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10th kykNET Silwerskerm Festival is back as a hybrid event

Zikhona Bali in a scene from ’Lakuthson’ Ilanga’. Picture: Supplied

Zikhona Bali in a scene from ’Lakuthson’ Ilanga’. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 22, 2022

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After being put on hold for two years due to Covid-19, the 10th kykNET Silwerskerm Festival returns as a 2.0 hybrid event from March 23 to 26.

Leo Smith, senior marketing manager at kykNET, said: “The aim of the festival was, from the start, to help local talent both in front and behind the camera, support, develop and to create a seminal showcase for their film projects.

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“The bonus – the beauty – of the hybrid 10th Silwerskermfees is that we can now open the doors to a much larger audience.

“For the first time, the public and movie lovers from across the country can virtually join us for the festival.”

In its current format, a limited number of VIP guests will be attending the event in person at the Bay Hotel, Camps Bay.

Most of the activities, including the feature films and short films in competition as well as the panel discussions around these films and various industry discussions, will be held at the Bay Hotel’s Rotunda.

And these will simultaneously be broadcast on the Silwerskerm website.

The broadcast excludes the Theatre on the Bay programme, which, time-wise, might clash with the festival’s main program.

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A scene from “What Did You Dream”. Picture: Supplied

Nicola van Niekerk, senior manager: Scripted Content and Factual Entertainment at M-Net, added: “kykNET’s Silwerskerm short film project was created during our second festival in 2012.

“Some of South Africa's most well known and celebrated filmmakers entered the industry with Silwerskermfees short films.

“And others moved on to creating some of our best TV series.

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“These days several Silwerskermfees alumni are giving back to the festival by mentoring newcomers with great potential.

“Some of this year's mentors include Christiaan Olwagen, Amy Jephta, Nosipho Dumisa, Etienne Fourie, Roelof Storm, John Trengove, Quentin Krog and Oscar Petersen.

There are 17 short films competing this year.

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She added: “Our filmmakers were not afraid to experiment. Their films span a variety of genres and their stories are refreshing and diverse. The standard of the scripts is, according to me, the best yet.”

Among the must-sees is We Are Dying Here, a short film about gender-based violence which is executive produced by Siya and Rachel Kolisi; In Baber, which is set at a barbershop in the Cape Flats, where the owner and his daughter want to get rid of more than just Dônnie van die Reevas’s hair; Verstikking explores the sadomasochistic powerplay between a wealthy businessman and the criminal who robbed him; and, last but not least, Skyn looks at the events that follow when a struggling waitress discovers she is pregnant after a one night stand.

The feature films included in the line-up are equally compelling.

Roberto Kyle and Brendon Daniels in “Sons of the Sea’’. Picture: Supplied

Lakutshon’ Ilanga tells the story of a young black nurse in 1985 apartheid South Africa who must face her worst fears when she learns that her activist younger brother may be in danger when he doesn’t return after school.

The story is inspired by actual events and written and directed by Phumi Morare. The film was shortlisted for the Oscars this year.

The other two films on the main programme as well as in the video-on-demand format include We Are Dying Here and What Did You Dream?, which is written and directed by Karabo Lediga.

The latter, tells the story of the 11-year-old Boipelo, who will soon be attending a multiracial school for the first time and is spending the summer holidays at her grandmother Koko’s house in Atteridgeville.

There, Boipelo becomes obsessed with the fact that, unlike her two cousins, she can no longer remember her dreams. South African acting legend Connie Chiume stars as grandma Koko.

Be sure to also watch these offerings: Krismis van Map Jacobs, Sons of the Sea, MOYA, Mutant and Die Ongetemde Stem, to name a few.

The festival will wrap up with an awards evening on Saturday night.

The registration fee for the online 10th kykNET Silwerskerm Festival is R190, which will be donated to the Tribuo Fund.

Video-on-demand films will cost an additional R35 per ticket.

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