A locally produced film, District Six Rising from the Dust, won Best Original Story at the Florence Film Awards in Italy, a day before the 55th year commemoration of forced removals. Picture: District Six Rising from the Dust/Facebook
A locally produced film, District Six Rising from the Dust, won Best Original Story at the Florence Film Awards in Italy, a day before the 55th year commemoration of forced removals. Picture: District Six Rising from the Dust/Facebook

'District Six Rising from the Dust' doccie wins international award in Italy

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Feb 12, 2021

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Cape Town - A locally produced film, District Six Rising from the Dust, won Best Original Story at the Florence Film Awards in Italy, a day before the 55th year commemoration of forced removals and the area declared a whites-only group area.

Originally from Woodstock and Walmer Estate, local film-maker Weaam Williams from Tribal Alchemy Productions has been a film-maker for 15 years.

The announcement was made on the Florence Film Awards social media pages and website on Wednesday.

On the achievement, she said, “It is great! It means that the years I have spent honing my craft has been worthwhile. It also means that the work produced by Tribal Alchemy Productions stands out in international competitions. As a film-maker my strongest skill has been as a writer and storyteller and this confirms it,” said Williams.

The film was produced over a period of six years from January 2013 to August 2019, and details her experience of intergenerational trauma, as she relearns a historical ancestral story from a different perspective.

Originally from Woodstock and Walmer Estate, local film-maker Weaam Williams from Tribal Alchemy Productions has been a filmmaker for 15 years.

With her mother and ancestors always speaking fondly of memories in District Six, Williams shared that none of this included the forced removals. She moved into District Six, a home restituted to her late grandfather, and so started the conversation with her mother and elders. The film details the expropriation of the family’s home under the Group Areas Act, and the destruction of her grandfather’s tailor shop, Hartley Tailors.

“After I moved out at the end of 2018, it took a few months for me to process why I had to leave. And shot the conclusion to the film in August 2019, I decided towards the end of last year to start submitting the film to festivals again, and it has been very well received, with quite a few official selections already, two finalist positions, an honorary mention and two awards. We had won an award previously for this film at the Scandinavian International Film Festival.”

Williams has worked on 10 films thus far and is working on a film titled, The Rise; a film about Bo-Kaap, and said she is now also moving into fiction.

Williams’ recently released Two Hues, her first fiction short film, was awarded Best Short Film at the Beyond the International Curve Film Festival, in Paris, and is now being developed into a feature film.

Cape Argus

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