find a place of belonging in Woodstock, Cape Town. The film is about living amongst people she doesn’t know or understand, yet feeling at home. Feeling a sense of familiarity with the constant noise, the colours, the art, the diversity of people, and the hardships that bring everything to a standstill. There’s peace and laughter, then violence and silence.


Logos: visual impact group, syntech, dds, media film services, dfa

Special thanks to

Encounters documentary festival, Nu Metro cinema

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I like the film about ALEX. Alex is known as the bad township ever but here the writer managed to pickup something great/good out of it. Is a touching poem.Bravo.