Films on disability, load shedding and black hair awarded at Khayelitsha festival

The three-day festival that took place in Isivivana Centre last weekend brought local film-makers and audiences together. Photo by Usisibusiso "Usie" Mqina.

Local film festival recognises local talent.

Young and upcoming film-makers who were part of last weekend’s three-day film festival at Bertha Movie House in Khayelitsha have sung praises of the festival as a space to showcase their talent. The Raw Film Festival started on the 27th of April with the aim to promote aspiring film-makers and creatives.

Ayanda Msebenzi, the Festival Director, said that the focus of the festival was to create a platform for young film-makers who took their cameras and let their imaginations run wild.

The film-makers also voted the films they considered the best film, best documentary, best student film and the best narrative.

Milka Bazeka (21) from Claremont won the best film award for We Met at Two. “The story behind my film is about how disabled people lack transportation, based on my own experiences as a woman living with disability and  how I navigate life,” said Bazeka.

She said she is concerned about the high number of public facilities that are not friendly for, and accommodating of people with a disability as she is wheelchair-bound. To make her film realistic, Bazeka brought people living with disabilities to screenings of her film and invited their testimony to the struggles they face when it comes to transportation.

The winner for the best documentary went to Sam Flans (27) for his documentary titled No electricity No money. “The film tells the story of Khayelitsha residents, exploring their daily struggles and the challenges they face as they try and make ends meet without access to electricity,” said Flans. He gratefully received the award and said he hopes to receive more awards nationally and internationally as well as share knowledge and experiences with other film-makers.

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Best film student award went to Likhona Cophiso (20) from Kraaifontein for her film Don’t Touch.Don’t Touch is centred around the associations we have with hair. It was inspired by how I stereotyped people based on their hairstyles without even knowing them, which later led to themes of identity and hair consciousness in the black community,” said Cophiso. She added that  this win confirmed that her dreams are valid and that chasing her dreams is not chasing wind. The 20-year-old also has a digital photo book which is soon to be published.

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