27 October 2010 South African production Skeem scooped the coveted Audience Choice Award at the recent Abu Dhabi Film Festival, showing that locally directed movies are holding their own among global industry heavyweights. The festival ran from 13 to 22 October. The film will be released in South African theatres on 28 October. Made by South African Tim Greene, Skeem was up against films with big-name directors like Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders, George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh, Werner Hertzog and Terry Gilliam. The Audience Choice Award came with US$50 000 (around R400 000) in prize money.‘A film that people would want to see’ Greene said: “I set out to make a film that people would want to see, and so to know that they enjoyed it, is immensely gratifying. If you look at the cast lists of the films we were competing against, they’re all A-list Hollywood celebs.” Greene added that the honour made him proud of South African stars and that he was humbled by the recognition. This is Greene’s second feature film after 2004’s A Boy Called Twist, which centred around a young Cape Town beggar and was based on Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist.All-South African cast The film, set in a rundown resort, follows the comedic exploits of a group of small-time crooks and greedy holidaymakers as they try to get their hands on a box full of money. It boasts an all-star South African cast who have featured in some of the biggest films made in South Africa. They include: Kenneth Nkosi, Rapulana Seiphemo, Casey B Dolan, Grant Swanby, Terence Bridgett, Zikhona Sodlaka, David Isaacs and Kurt Schoonraad Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat, the film’s producer, said: “To actually win the audience award is a dream come true. To think that our local comedy film can travel and can be relevant to a global audience and compete successfully with the best films in the world gives me hope for the future of South African films.” Bhyat added that the nomination in itself was an honour.Made in the Middle East The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) has been an annual event since 2007, with the aim of livening up film culture in the Middle East. When it was started it was known as the Middle East International Film Festival, with a commitment to showcasing work by filmmakers from that region. This has changed to include international films. This year saw films, producers, directors and actors being honoured in the following categories: the Narrative Feature Competition; New Horizons Competition; Documentary Feature Competition; Our World Competition; ADFF Audience Choice Award; ADFF Fipresci Award, and ADFF Netpac Award. Awards with the highest prize money of $100 000 went to the: Best Narrative Film, Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi; Best Film, Stories Only Exist When Remembered by Julia Murat; and Best Documentary, Position Among the Stars by Leonard Retel Helmrich.SA’s booming film industry South African films are notching up top honours at international festivals and award shows, which is testament to the country’s growing and vibrant industry. Hollywood has even used South Africa for film locations, with the next James Bond movie being filmed in Cape Town. Other big-budget Hollywood films that have been filmed on location are Lord of War starring Nicolas Cage and Blood Diamond with Leonardo DiCaprio. This has had a ripple effect with South African actors and actresses getting parts in international productions. These include Terry Pheto in The Bold and the Beautiful and Nondumiso Tembe in True Blood. Tsotsi, directed by South African Gavin Hood, gave Pheto an international boost after it won an Academy Award for best foreign language film in 2006. The gritty drama focuses on the life of a young gangster from Soweto. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
5 June 2014The City of Johannesburg is moving to overcome one of the legacies of apartheid spatial planning in an innovative way, with plans to build a cycling and pedestrian walkway – including a bridge over Africa’s busiest highway – connecting Alexandra township with the business hub of Sandton.The walkway will provide safe passage between the township and the Sandton CBD, reducing travel times and traffic accidents for approximately 10 000 Alexandra residents who, it is estimated, currently walk over five kilometres to and from work each day.Construction on the walkway, which will join No 3 Square in Alexandra with Sandton near the Grayston Avenue Bridge along Katherine Street and include a pedestrian and cycling bridge across the M1 highway, could begin as early as September.Announcing the plan at the end of last month, Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) CEO Thanduxolo Mendrew said the bridge would be an “iconic” addition to Johannesburg’s skyline, similar to that of the Nelson Mandela Bridge.“The city’s Nelson Mandela Bridge has become one of the iconic structures of the southern gateway, and this bridge will equally change the city skyline as an important northern gateway,” Mendrew said in a statement. “At the same time it will serve as an important link between Sandton and Alexandra, to show that the futures of these areas are inherently connected.”Mendrew said that careful thought had gone into designing the bridge, as the JDA needed to come up with something that “spoke to the concept of the Corridors of Freedom.“In 2013 the executive mayor introduced the Corridors of Freedom as areas where there can be walking, cycling and public transport which is safe, reliable and affordable. This bridge satisfies that basic need that talks to citizens’ rights to a spatially integrated city.”Mendrew said the Alexandra-Sandton walkway would form part of phase 1c of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit system, which will connect Alexandra both to Johannesburg central as well as to Sandton.Construction on this phase is under way and is expected to be implemented from 2015, along with other infrastructure updgrades along the route.“In Alexandra, 30.2-kilometres of pavements for walking and cycling will be upgraded and improved,” the JDA said. “Traffic calming measures and street furniture along roads adjacent to the BRT and along feeder routes will also be introduced, and a new bus depot will be constructed along Vincent Tshabalala Road in Alexandra.”SAinfo reporter
The Congress launched protests in different parts of Chhattisgarh on Wednesday after a video of an alleged police attack on party workers in Bilaspur on Tuesday went viral on social media.“The police entered the Congress Bhavan in Bilaspur on Tuesday evening and trashed the Congress workers brutally. The incident took place when Congress workers were conducting a meeting after a symbolic protest in front of Chhattisgarh minister Amar Agrawal’s residence in Bilaspur against his appalling remarks about the party. The video of the incident shows how brutally the policemen attacked Congress workers,” party spokesperson R.P. Singh told The Hindu.Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted the video of the incident on his official Twitter account and said, “Authoritarianism has become the profession of the Narendra Modi government. The attack on the Congress workers’ fundamental rights in Bilaspur by Raman Singh government will be remembered by the people as a political assault.”Senior Congress leader and the general secretary in charge of Chhattisgarh P.L. Punia termed the incident as a “barbaric act” and demanded CM Raman Singh’s resignation.“Never happened in India. For the first time, peaceful party workers were beaten up inside the party office. Raman Singh has lost all balances. It is time for him to quit. Should try to go with some grace,” Mr. Punia tweeted.Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has condemned the incident and ordered a magisterial probe.Congress leader Shailesh Nitin Trivedi claimed that “BJP ki HitlarShahi” trended on Twitter on Wednesday after the incident.The Congress has called an emergency PCC meeting in Bilaspur on Thursday to possibly announce the launch of a state-wide agitation.