TELLING STORIES: This week, four South African documentary film-makers had the opportunity to show their work at the Sheffield Documentary Festival in England.
Cape Town - This week, four South African documentary film-makers had the opportunity to show their work at the Sheffield Documentary Festival in England.

The film-makers were selected by the Department of Trade and Industry to represent the country at the SheffieldDocFest.

The festival showcases non-fiction storytelling and allows young artists to collaborate with industry heads to have their work produced internationally.

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The group, who left for the festival last week, have been showcasing their work, networking and marketing their films at the festival.

Film-maker Obakeng Malope from Johannesburg said the festival was an opportunity for youth to impact the documentary industry internationally.

“Being selected to be part of it is a big thing. This means that your film has international appeal. It’s a huge thing for a young South African.

“Imagine the French or Germans sitting down at 8pm switching on the TV and watching our stories.

“We are talking South African content going beyond the borders.

“This is happening at a good time, as I am the youngest board member of the Documentary Association of South Africa. The department gives an opportunity to young South Africans to showcase their work and it really changes our lives. I see business in what I do, I see Hollywood.”

Malope is currently sitting in on a roundtable discussions with international investors, sales agents and broadcasters to pitch her film Ntimbwe, the longest living man in Africa HIV to see if it’s worth their interest.

Other films put together by the group include Why Dulcie by Enver Samuel, Freedom Flyer by Desmond Naidoo and When Babies Don’t Come by Molatelo Mainetje.

TELLING STORIES: Film-maker Obakeng Malope with Sheffield’s mayor Magid Magid. Malope wants to encourage young film and documentary producers to keep networking and have their films produced.

Malope said she wanted to encourage young film and documentary producers to keep networking and have their films produced.

She advised film-makers to find a mentor and apply for funding and not be disheartened if they were rejected.

“Getting turned down made me craft my skills, so that my proposals can stand out from the rest.

“I started when I was 19, now I am approaching 30.

“I met with the mayor of Sheffield, who is the first black mayor, with Somali roots. He was elected three weeks ago. I had an interesting conversation with him with regards to being a young black man doing it big.”

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Cape Argus