Taking cinema to the rural parts of North West

WORKSHOP FACILITATOR: Mmabatho Montsho. Circa. September 2009. © Unknown.
WORKSHOP FACILITATOR: Mmabatho Montsho. Circa. September 2009. © Unknown.

THE Manuscript of Timbuktu, a documentary about how Africa once led world civilisation, forms part of this year's North West Film Festival.

THE Manuscript of Timbuktu, a documentary about how Africa once led world civilisation, forms part of this year's North West Film Festival.

The documentary relies on empirical evidence gleaned from what is left of ancient African civilisation.

The festival will mainly take place in Taung and surrounding rural and semi-rural areas.

The festival will also screen Beautiful Contradictions by Fanney Tshimong alongside The Manuscript of Timbuktu by David Max Brown at the Taung Mmabana Ampitheatre from September 24 to 27.

Taung fits the main objective of the festival, the focus of which is to take cinema to rural communities that are in many cases neglected when it comes to entertainment and culturalactivity.

As part of the festival there will be writing workshops and an outreach programme that includes films about rural areas. The workshops will be facilitated by, among others, Ferry Jele and Mmabatho Montsho, presenters and television actors.

"The workshops will provide a high level of interactivity coordinated by experts in the field of scriptwriting and directing. They are intended for the absolute beginner who has no background whatsoever in film and writing, but who wants to discover the possibilities of making films, says Lesego Mphake, the festival's communications director.

"Participants are introduced to the basics of writing for film, from the translation of written abstract conceptsto visual-moving images to a hands-on discovery of the essential concepts and components of a script that works. Workshop participants are assigned to shoot a video of their own during the festival.

"Participants,chosen from the Taung municipality, went through a screening test and were chosen for their good command of language, good visual imagination and an eye for physical characteristics andself- discipline.

"They will have the opportunity to originate and develop script ideas, conduct research and write treatments from scratch, write and direct the video to its completion," Mphake says.

The outreach programme will include screenings of films such as Soldiers of The Rock, written by Norman Maake and featuring the late Lebo Mathosa, Like Father, Like Son, by Itumeleng Ntwae and Black Beulah's directed by Fanney Tshimong.

The original idea for the festival was developed six years ago by Mphake and the late Omphemetse Disipi.

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