In case you missed them during the year, spend an hour with our DFA members and be inspired!
I am currently working on a short series of creative documentaries about African women, love and politics, just a wholesome experience of their being. There’s a number of exciting projects I would love to see come to life in 2021, COVID-19 and all, there’s a room for us to rebuild and it is exciting.
I am currently producing and directing a documentary film called uHadi (an Indigenous Musical Bow instrument), which looks into Xhosa Traditional Music using ancient indigenous instruments in the present. The exciting part about this documentary is that it has also turned into a participatory project whereby we will also be hosting virtual indigenous events with the characters we are filming as a way to also bring rural artists into the digital space whereby the older generation can still perform online and make a living. And also where we could assist them to be on social media and also have an online shop to sell their music by recording their songs for them.
Don’t attach your self worth to your work. Be kind to yourself; self care is key. Look for opportunities both locally and internationally. Move with the times – in my opinion, digital marketing and social entrepreneurship are the future. Chin up, you can’t wear your crown with your head down.
Tshililo waha Muzila
I moved to JHB in the early 2000’s to pursue a career in the film and television industry. After graduating from Wits University, I worked in the television industry first as a Runner, Cameraman, Editor and now I Direct and Produce Shorts and Feature Documentaries. Most of my career focus has been on the small screen, working mainly on SABC-commissioned productions both as Director and Editor.
I am a storyteller, I have been making documentary film for the last 15 years. I am attracted to stories where there is potential for healing, where people take difficult journeys that might result in them finding closure. I found so much comfort behind the camera, which means I shoot most of my own documentaries. Beyond telling stories I am also a mother and a grandmother.
I am inspired by other filmmakers who don’t ask permission to make their films. I know it’s hard to do it alone, but having the courage to believe in yourself and go out and make something and see it through really inspires me to do the same.
My advice to filmmakers out there is to find what you love and master it. Use filmmaking as a tool to bring social change, to share skills and mentor young girls wanting to make films and just continue telling stories the best way you know how. Master your craft!
Everyone and everything inspires me but some people will make you fall in love with yourself and life. Takalani Mulaudzi who I think is an amazing parent and producer. Moloisi Mabeba who mentored me during the beginning of my career, I look up to that woman. Kagiso Lediga who I have had a chance to chat to when I was attending CTIFM&F. Rudzani Dzuguda, Thabo Mphelo, and the list is endless.
I am an editor and sometimes director, I have worked across many genres but documentary is my firm fave. I also have one toe in academica and completed my Ph.D. focusing on home video, personal history and memory at WITS so I sometimes teach and supervise at academic institutions. I enjoy the collaboration that filmmaking brings and have earned the nickname ‘comrade supercuts’.
I’m currently in production on my next doc feature, called The Radical. It’s about the world’s first openly gay imam, and the inclusive mosque that he started. It’s a project with lots of moving parts – it’s an international co-production and putting the financing together is a juggling act, but it’s very satisfying to work on.
My observation from attending international festivals is that the funding environment is becoming very competitive, due the increase in innovating filmmaking from the rest of the global south. So, I am very focused on interventions at developmental level to increase access for emerging talent with sufficient funds to complete and deliver distinctive films that will be noticed and that can travel. Encounters has close relationships with industry bodies so I look forward leveraging that to offer more support to South African filmmakers and providing a springboard for African documentaries to the international market
Generation Africa is a very big project for me and has given me an opportunity to work with exciting filmmakers and partners to make compelling stories that I cannot wait for the world to see. The STEPS methodology of producing film for social change is an invaluable experience of making film that makes a difference.
Go in search of a better understanding of your creativity. It starts with doing nothing at all. Too many creative people are too busy doing, chasing, missioning…. Deep breathing and doing nothing helps you reconnect with the source of all creativity.
If you are a DFA member and would like to participate in our popular interview series, please let us know on email@example.com!