A short documentary on one of the greatest Youtube success stories to date, and a reminder of the freedoms of the digital age. Issa Rae's work has garnered over 20 million views and 200 000 Youtube subscribers. Her web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, was a refreshing comedy which amongst other things, highlighted the lack of representation of black characters in mainstream television. And, it was funny.
LA's Grand Central: The Gentrification of the People's Market
A documentary about gentrification and its consequences. The Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles opened its doors in 1917 and has been in operation ever since. At its inception, it was a conceived as a discount food space, a place where you could find fresh produce and feed an entire family for a handful of dollars. The market has mostly been frequented by LA's working class Mexican population. Over the past year, the market has begun to undergo a major shift. A new initiative by The Yellin Company has aimed to "reinvigorate" the market with new tenants which represent a global trend: the demand for upscale artisanal and organic takeout.
Through intimate personal portraits and emotive storytelling, LA's Grand Central takes the viewer on a journey through the impact that gentrification has on communities.
52 mins. Plexus Films, 2013.
Incarcerated Knowledge is the story of one man losing his life and another trying to rebuild his. Peter John Christians is an ex-convict with a dream: to become a hip hop artist. Surviving Pollsmoor, South Africa’s most notorious prison, and managing to leave the powerful ‘28s’ gang, will he be able to survive on the outside? The film follows Peter during his two year parole period when he goes back to live in his mother’s house. More than the story of one man, Incarcerated Knowledge paints a broader picture of those who are trying to break the cycle of violence.
5 mins. 2012
The only skate documentary featuring Desmond Tutu, Board Games was commissioned by Kent Lingeveldt of Alpha Longboards, one of the the oldest and most independent skate companies in Cape Town.
"Born and raised on the streets of the Cape Flats" - Alpha Longboards' work has been exhibited around the world and featured everywhere from Cape Town TV to CNN.
More than a film about a brand, Board Games is an ode to skate culture, staying true to yourself and doing what you love.
48 mins. Hotspot Films/ Al Jazeera. 2012
Fatima Meer was not only an activist, but an icon. She was a feminist, an accomplished academic, a studious Gandhian, published 70 books, and wrote the first ever authorised biography on Nelson Mandela, one of her closest friends.
20 years into democracy, and Fatima Meer's legacy is all but forgotten. The reason for Prof Meer’s disappearance for public memory must have to do with the fact that she never stopped being a pain in the side of those in power. This documentary looks at her courageous life and journey, and her unflinching stance of speaking truth to power.
48 mins. Hotspot films/ Al Jazeera, 2011
Tatamkhulu Afrika was an enigmatic character: a prolific South African poet, freedom fighter and devout Muslim who started his life on the northern edge of Africa in Egypt; and found his final resting place on the southern tip in Cape Town, South Africa. The film is a moving and stirring portrait of a complex man who had multiple identities, as well as five different names throughout his life. He was born to Turkish and Egyptian parents and was orphaned at the age of two. Adopted by an English family as a baby, he grew up “white” in apartheid South Africa.
He was the only known South African to be both a prisoner of war in World War 2 and a prisoner of the South African apartheid regime. He spent many years in Namibia, working on copper mines and playing in a rock band, before settling back in Cape Town during the height of South Africa’s oppressive apartheid regime, where he created an Islamist anti apartheid unit.
During the latter part of his lifetime, Tatamkhulu published eight collections of poetry, two novels and four novellas, and won every South African prize and award for which his work was eligible. Using never before seen photographs, recollections, and testimonies, the film covers his life, his failures and successes; ultimately saluting a fallen hero who should never be forgotten.
Jumu'a: The Gathering
48 mins. Traffik/ SABC, 2011
A documentary on devotion, faith and good cappuccinos. Shaykh Dr Abdalqadir as Sufi, a Scottish convert and student of Muhammad ibn al-Habib in Morocco, spread Islam through much of the West and later settled in Cape Town, where he established the Jumu’a mosque. A close-knit group of his followers reside in picturesque surfing town of Muizenberg. Young and hip, they manage to balance serious devotion with a modern lifestyle. Comissioned by SABC as part of their Issues of Faith series, Jumu’a is a window into the world of this little known way of life.
The Uprising of Hangberg
86mins. African Noise Foundation, 2011
A documentary on human rights violations in Hangberg, Cape Town created by internationally acclaimed filmmaker and artist Aryan Kaganof, Dylan Valley, the award winning director of Afrikaaps, and community representative Greg Louw.
Through stark, often shocking footage and interviews they explore the aftermath of the recent police brutality on the Hout Bay community. Moving from character to character, perspective to perspective, the film is a complex and moving portrait of parallel lives thrust into violence.
CHIMURENGA: Who no know go know
A short documentary about Pan African publishing collective Chimurenga for the Prince Claus Fund in The Netherlands upon winning their principle award winner in 2011 . The video was produced for display at the Prince Claus Awards Ceremony.
In memory of Liepollo Rantekoa. Rest in Peace.
52 mins. The Glasshouse/ Plexus Films, 2010
In his debut documentary, AFRIKAAPS, Dylan Valley explores the untold Creole history of Afrikaans, using what he knows best -- Hip Hop, humour and personal perspective. The film follows a group of local artists creating the stage production, AFRIKAAPS, as they trace the true roots of Afrikaans to slaves in the Cape. It features the musical greats, Jitsvinger, Kyle Shepherd, Emile (black noise), Shane Cooper, Moenier Adams, Blaq Pearl, the powerhouse b-boy, Bliksemstraal, and the poetic genius of Jethro Louw. The film reclaims and liberates Afrikaans from its reputation as the language of the oppressor, taking it back to the people who own it.
Afrikaaps the theatre show originally produced on the stage by The Glasshouse , Amsterdam and The Baxter Theatre Centre, Cape Town, in association with ABSA KKNK. Director Catherine Henegan: Dramaturg Aryan Kaganof.
A short experimental film shot in Dubai using a small point-and-shoot stills camera made by Lomography called the Oktomat. It has 8 lenses and shutters and shoots a fast sequence of 8 images onto one 35mm negative. Cutting one negative into these 8 frames results in some surprising and colourful travelogue footage.
72 mins. University of Cape Town, 2006
A documentary by Dylan Valley and Sean Drummond as their final research project for UCT Honours Film Theory and Practice.
Prophets of da City were not only South Africa's first hip hop group, they were at one point the biggest act in South Africa, even performing at Mandela's inauguration. Despite this, their memory has all but disappeared. Where are they now?