Annual Jazz Jol at Centre for Jazz and Popular Music (UKZN) - 27 October 2017

The 29th Jazz Jol featuring a host of local and national talent is set for Friday, October 27 at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. This year’s popular annual music event features a variety of talented musicians including Sweet Concept (a UKZN Alumni Band), UKZN Vocal Group and UKZN’s Big Band along with a selection of students taking to the stage in an evening tailor-made for lovers of jazz and popular music.

“The Jazz Jol was not only started, all those years ago, as an event for music-lovers but also in an endeavour to raise funds for the Ronnie Mandosela Scholarship,” explains lecturer Neil Gonsalves. “The Scholarship provides bursaries for deserving UKZN music students from disadvantged backgrounds, as well as helps to fund students’ travel visas for overseas trips, and national travel and accommodation to the National Youth Jazz Festival in Grahamstown and other educational festivals, workshops and conferences. This issue of mobility, of getting around and sharing ideas and networking is key to a musician’s success in the future. Through mobility the musicians are able to exchange knowledge and gain important experience both nationally and internationally.”

“We are particularly pleased to welcome Sweet Concept to this year’s Jazz Jol,” enthuses Gonsalves. “This is an UKZN Alumni Band that features Thabani Gapara (alto sax) who now lives in New Zealand, Siyanda Zulu (trumpet), Siya Mthethwa (keyboard), Bheka Mthethwa (bass) and Sbu Zondi (drums) – all of whom would have been showcased at a Jazz Jol in the past.” Sweet Concept was formed in 2006 by Siyanqoba Mthethwa, Thabani Gapara and Siyanda Zulu. Most of the band started off as backup singers for some of South Africa’s more prominent and illustrious artists including Swazi Dlamini, Siphokazi, Judith Sephuma and Ernie Smith to mention a few. The band won further accolades after competing in The Suncoast Jazz competition, winning prizes in categories of “Best Band” and “Best Composition.”

“The band members have since 2010, pursued individual music career paths in performance, production and education and occasionally come together to perform, so we are delighted to be hosting them this year,” says Gonsalves. “Recently  Bheka Mthethwa, the groups bassist released his debut album titled “Supernal Sounds”, and all of them have a string of credits to their names.”

The band will perform a variety of original music that reflects the variety of rich perspectives each member has collected in the past half a decade. A true reflection of the sound of South Africa.

UKZN Voices directed by well-known Durban musician and Jazz Voice lecturer Debbie Mari, features singers from the Jazz and Popular Voice programmes in the School of Arts at UKZN. Singing mostly close harmony arrangements, the vocal jazz ensemble will perform A Nightingale Sang in Berkley SquareJava Jive, Almost is Never Enough and Charlie Chaplin’s best loved composition Smile. The group comprises Andiswa Maduna, Nomthandazo Madiya, Neli Skhosana, Monique Naude (soprano), Nomalanga Khanyile, Amanda Biyela, Wandithanda Makandula (Alto), Busisiwe Hlokoza, Siphelele Mthiyane, Sanele Khubisa (Tenor), Thembelani Mkoka and Thabani Dlamini (Bass).

Certainly a major drawcard to the Jazz Jol is the appearance of the UKZN Big Band 2017 directed by Burton Naidoo, and featuring students from UKZN. The band this year focuses on House Music – and unusual approach to electronic music that started taking the world by storm in the 1980s. House Music, is characterised by it's 'four to the floor', groove and minimalistic harmonic and melodic sequences. The UKZN Big Band House Performance will focus more on African House Music such as Micasa, Davido and Black Coffee and the repertoire features arrangements by UKZN Students Phumlani Mtiti, Riley Giandhari, and Sinalo Zulu.

This year’s Jazz Jol is funded by Concerts SA, a joint South African/Norwegian live music development project housed within the SAMRO Foundation.

Tickets will be available at the door at R120, pensioners R80 and students R60.

For more information contact Thulile Zama on 031 260 3385 or email

Inxeba - The Wound - at KZNSA October 7





Having now fulfilled the technical requirements of the Film & Publications Board (FPB) of South Africa, the now fully registered Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (DGLFF) has resumed its screening programme across the city. The shock postponement wrought by the FBS's last minute engagement with the DGLFF days prior to the official opening 25 August was very difficult for the team.

"We were geared for our best Festival yet, and the news that FPB needed us to wait 30 days whilst they checked our film selection, with only something like 3 days to spare, was devastating on planning, and the momentum we'd built up" laments festival director Jason Fiddler. "Of course I have to respect where the FPB is coming from, and I share their commitment to protecting minors from harmful material. The DGLFF's focus has been on mature and LGBTIQ-relevant content so I was confident there."


Fortunately for the Opening Night on 25 August, 'INXEBA' ('The Wound'), was already classified. "The amaXhosa king had only the week previously called for this film to be shut down. Unfortunately for that call, we were able to screen it, as we were licensed without any problems and of course, as an already 16 SL classified film, 'INXEBA' could proceed. The rest of the programme, or course, could not" reflects Fiddler, with a hint of irony.


The critically acclaimed and award winning 'INXEBA' stars musician and novelist Nakhane Touré as Xolani, a lonely factory worker who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. The film has now been officially selected as South Africa's entry into the foreign language section of the Academy Awards in 2018, a decision that has continued to stir calls from traditionalists for its effective banning.


"Having discussed this over with the film's producers and distributors, and in spite of the fact we'd already screened twice on opening weekend a month ago, we felt that the circumstances warranted another opportunity for Durban's LGBTIQ community to see the film until its commercial release in February next year" says Fiddler.


'INXEBA' ('THE WOUND') , which was a project of the Durban FilmMart in 2014, will have an encore screening this Saturday 7 October at 7pm at the KZNSA gallery in Glenwood, Durban, whilst a daytime community screening is being co-ordinated off the main programme - this will be announced on the festival Facebook page, Twitter feed and the festival website.


The revised festival programme is already under way and continues to Wednesday 11 October 2017. "I'm very pleased that the FPB had no issues with our original selection of 47 films, albeit that the Danish documentary Miss Rosewood was classified 18 SN" says Fiddler. "There are some powerful documentaries, an extraordinary selection of short films and entertaining feature films await"


Included in the remaining programme is the US musical-romantic drama 'SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER'. The great news is that an American benefactor bought out a whole lot of tickets to give away to audiences, so the first 25 arriving on Friday 6 October get theirs for free. The film will now also be up for a free daytime community screening, thanks to this sponsor's support! Details will follow as with 'INXEBA's community screening. This film adaptation of the novel by Lambda Literary Award-winning novelist Jay Bell, tells the story of two boys whose secret relationship in high school appears to be doomed, only for them to encounter one another years later as friends and even enemies. It stars Davi Santos (Power Rangers), Ben Baur (Hunting Season, #Adulting) singer-actress Ajiona Alexus (Fox TV's Empire), and introduces Grant Davis, who performs six of the seven songs in the film; Ajiona performs the seventh as a solo.


Argentinean drama 'BROMANCE' screens Thursday 4 October at Tina's Hotel in Kloof at 8pm, and again Tuesday 10 October at the KZNSA at 7pm. It tells the story of three 20 year olds who make a trip looking to reconnect, to regain their teen-hood friendship. But time has changed them and the intrusion of a girl will take them to the limit and will test their desires up to the breaking point of all the ties that binds them.


Monday 9 October brings about the now annual tradition at DGLFF of francophone cinema, "French Nite" at Alliance Francaise Durban in Morningside, with a selection of documentary and narrative films. In 'EVEN LOVERS GET THE BLUES' Ana is sleeping with Hugo, Dalhia with Graciano, Léo with Louis, and Arthur with everyone. Parties and love affairs lead to heart searching, deep desires and the craving to live life to the full. It is a portrait of the love and sexual lives of disenchanted and passionate young people.



In continuing its long standing partnership with the Durban Lesbian & Gay Community & Health Centre, DGLFF is arranging free daytime community screenings of short film packages at 3pm, at the Centre in Morningside, on Friday 6, and Monday 9 through Wednesday 11 October. Seating is very limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis. The Centre offers clinic services and HIV testing as well as outreach and advocacy work.


A feast of great documentaries start at 2pm on Saturday 7 October with 'Carlos Jáuregui, The Unforgettable Fag', a feature length film about Carlos Jauregui, gay rights activist, friend, lover, fighter, an icon, and inspiration for the masses. He was the first gay to come out on the cover of a magazine in the ‘80s. His conviction and courage changed the lives of Argentine LGBT community and history of a country and its laws. He led the first Pride March in Argentina unifying the LGBTIQ movement. He laid the foundations of dialogue and the way to anti-discrimination towards the homosexual community.


That is followed at 4:30pm by a pair of South African documentaries speaking to the transgender experience: 'LOCKED IN' looks at being trans and Muslim, coupled with how traditional Xhosa communities see LGBTIQ people, whilst 'THE STORY OF ZIGGY' is a fascinating short documentary that briefly outlines the life of a woman in mid-transition to becoming a man, exploring the challenges of black South African gender identity in a complex youth society.


The world premiere of South African gay horror short film 'SHADOW' takes place Saturday 7 October at 6pm, just before 'INXEBA' at 7.  Our closing night film is the extraordinary Zulu lesbian short film 'SINA NOMAKOTSHANA' ('DANCE WITH THE MAIDENS') at 7pm on Wednesday 11 October. It tells the story of a people-pleasing girl from a staunchly religious and homophobic family falls in love with her dance partner, and must choose whether to come out of the closet during her traditional Zulu initiation into womanhood, or give up on her lover.


The revised DGLFF programme is available online and all screening information in the printed souvenir guide books remains relevant (apart from dates and times). Information and PDF download can be found at the Festival website




Jason Fiddler

Festival Director


Mobile: +27(0)78 189 5430|  Telephone: +27(0)31 811 0959|  Facsimile: +27(0)86 545 9839

Skype: jason.fiddler1| Email:  | Website: 

FB Page: | Twitter + Instagram: @DbnGayFilmFest

Postal Address: P.O. Box 51190, Musgrave Road, 4062, South Africa

Classy Run for Kesa Molotsane at Maritzburg SPAR Women's 10km Challenge - August 20




Kesa Molotsane (KPMG) had a classy run in the inaugural Grand Prix series of the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge on Sunday, August 20 winning in a convincing time of 34.21, followed by Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank) in 34.34 and Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) in 34.37.


In the penultimate race on the SPAR Grand Prix, the leading lady extended her domination over the log. Out of the starting blocks, Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) edged to the front of the pack, leading marginally for majority of the race, with Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) and Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank) tailing her closely on her shoulder.


Out of nowhere, the star runner started her assault to the front with about 4km remaining. Looking strong, she charged her way through the runners, joining the top three, matching their pace for the last few kilometres of the run. Striding away from van Zyl as they wound their way to the stadium, she secured her position on the top step of the podium, cementing her first spot on the log. Having started the 2017 series with a first in Cape Town, a first in Port Elizabeth, a second in Durban and third in Pretoria, she went into the Pietermaritzburg race with a decent 19 point lead ahead of van Zyl.


“I really enjoyed the run today, it was a really nice route. I love the hills, I grew up in a hilly area, so they don’t bother me. It was cold, and I took a while to warm up but I am really glad that I ran. It was a good test before I take on the 5,000m in World Student Games in Taipei this week. I am the only South African running the 5,000m and I want to do my country proud, so today has motivated me and given me the opportunity to challenge myself.”


Molotsane departed directly after the race, heading straight to the airport to go compete in Taiwan with her first 5,000m heat taking place on 25th August and the finals on 27th August. “I needed special permission to run in Pietermaritzburg from the Federation, but I think it was good for me ahead of running against the top international athletes. I wanted to retain my position in the Grand Prix to stay on top of the leaderboard, so needed to compete today.”


The class act said she didn’t have issues changing from track to road, or vice versa. “A lot of people find it challenging and demanding to handle both track and road, but it is easier for me, it isn’t so much of a shock. I think it is because I concentrate on the longer distances.”


Second on the leaderboard, van Zyl said, “I gave it my best but my best wasn’t good enough. I needed to push it as I find myself in a difficult situation with points on the Grand Prix log, I needed to win and get bonus points to stay in the game.”


“I am an impatient runner, so I tend to break early and take up the pace. It usually works for me but I just couldn’t hang in there. Kesa ran really well. I have had a tough year, with the injury that forced me out of the Durban race, I have been working hard to have a fighting chance. But I am glad it was a pain free run. I also like hilly courses, so enjoyed the my first time on the Maritzburg course.”


Second on the day, the petite Zimbabwean, Rutendo Nyahora overtook van Zyl, leaving her behind on the final stretch of road leading into the stadium. “I am feeling fine on the back of running a marathon. My running was down, so I had to kick hard and my plan worked.”


Molotsane shaved off 20seconds from the previous winning time of 34.41 that Lebogang Phalula clocked in 2016.


A total of 4,500 took to the two distances in a chilly 3 degrees. Peter Deeb, Marketing Director of SPAR KZN said, “Having the Maritzburg race being included in the Grand Prix has certainly raised the profile of the race. Everyone had a fantastic time, and we were full to capacity. It was a chilly morning to start off with, and the course had a lot of hills. We are very pleased with the numbers, and it is always wonderful to give back to our community as road running has a huge following here in Pietermaritzburg.”




1 Kesa Molotsane (KPMG) 34.21, 2 Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank) 34.34, 3 Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) 34.37, 4 Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) 34.50, 5 Betha Chikanga 34.58, 6 Maria Shai (Boxer) 35.02, 7 Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) 35.05, 8 Nolene Conrad (KPMG) 35.11, 9 Nicole Louw (KPMG) 35.23, 10 Rudo Mhonderwa (Nedbank) 35.32


35- 39

1 Janie Grundling (Boxer) 37.22, 2 Makhosi Mhlongo (32Gi) 37.41, 3 Fikile Mbuthuma (Nedbank) 39.02



1 Tanith Maxwell (Boxer) 37.56, 2 Janene Carey (Boxer) 39.55, 3 Delia Jay (Dolphin Coast Striders) 44.40



1 Judy Bird (KPMG) 39.54, 2 Grace de Oliveira (Boxer) 44.10, 3 Gail Babich (Savages) 46.47



1 Blanche Moila (Savages) 49.19, 2 Sonja Laxton (RAC) 50.34, 3 Jenny Taylor (Saints Athletics) 51.13


70 plus

1 Gill Tregenna (Westville) 59.22



1 Nicole Louw (KPMG) 35.23, 2 Shanley Koekemoer (KPMG) 37.27, 3 Cherry Lee Schoeman (Boxer) 39.53



SPAR Women's Race - Pietermaritzburg: The Oval - Sunday 20 August

The race is on for this weekend’s SPAR Women’s main event that takes place around Alexandra Park on Sunday morning.

Back to defend her title is Gauteng’s Lebogang Phalula. Having completed the race last year in a dazzling time of 34.41, the second fastest time clocked in recent times, Phalula is hoping to improve on her Grand Prix standing where she is sitting in fourth place currently.

Sporting the number 1 this weekend is Irvette van Zyl running in the colours of Nedbank. Van Zyl has had mixed fortunes on the road this year, with two second places, and a first in the last SPAR Grand Prix event held in Pretoria. The three time Grand Prix winner had one glitch when she was forced to retire in Durban due to her niggling back injury. She is currently second on the GP log.

Leading the pack is the hard-working KPMG athlete, Kesa Molotsane. Molotsane has accumulated 107 points in the four races held prior to the Pietermaritzburg 10km. In all of her races, she has an impressive presence on the podium with two firsts kicking off her GP year, followed by a second in the Durban race and a third in the Pretoria race. She is 19 points clear of Olympic runner, van Zyl.

Waving the KZN flag, Jenna Challenor will be back. Having had a quiet year plagued with injuries, it will be interesting seeing the one-time winner flying around the familiar route, but this time with many more elite athletes in the front pack. Back from training in Scotland, Durban athlete Tanith Maxwell, also a one-time winner and a regular feature in the Pietermaritzburg race, has turned her focus on the gruelling longer distances, will be stretching her legs around the picturesque setting.

Pietermaritzburg running fans will also be pleased to know that the Comrades darling, Caroline Wostmann is pencilled down as an entry running for KPMG. 

The running club, KPMG is creaming the points with all of their representative athletes performing well. The club has 441 points in total, with the ever-present impressive team of Nedbank sitting on 350 points currently.

A maximum capacity field of 4,500 runners is expected to be taking to the tarmac around Alexandra Park in the two race distances, with the route being described as an out and back. Both fields having an all-in start at 8am. The predicted weather looks to be a chilly 9 degrees with clear, sunny skies at the start time, and warming up to 21 degrees during the course of the day.

Entries are still available at Race Registration at The Oval Cricket Stadium, Alexandra Park on Friday 18 August (10am to 5pm) and Saturday 19 August (10am to 3pm) or until the maximum 4500 are reached. 

 Entries are open to all from ages of 14 years and up in the 10km event and 9 years in the 5km races. Entry fees are R100 for the 10km licensed athletes and for the 5km runners. R110 is the entry fee for the non-licensed athletes; the extra R10 includes a temporary licence for the day.  

Kesa Molotsane will be taking to the roads this weekend in Pietermaritzburg for the upcoming SPAR Women’s Challenge on Sunday.

 Previous winners:

2016: Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) 34.41

2015: Tebogo Masehla (Boxer) 36.10

2014: Rene Kalmer (Modern Athlete) 34.13

Road Closures for the Maritzburg SPAR Women's 10/5 km Challenge

Pietermaritzburg: Sunday 20 August

Runners and walkers are gearing up for the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge, which takes place in and around The Oval in the picturesque Alexandra Park on Sunday 20 August.

An expected 4,500 participants will be taking to the streets with both the 5km and 10km beginning at 8am. As this year is the first time that the race has been included in the national SPAR Grand Prix Series, there will be much interest in watching the elite athletes pounding the road in an endeavour to improve their log standings.

“We urge entrants to take note of the road closures and ensure that you plan to arrive well before the race as main access roads start closing from 07:30,” says race director Brad Glasspoole. “We also encourage residents to note the closures which should only have a minimal impact on the City for a short time.”

The road closures and opening times are as follows:

Sunday, August 20

Balmoral – closed from 03:00 – 11:00

Princess Margaret– closed from 03:00 – 11: 00

Park Drive between Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth – closed from 03:00 – 11:00

Princess Elizabeth – closed from 03:00 – 11:00

Park Drive from College Rd to Princess Elizabeth – closed from 07:00 – 11:00

Alexandra Road from Cross Rd to Alan Paton Ave – closed (inbound only) from 07:00 – 10:00

Alan Paton Ave from Alexandra Rd to Burger St – closed (inbound only) from 07:00 – 08:30

Alexandra Road – closed in both directions from 07:30 until approximately 08:45 (to accommodate the large field)

Entries for the challenge are still open, with two options to enter. Enter online paying with credit card at August 14. Entering using a manual entry form can be done at race registration which is on Friday 18 August (10:00 to 17:00) and Saturday 19 August (10:00 to 15:00) at The Oval Cricket Stadium, Park Drive, Alexandra Park.

Entries are open to all from ages of 14 years and up in the 10km event and 9 years in the 5km races. Entry fees are R100 for the 10km licensed athletes and for the 5km runners. R110 is the entry fee for the non-licensed athletes; the extra R10 includes a temporary licence for the day. 

For more info contact the race organisers on or visit the official race on or like the Facebook page.


Varsity College Awards Two Hockey Bursaries at SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey  Challenge Grand Finals

Caption to photo by Jonathan Burton: 

Phiwokuhle Myeza (Left) from Amanzimtoti High School and Brady Wiseman (second from right) from St. Anne’s DCG with Carole Adam, National Sports Manager for Varsity College and Max Oliva, MD of SPAR KZN. Myeza and Wiseman were recently awarded bursaries at the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, to study at Varsity College in KZN.

Read More

SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge

Interview with Captain, Phiwo Myeza

Amanzimtoti High School are indeed lucky to have the gorgeous Phiwo Myeza leading their team at this year’s SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Grand Finals.

The focused utility player has been in the first hockey team since Grade 8, notching up her third Grand Finals tournament appearance, she stated, “We only have five players, including myself who were at the Grand Finals from last year, so we will be calling on the senior players for their experience. But I have the utmost confidence in all of my girls stepping onto the field this weekend.”

Asked what she is hoping to achieve this weekend, she shares, “We are hoping to achieve a better result from last year. Both appearances we have finished tenth and I would love for us to finish higher.” 

Myeza, a multi-talented sports woman, is hoping to study Sports Management next year, but hasn’t heard back with any good news from the varsities that she has applied to. Her skills are honed in on ball sports, where she has had great success and fun playing in the first team Soccer and Waterpolo teams. Her sports CV also includes a cap as goalie for the KZN U19 polo team that had a home-based tournament last year at Kings Park pool, and a cap in the KZN U18B hockey team that toured to the Bloemfontein last year. 

“I didn’t go to KZN Hockey trials this year as I have been purely keeping my eyes on matric. I intend to continue playing club and varsity hockey next year, I am really enjoying my club hockey with Toti, it has helped tremendously, and upped my playing at school level.”

Led by Shanna Hughes, the team with the bright pink socks have been training hard, “Coach is super, and makes us work hard. She is so good at building us up as individuals, and keeps us all humble. If I score a goal, and get a bit boisterous she calms me down and keeps me focused. A fantastic hockey role model, and I am lucky to have her inspire me!” 

Being proudly Durban south, growing up in Isipingo Rail and attending Athlone Park Primary, the star in the making says her mother has had the greatest impact on her life, “She has taught me about kindness, about fairness. She always encourages my older sister and I in everything we do, she is a really loving women. Simply, a very good Mom and I am indeed lucky to have her.”

On Saturday, Amanzimtoti will be taking on hockey giants, Durban Girls’ College – the only team to have made it to every Grand Final, giant slayers King Edward High School travelling from Matatiele, Grantleigh from Richards Bay and newcomers St John’s DSG. Following the pool games on Saturday, the teams will then play in cross pool games followed by positional games on Sunday. 

Playing her final six games for her beloved team with the funkiest bright pink socks, Matric first team hockey star, Phiwo Myeza is hoping to make a splash as she leads Amanzimtoti High School in her final school hockey tournament this weekend at St Mary’s DSG Kloof.


Queuing up to umpire at the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Tournament in Kloof later this month, 23-year-old Dundee High School old boy, Qiniso "Que" Mdletshe,prepares himself to blow the whistle at the Grand Finals. 

The tournament, which is in its seventh year, travelled to 10 regions around KZN and saw almost 80 high school girls’ first teams battle it out on the astro. At each of the regionals an up-and-coming young umpire was selected, and Mdletshe, representing Northern KZN, was one of the “Most Promising Umpires” to be invited to referee at the Grand Finals. 

Mdletshe’s passion for hockey ignited at Uelzen Primary when he first started playing mini hockey in Grade one.  He went on to play in the first team at Dundee High School, and then at Varsity College Durban North where he was awarded Second Team Player of the Year. This was the last time he was on the field as a player. He has since been umpiring for over two years. This is his debut at the Spar KZN School Girls’ Tournament. Mdletshe says that he “misses playing hockey, and that it is unfortunate that we don't have enough teams in our area to form a league because it is a beautiful sport.”

As an umpire, Mdletshe likes to encourage fair play and a good game flow, being sure to only interfere and disrupt play when absolutely necessary and striving for his refereeing decisions to be thorough and consistent. He maintains his physical fitness by jogging almost everyday (except Sundays). 

Off the field, Mdletshe likes reading books about “success stories” and playing social soccer, cricket and table tennis. He wants to complete his Diploma in Sports Management and dreams of perhaps oneday studying further – this time it would be teaching at either UKZN, UCT, or NWU Pukke. 

Catch Que Mdletshe umpiring at the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Grand Finals taking place at St Mary’s DSG on the 29 and 30 July 2017.




Durban FilmMart Hosts Leading Film Executive Tilane Jones of Array Now

One of the key figures attending the Durban FilmMart this year, Tilane Jones is the executive director of ARRAY, the film distribution collaborative founded by Oscar-winner Ava DuVernay which is focused on women filmmakers and filmmakers of colour. Since 2011, Array has acquired key titles, including Ava DuVernay’s Middle of Nowhere, Andrew Dosunmu’s Restless City and Haile Gerima’s Ashes and Embers. In the process, Jones has shifted the position of films made by women and people of colour, bringing an audience to films that would otherwise struggle to find screens. As well as her position at Array, Jones is also a production manager with several high-profile titles to her name, including a range of fashion and beauty films and television productions.

Talking about her first visit to South Africa and her engagement with the local film market, Jones says that she hopes to inspire and encourage women to overcome the challenges they face on the continent as women filmmakers. “I want to let women filmmakers know that there is an audience that is hungry for stories told from their perspective. ARRAY has worked hard to cultivate that audience and we are eagerly awaiting them and their films.”

Tilane will also be meeting with local women filmmakers to find out what their needs are and what hurdles they need to overcome, in order to better inform herself on how she might be able to inspire and encourage them in the important work that they are doing. “I am very excited about my first visit to South Africa and the Durban FilmMart”, she said, “and I look forward to meeting with emerging filmmakers from the continent, with the aim of acquiring more African titles to be distributed in the United States”.

Asked about whether there was a defining moment when she had cut through the barriers that traditionally held women back from being major players in the global film industry, Jones takes a somewhat pragmatic approach. “There always have been and always will be barriers to break through as a woman and person of colour. But the task of breaking those barriers will never end, so instead I focus on trying to acquire films by women filmmakers and filmmakers of colour that, one by one, break a barrier just by existing and being seen by audiences. There are many audiences that would not have been able to experience this art form if it weren’t for ARRAY and our partners. I focus my efforts on the work more than on breaking barriers.”

Talking about women in the industry who have inspired her, Jones says that she is motivated to continue her work by every woman filmmaker and producer who creates complex, dynamic images. Of those women, ARRAY founder, Ava DuVernay is a key inspiration to her– “Due to her amazing storytelling ability, for loving herself as a black woman and a black woman filmmaker who tells stories from her own unique perspective, for being passionate about her culture, and for being passionate about film. Ava is always pushing past the ‘no’ and finding her own ‘yes’ and that inspires me more than anything.”

Finally, does she have any advice for young female film-makers just starting out as to how they can cut through the clutter in an industry that is still male-dominated? “I always tell filmmakers to tell their own stories and to tell them well.  Being a woman filmmaker and telling stories from a women’s perspective is all that needs to be done to cut through the clutter. Don’t focus on the noise – it is there to distract you. Focus on the story and telling it to the best of your capability. “

Jones will appear in the DFM programme, session entitled ‘Women-led Film: In Conversation with Tilane Jones’ on Friday 14 July at 14h00 - 16h00.

The 8th Durban FilmMart takes place in Durban, at the Tsogo Sun Elangeni from 14 to 17 July 2017, during the 38th edition of the Durban International Film Festival (13-23 July 2017).

For more information on the Durban FilmMart visit Registration can now only be done at Elangeni Hotel from 9am on Thursday, July 13.



Media Release


CaribbeanTales International Film Festival, in partnership with Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT), invites South African women filmmakers to participate in the inaugural CineFAM South Africa Short Film Challenge. The CineFAM South Africa Short Film Challenge aims to create opportunities to garner international recognition and global distribution and is presented at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) (13 to 23 July) and the Durban FilmMart (DFM) (14 to 17 July).

SWIFT is a newly formed organization that aims to advance the participation of women in the South African audio-visual sector. CaribbeanTales is a group of companies that produces, markets, and sells Caribbean-themed film and television content for global audiences. It includes CaribbeanTales Inc. a registered Charity based in Toronto, Canada; the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) which takes place annually in Toronto in September; the renowned CaribbeanTales Incubator Program, a development and production hub for original Caribbean content; CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD), the largest full-service distribution entity dedicated to the monetisation of Caribbean content; CaribbeanTalesFlix, our production arm, and CaribbeanTales-TV, a video on demand platform.

 The CineFAM South Africa Short Film Challenge aims to create an opportunity for female South African filmmakers to collaborate and establish creative relationships that stimulate the growth of content made by women. The challenge also aims to connect South African filmmakers with those in the Diaspora as well as a global audience.

SWIFT will present a preparatory workshop on no-budget filmmaking at the Durban FilmMart on Monday, July 17 from 12:30pm to 2pm at the Tsogo Sun Maharani Hotel. This workshop will provide participants with useful tools for making a short film with constraints in time, budget and other resources.  This is a free workshop and no bookings are necessary.

Following the workshop (which is not mandatory to enter the Challenge), the CineFAM South Africa Short Film Challenge will take place from 19-23 July and will be open to teams with the roles of writer, director and producers filled by women and queer filmmakers from South Africa. The theme from the challenge will be announced on 18 July on the CaribbeanTales website and the teams will have five days to write, shoot and edit a film of no longer than 5 minutes. Entering teams need to feature female identifying crew in the key positions of writer, director and producer.

Completed films must be uploaded by no later than Sunday, 23 July at midnight (GMT +2) on the CaribbeanTales website. Teams unable to upload the films for submission, from their own internet connections, should contact on the first day of the challenge to make arrangements for submission.

A shortlist of up to ten short films will be selected and posted on the CT website for online voting. The challenge will recognize three winning films including best story, best direction and audience choice. Two of these films will be given their World Premiere Screening at the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival and all will be given the opportunity to acquire distribution by CTWD.

“We are very excited to be collaborating with both SWIFT and Caribbean Tales on this initiative and hope it will lay the foundation for more cooperation between filmmakers on the continent and those from the Diaspora,” says Toni Monty of the Durban FilmMart.

 “South Africa is a natural partner to CaribbeanTales, and we are thrilled by the opportunity to provide a platform for women filmmakers. CineFAM, meaning “films by women” in Haitian Creole, is a global initiative of ours through which we spotlight to crucial voices of women in film.  We couldn’t be more delighted to continually expand the horizons for the kind of stories that we can tell,” says Frances-Anne Solomon, founder and CEO of CaribbeanTales.

Speaking on behalf of SWIFT Sara Blecher said “Short films are brilliant ways that filmmakers and their projects can get noticed. There are countless examples of how short films are precursors for feature films. We hope that through this process, women filmmakers are driven to create work that will start a process of getting recognition, attention and support to further develop their body of work.”

“We are delighted that this new programme to encourage South African filmmakers to take the short film challenge during the festival focuses on women in line with the Women Led Film theme for this year’s festival,” says Chipo Zhou, DIFF manager. “We look forward to seeing the creative results and perhaps seeing some of these films in our festival in the future.”

For more information, contact .  For more information about the DIFF go to and for the DFM go to




Durban Presence at Grahamstown's National Arts Festival

Creativity becomes the focus in Grahamstown next Thursday (June 30) with the start of annual National Arts Festival.  The usual sleepy university town becomes awash with bright colours and crafts, performances and happenings, fine arts, glorious sounds, delicious food and fascinating people who come to feast and binge on everything arty.

The National Arts Festival (NAF) is widely considered to be the premier national arts festival in South Africa boasting a strong and varied programme of the best of performing and visual arts across all genres. This year the over-all focus of the festival is “Creative Disruption”:  for the first time in its 43 year history, the festival put out a call for proposals with a theme.

This year, KwaZulu-Natal is well represented, and in particular Durban. Hats off to Arts and Living Cultures, eThekwini Municipality who is supporting 12 Durban theatre groups enabling them to attend and perform at this year’s Festival which runs for 11 days.

The City’s support is enabling 120 theatre makers from 12 different productions across various genres to have a presence on the Fringe of this year’s NAF. The productions which the city are supporting are: Trafficked (Trulife Productions) combining physical theatre, poetry and media projections to tell the story of a girl tricked into a human trafficking syndicate; Game Over (Umvini Performing Art Project) looking at love!; Us against Them (Aphiwe Namba) a politically driven protest piece; The Chameleon (Magenta Pro) which looks at the quest for peace; Phumlani Mtiti Trio (Eco-Art) a contemporary instrumental trio fusing indigenous, western classical and SA jazz cultures; Daffi Falls (Umsindo Theatre Projects) about the life and times of Muammar Gaddafi as told by a journalist obsessed; Refugees (Wushini Arts and Heritage) about displaced people in a refugee camp; Kubili (Musa Hlatswayo / Mhayise Productions) a double bill of dance; Ants Job (Dikianga Arts) looking at the dishonourable state of living for Somali women;  Inyathuko (Mnqobi LM Arts Co) a complicated love story; Women in Tears (Edgy Drama Mix Productions) which reflects on the killing of mine workers by police inspired by the Marikana Massacre, and Nomalizo, The Brave (Madanisa Creative Productions) a love story written and directed by Bonginkosi Shangase.

“We are always delighted in being able to help facilitate taking productions to the National Arts Festival. It is important for the city to have a presence at one of the country’s foremost arts festivals and to allow our theatre makers to experience a national platform – especially emerging theatre voices to be able to add their story to the national dialogue,” said Themba Mchunu: Manager – Arts and Living Cultures, eThekwini Municipality.

Earlier in the year, the city put out a public call to groups and individuals who have already registered and have been approved to perform on the fringe at Grahamstown. There were no criteria restricting the genre of productions to be supported: be it dance, musical theatre, drama, comedy, physical theatre, etc. Selected productionsreceived city support towards their transport, accommodation and marketing costs.

Carrying Durban’s flag at the NAF will also be Neil Coppen whose new piece, Newfoundland (Buiteland) is on the main programme. The latest offering by Durban’s multiple award winning theatre maker, Newfoundland looks at the relationship between an Afrikaans anaesthetist based in Pietermaritzburg, and an isiZulu speaking choreographer with a calling to become a Sangoma.

Durban music guru and practicing labour lawyer Richard Haslop has four interesting music themed talks which looks at music through his immense knowledge and quirky eyes.  

Also on the programme are Durban’s own Guy Buttery, and singer Noma Khumalo from Pietermaritzburg. Making people laugh will by Lisa Bobbert and Aaron McIlroy with their Comedy Masterclass and Marriage for Dummies and Ben Voss and John van de Ruit with their Mamba Republic. Rajesh Gopie’s classic Out of Bounds has been re-imagined as a two hander.

The KZN Department of Arts & Culture (Zululand District) is also supporting some productions this year including It Could Have Been Worse, a play about geneder violence within marriage directed by Nkululeko Ngidi and featuring Nomthandazo Buthelezi, Nkululeko Ngidi, Nombuso Luvuno and Mndeni Ntshangase; and The Path of Destination about albinism and forgiveness, directed by Mfanafuthi Shabangu with a cast featuring Lungile Dumisa, Gugulethu Shabangu, Simphiwe Nxumalo and Mzwandile Masuku

The Rainbow Theatre Company presents an interesting physical theatre piece entitled Safe Spaces with direction and choreography by Thobeka Bhengu. The work comprises a collection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex stories of hope, love and it addresses the injustices directed towards LGBTI people in South Africa.  

Umphithi Theatre Project Management from Pietermaritzburg presents Guilty or Not Guilty?  Performed by the company, directed by Gcina Mdluli and choreographed by Themba Mkhoma, this physical theatre piece unravels the mysteries of family complexities using a brutal murder as the starting point. 

Mixed Motion 2, is a dance work by SASAD KZN Dance Company, directed by Jenny Walter-Girout and choreographed by Gabriel Masango, Leagan Peffer, Julia Hosmer, Kristi-Leigh Gresse, Yolanda Bourman, Leigh Meyer and Lizana Watson. The piece is described as an exhilarating, integrative collaboration, celebration dance. These breakthrough choreographers explore the synergies of ballet, Spanish, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and tap which they have fused into a molten core of talent and technique. 

Twenty two year old Idols SA winner, Noma Khumalo from Pietermaritzburg will perform as selection of contemporary songs that made her the darling of Season 12 of the popular talent show.

A collective of KZN poets and stand-up comedians will be accompanied by accapella in Mzansi Brewed Poetry and Comedy Cafe’.  Directed by Zama Msibi and Lethiwe Shabalala, the artists include Sbo da Poet, Minenhle Mthembu, Syabonga Mpungose and Mondli Mzizi.

The National Arts Festival 2017 runs from 29 June - 9 July. For more information about the National Arts Festival visit:


SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge

It’s a wrap for the ten regional tournaments around KZN, with winners of each region now shifting their focus to the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN School Girls Hockey Challenge that takes place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof on 29 and 30 July.

The first team to secure their berth at the finals was Ferrum High School. The team from Newcastle is no stranger to the Grand Finals, having travelled to Durban six out of the seven years history of this tournament. They missed the 2016 tournament’s conclusion and will be eager to make an impact after a year’s break. 

The two teams representing the Pietermaritzburg Central and Northern Regionals are St Anne’s College and St John’s DSG. Like Ferrum, this is St Anne’s sixth appearance and with a gold, three bronzes and a fourth place to their record, this positively puts them as one of the favourites. St John’s DSG take to the fields as the only newcomer this year, having toppled Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School hold on the PMB Central Regional title, the only team to represent their region since the inception of the tournament.

The fourth team to secure their spot is the only team to have featured every year at the Grand Finals. The champions from the Durban Central Regional, Durban Girls College makes a welcome return and will be raring to reclaim the title, having raised the trophy three times. Adding to the list of success, two silvers and a fourth at this tournament. 

Returning to the Grand Finals is Our Lady of Fatima. The team representing the Durban North Region has only once been to the Grand Finals, that being in 2011 for the inaugural tournament where they finished in fifth. 

Back again, the first team from Amanzimtoti High School representing the Durban South Regional will be hoping to better their overall position having made it all the way for the third consecutive year. King Edward High School from the Ugu and Sisonke Regional will also be making their third consecutive appearance. Having a reputation as the giant slayer at the Grand Finals, the hard-working team are hoping to crack into the top half of the log.

Making a handful of appearances, winners of the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional, Wartburg Kirchdorf School has been impressively improving through each of the finals. 2016 being the best yet where they finished fifth overall. 

From the Highway Regional, the feisty team from St Mary’s DSG are the overall defending champions who have two golds to their name, two bronzes and a fourth in their five appearances. The host team dominated their regional and look in good form to go all the way for a third time.

The final team to make the Grand Finals is Grantleigh College. Grantleigh snuck into the final for the third time. The team representing the Northern Coast Region have had a consistent run in Durban, with two eighth positions from the inaugural tournament and again last year. Like all the other teams, they are hoping to better their performance this year. 

Seventh Appearance

Durban Girls’ College- Durban Central Regional Winner - Gold (2013, 2014, 2015), Silver (2012, 2016), Fourth (2011)

Sixth Appearance

Ferrum High School – Northern KZN Regional Winner – Fifth (2012, 2015), Sixth (2011), Tenth 2013, 2014)

St Anne’s –Pietermaritzburg North Regional Winner - Gold (2011), Bronze (2014, 2015, 2016), Fourth (2013)

St Mary’s DSG – Highway Regional Winner - Gold (2012, 2016), Bronze (2011, 2013), Fourth (2015)

Fifth Appearance

Wartburg Kirchdorf – Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional Winner - Eighth (2013), Ninth (2014), Sixth (2015), Fifth (2016)

Third Appearance

Amanzimtoti High School – Durban South Regional Winner - Tenth (2015, 2016)

King Edward High School – Southern KZN Regional Winner - Eighth (2015), Sixth (2016)

Grantleigh – Northern Coastal Regional Winner - Eighth (2011, 2016)

Second Appearance

Our Lady of Fatima - Durban North Regional Winner -Fifth (2011)

First Appearance

St John’s DSG


Johannesburg, South Africa - The SPAR Grand Prix has reached the halfway stage, with three SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge races completed and three to go.   Challenge newcomer Kesa Molotsane has moved into a 21 point lead on the SPAR Grand Prix ladder, after coming second in the Durban leg of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge on Sunday.

Molotsane was also second in Cape Town, and she won the Port Elizabeth race.  She earned bonus points in both races, and has a total of 78 points.  The current Grand Prix title holder, Irvette van Zyl, was third in Cape Town and second in Port Elizabeth, also earning bonus points in each.  However, she was forced to drop out of the Durban race because of an injury.  She has 57 points.

The 2015 Grand Prix winner, Lebogang Phalula, who was fourth in Cape Town, fifth in Port Elizabeth and third in Durban, is closing in on Van Zyl with 51 points.

Nolene Conrad and Mapaseka Makhanya, who won the Grand Prix in 2013, are in joint fourth position with 44 points.

The winner of Sunday’s race, British athlete Tish Jones, is in 12th position, with 30 points, after finishing within the target time.  Jones did not compete in the first two races, but says she intends to run at least two more, which means she could challenge Moletsane before the final race in Johannesburg in October.

One of the outstanding achievers is Judy Bird, running in the 50-59 years category.  She has been the first Master home in all three races, earning time bonus points in each, for a category total of 30 points.

At the halfway stage, KPMG is the leading club, with 292 points. Nedbank has 284, and Boxer is lying third, with 215.

The last three races will be run in Pretoria on August 5, Pietermaritzburg on August 20 and Johannesburg on October 8.



Tish Jones wins Durban SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge


Tish Jones wins Durban SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge


DIMINUTIVE British distance runner, Tish Jones (KPMG), broke through the elite and highly competitive field of South African athletes to win the Durban leg of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge today (Sunday, June 11) in a personal best time of 32 minutes 58 seconds.


Among the leaders right from the start, Jones shrugged off a trio of Nedbank runners which included Zimbabwean long distance runner, Rutendo Nyahora, together with Nolene Conrad  (KPMG) soon after rounding the halfway mark in the fast, flat Durban beachfront course and finally broke away on her own.


Running strongly in the virtually perfect windless and warm conditions, Jones jumped into the lead and ran solo for the last four kilometres and finished 33 seconds ahead of second-placed Kesa Moletsane (also KPMG) who finished in 33:31 with third-placed Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) crossing the finish line in 33:39.


The top runners averaged 3 min 15 sec per kilometre with six runners crossing the finish line withing a minute of the winner in the shadow of the Growthpoint King’s Park Rugby Stadium.


Described as “the country’s most beautiful road race”, Jones was running for only the second time in this popular series, having first shown her mettle in winning the women’s event in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in 2:36:13 last year.


The British runner, who is based and trains in the Western Cape, came fourth in the last London Marathon, missing the cut for the British team to compete in this year’s World Championships, also in London, with only three runners gaining selection for this event.


Speaking at the press conference after the race she said she had planned to run a sub 33-minute race and having achieved this could be highly satisfied with her previous best times over this distance both set last year with a 33:16 in Leeds in November and a 33:05 in Houilles, France, in December.


“I always try to remain relaxed and to maintain a steady pace,” she said, “but whatever you choose to be good at you have to just make up your mind to go all out for.”


Jones said she would now focus on next year’s Commonwealth Games Marathon and also defend her title in the Cape Town Marathon.


Jones added that she would also seriously consider entering in two of the remaining three races in the SPAR 10km Grandprix Series.


Moletsane said she had been ill for the past two weeks but had entered this race on account of her high status in the SPAR Grand Prix, which is spread over all six races in the series.


Her second place today (June 11) earned her 29 points more to add to the 59 she already has, 29 also for coming second in the Cape Town leg and 30 for winning the Port Elizabeth leg.








1 Tish Jones (KPMG) 00:32:58; 2 Kesa Molostane (KPMG) 00:33:31; 3 Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) 00:33:39; 4 Elisabet Kebede Arsedo (Nedbank) 00:33:48; 5 Ruthendo Nyahora (Nedbank) 00:33:50; 6 Glenrose Xaba 00:33:56; 7 Rudo Mhonderwa (Nedbank) 00:34:03; 8 Nolene Conrad (KPMG) 00:34:07; 9 Bertha Chikanga 00:34:15; 10 Mapaseka Makhanya (Olifantsfontien) 00:34:26.


1 Nicole Louw (Afs-KPMG) 00:35:26; 2 Nicole Van Me (KPMG) 00:36:11; 3 Chery-Lee Schoeman  (KPMG) 00:39:51; 4 Nomthandazo Memela 00:40:03; 5 Nokukhanya Mtshali 00:41:19



1 Bulelwa Simoe 00:36:55; 2 Janene Carey (Boxer) 00:38:56; 3 Ronel Thomas (Boxer) 00:39:10



1 Judy Bird (KPMG) 00:39:09; 2 Grace de Oliveira 00:43:11 (Boxer); 3 Gail Babich (Savages) 00:45:21

Still a chance to enter the Durban SPAR Women's 10/5km

With the inspiration of the Comrades Marathon, there are, no doubt, thousands of KZN women who are just itching to reach a tangible running or walking goal in this year’s Durban SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge which takes place this Sunday, June 11.

While online entries for the race are now closed, there is still a chance to enter the race manually on Thursday June 8, Friday June 9 from 10am to 5pm and on Saturday, June 10 from 10am to 3pm at The Coast of Dreams Hall at the Durban Exhibition Centre. No entries will be taken on race day. 

The 10km race starts on Sunday, June 11 at 08:00 and the 5km at 09:30 on Masabalala Yengwa Avenue, outside Growthpoint Kings Park Stadium.

Participants and supporters are requested to note the road closuresand parking facilities for the day,  and advised to leave home early to arrive well in time to get into their starting positions.

Road Closures:

From 02:00am the following roads will be closed:

  • Snell Parade between Athlone Drive and the main entrance to Suncoast Casino
  • Battery Beach Road
  • Masabalala Yengwa Avenue between Smiso Nkwanyana Road and Isaiah Ntshangase Road.
  • The South bound lane of Masabalala Yengwa Avenue between Smiso Nkwanyana Road and KE Masinga Road.
  • Kingsmead Way 
  • Eden Gardens Crescent

From 04:00am the following roads will be closed:

  • KE Masinga Road (the 2 left lanes) between Eden Gardens Crescent and Masabalala Yengwa Avenue.
  • Masabalala Yengwa Avenue between Argyle Road and Smiso Nkwanyana Road
  • Somtseu Road at Masabalala Yengwa Avenue

From 06:00am the following roads will be closed:

  • The West bound lane of Athlone Drive between Snell Parade and Masabalala Yengwa Avenue
  • The off ramp from the M4 (Ruth First Highway) to Athlone Drive (in both directions)

   Access to People’s Park and the Durban Country Club:


  • Access and egress to the Durban Country Club will be from the M4 (Ruth First Highway)Please note that Isaiah Ntshangase Road will be closed at the entrance to Moses Mabhida Stadium (on Masabalala Yengwa Avenue) and the entrance to Durban Country Club. There will be no through traffic at this intersection.
  • Access to People's Park will be via Somtseu Road (Sasol Service Station near the station) and past Durmail using the back gate.



  • Access to the free parking on Growthpoint Kings Park fields KP3, 4 and 5 will be via Smiso Nkwanyana Road into Jacko Jackson Drive. Once this area is full access will be limited to emergency and official vehicles only.
  • Access to free parking on Growthpoint Kings Park fields KP9 is accessed via Isaiah Ntshangase Road from Umgeni Road only.
  • Parking for a fee at Moses Mabhida is accessed via Isaiah Ntshangase Road from Umgeni Road only.

For more info like the Facebook page SPAR Women’s 10/5km Race . #SHEroes #runSPAR031



Realness African Screenwriter's Residency - 2017 Selection announced at the Cannes Film Festival

At an event hosted by La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut Français, one of the first supporters of the programme, the selection of this year’s Realness Screenwriter’s Residency was announced at the Cannes Film Festival by Realness co-founder Cait Pansegrouw.

 Realness, which was established in 2016, aims to provide scriptwriting talent on the continent with the space, time and support needed to create and develop their vision. This year, over a hundred applications were received from twenty-one African countries. The international panel of industry experts with a stake in African Cinema, evaluated the submissions over three months, arriving at the five chosen residents in early May.

"The Realness initiative continues to unearth some of the rarest talent from the continent,” said Thandeka Zwana from the National Film and Video Foundation, one of the volunteer readers on the selection panel. “The most impressive part of reading the submissions was getting insights into the applicants' previous work and seeing real African cinema in terms of the aesthetic and storytelling. Some evoked memories of the old African greats and some spoke to a wave of new voices."

Marie Dubas, French producer of The Wound by John Trengove and one of the team that founded Realness said; “Selecting projects for Realness is a blessing and a huge responsibility. The projects are of a high quality, proving how rich the multiple African cultures are in nurturing unique stories. We know that for the scriptwriters behind these stories, Realness could be a life changing experience. We try to listen to the desires of these stories, and to allow the ones whose hearts beat the loudest to lead our choices.”

The selected residents for 2017 are Lemohang Mosese from Lesotho, Mario Fradique Bastos from Angola, Rama Thiaw from Senegal, Samantha Nell from South Africa and writer-director team Gloria Huwiler from Zambia and Jahmil XT Quebeka from South Africa. 

 Mario Fradique is an emerging voice in Angolan Cinema. His short films travelled to several festivals, winning awards along the way, while his first feature documentary, Independence, won Angola’s National Culture Prize in 2015. He joins us at Realness with his debut fiction feature, The Kingdom of Casuarinas, based on the novel by Jose Luis Mendonça.

Gloria Huwiler is an actress and writer seeking to give a cinematic voice to her unique experience as a first generation mixed-race Zambian through Victoria Falls. Gloria has teamed up with acclaimed South African writer/director Jahmil Quebka, best known for his second feature film, Of Good Report.

Lemohang Moses hails from Lesotho, a country which has not produced many films. He is a self-taught, award-winning filmmaker and artist, with short film work that has travelled to over 100 festivals, winning top honours in Moscow and Milan last year. His debut feature is This Is Not A Burial It’s A Resurrection is the selected project.

Rama Thiaw is a strong voice from Senegal that we have heard from before. Her two feature length documentaries have garnered much success and awards, most notably the FIRPRESCI Prize at the Berlinale in 2016 for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. She joins the residency with Life In A Spiral, her fiction debut.

South African Samantha Nell whose short film The Beast premiered in Cannes last year brings her debut feature, Miles From Nowhere. Set in Johannesburg, the film is an absurdist dark comedy that takes place in an old age home following four of its residents. The project is also supported by the NFVF for development.

 Realness 2017 begins on 3 June when the participants begin their residency at the Nirox Foundation in the Cradle of Humankind. They will be mentored by script consultant Nadja Dumouchel for their first week and will then enjoy 4 weeks of solid writing. In July they will attend the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) where they will present their projects to the industry under the mentorship of Selina Ukwuoma at the Durban FilmMart.

“We are grateful to DFM and DIFF for supporting the initiative and making this possible,” says founder and Creative Director Elias Ribeiro. “The screenwriters’  producers will also be invited to attend the finance forum at DFM this year.”

Following this, the screenwriters will submit their work for awards consideration. Their projects stand the chance to be selected to participate at La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut Français, EAVE Producer’s Workshop, Torino Film Lab Meeting Event, Locarno Filmmakers Academy and Midpoint Feature Launch.

 “One of the biggest challenges for us has been to find operational funding and have operated with in-kind contributions, with the entire team behind this programme having worked on a volunteer basis for the past two years,” explains Ribeiro.  “We are pleased that more recently we have received grants from the Goethe Institute of South Africa and the CNC, the French national Film Fund, which has been a welcome support for the progarmme.”

“The CNC, in the framework of our policy of targeted support to the new wave of African talents, has decided to support this emerging writing residency, which offers young promising filmmakers from the continent a wide range of high-level international expertise. We are looking forward to the results of this second edition”, affirmed Michel Plazanet, Deputy Director of International Affairs

Fairbridges Wertheim Becker Attorneys have appointed Nosiphiwo Qwabi to help establish Realness as a NPO trust and qualify for PBO status. "The benefits of a PBO are that the trust would be able to issue a tax certificate or receipt, allowing for donations by donors to be tax deductible", commented Andrew Hewitt, Fairbridges Head of Entertainment Law.

Realness is an initiative founded and curated by Urucu Media, under the mentorship of Berlinale Talents and in partnership with the Nirox Foundation, Durban FilmMart, The Durban International Film Festival, Durban Talents, The French Institute of South Africa and Institute Français, Torino Film Lab, EAVE Producer's Workshop, Midpoint Feature Launch, Locarno Filmmaker's Academy, Produire Au Sud, Fairbridges Wertheim Becker, the Goethe Institute and Le Centre National du Cinéma et de L'image Animée (CNC).

For more information on Realness, African Screenwriters residency  contact


Grantleigh College Deputy Head Girl - Danielle Van Onselen

Words by Sharlene Versfeld

 Meet Danielle Van Onselen – 18 year old hockey player and deputy head girl at Grantleigh College.

The energetic right link has achieved colours in soccer and academic, honours in hockey, Captain for the school girl’s cricket team and an award for Super Sports star of the year (2015). She plays provincial hockey and also enjoys soccer.

Danielle started playing hockey in grade 1 at Heuwelland Primary School and has always been inspired by her coach at the moment Mr B, who always tells her not to get her head in the game, but to just play.

The sports star has also got her academics balanced out with her favourite subject being Geography and having dreams of studying LLD Law next year at the Potchefstroom University.

Danielle enjoys a good movie on a Sunday, with good food if she is not playing league hockey.

“The absolute adrenalin rush, the chase and the competitiveness, this is where you can forget about all your responsibilities for the time you are on the field and just be your best”, says Danielle.

She is inspired by her family, with her younger sister being a hockey and cricket player, her mom having played netball in the past and her dad Quintin played rugby for KZN defence u21 and played Zululand Rhino rugby for 8 years.

Danielle is excited and anxious at the same time as the Northern Coastal KZN Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge will take place at Grantleigh College on Saturday on May 28.

The young hockey player lives by these words, “To God be the glory”.

CaribbeanTales and Durban FilmMart Join Forces to Support African Women Filmmakers

CaribbeanTales and the Durban FilmMart present CineFAM - Africa, an accelerator program for African women filmmakers. 

CaribbeanTales Media Group (CTMG) and the Durban FilmMart (DFM) today announce a new partnership to support the development of original serialized television content created by women from Africa and the African Diaspora. 

 CineFAM is an initiative of CaribbeanTales to support bold original films by women of colour worldwide. “Cinefam” in the Haitian-Creole language means “films by women”. This Accelerator aims to build capacity and creative leadership among women of colour who are underrepresented in leadership roles.  

 “We are absolutely thrilled to embark on this new partnership with CaribbeanTales. The Accelerator Incubator Program will provide an exciting new platform to support the development of women-led audio-visual content in Africa, and promote more representational narratives. Through this partnership, we hope to build a bridge between the two organisations that will raise the voices of African women filmmakers,” said Toni Monty, Head of Durban Film Office and DFM the co-production and finance market, which is a joint programme of the eThekwini Municipality’s industry development unit the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), South Africa.

 “CaribbeanTales was founded and run by women of color from the Caribbean and African Diaspora so this initiative is close to our hearts. This partnership provides an unprecedented platform and opportunities for South African, African and African Diaspora women film producers,” says CaribbeanTales CEO Frances-Anne Solomon. “Africa is a natural partner for us in the Caribbean and we couldn’t be more pleased to be building a relationship with DFM to bring our Incubator Accelerator program to Africa!” 

 CineFAM - Africa, which will be led by CaribbeanTales Vice-President Nicole Brooks, is a two-day program that will take place during the Durban FilmMart July 14 to 17, 2017.

 For this first edition of CineFAM - Africa, South African women producers and African women producers living in South Africa are invited to submit their film projects of original serialized television content for consideration. A total of five projects will be selected, and entered into the program to be held at DFM exposing participants to CaribbeanTales’ accelerator unique process including a great overview and guide on how to create the basis of story, marketing, pitching and financing.

 The accelerator will culminate in a Mini-Pitch. The winner will qualify to participate in the renowned CaribbeanTales Incubator (CTI), in Toronto, Canada. CTI is a year-round development and production hub for Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora Producers that aims to create strong, compelling and sustainable content for the global market. The CTI's goal will increase the pool of world-class indigenous film and television content and build the Region’s audio-visual capacity.

 Submissions are now open. To submit a project USE THIS LINK TO APPLY or visit Submissions close on 16 June 2017.