Monthly Archives: May 2017



From Oscar- nominated I Am Not Your Negro to Sundance winner Winnie and Nick Broomfield’s brutally realistic film of Whitney Houston – Whitney: Can I Be Me – these are just some  of the most talked about documentaries on the international and South African circuits  to be screened at the prestigious and much anticipated Encounters South African International Documentary Festival next month.  The line-up consists of over 60  acclaimed films  and takes place from 1-11 June at the Labia , the Nouveau V&A Waterfront and Bertha Movie House, Isivivana Centre in Khayelitsha in Cape Town and the Bioscope and the Nouveau Rosebank in Johannesburg.

Highlights include:

*Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro as spoken by visionary writer and social critic James Baldwin on racial hatred in America narrated by Samuel L Jackson.

*2017 Sundance – Award winning documentary director Pascale Lamche’s film Winnie on South Africa’s controversial anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela –Mandela’s rise and fall from grace.

*Internationally acclaimed film-maker Nick Broomfield’s intimate biography Whitney: Can I Be Me?  on the tragic life of Whitney Houston, one of the most successful recording artist of all time.

*Oscar nominated  – Life Animated – a real life story of an autistic boy who couldn’t speak for years whose family created an animated world of Disney characters so that they could talk to him

*The Return of a President: After the Coup in Madagascar on the return of democratically elected president Marc Ravalomanana from exile in South Africa after a bloody coup.

*Syrian director Firas Fayyad’s frontline study Last Men in Aleppo on the unbroken cycle of devastation experienced by three reluctant heroes in Syria.

* Tickling Giants the ebullient portrait of Bassem Youssef the heart-surgeon-turned-comedian who became known as “the Jon Stewart of Egypt.” From Mubarak to Morsi and then El- Sisi his show united the country but tested the limits of free press.

*World premiere of South Africa director Lucy Witt’s Dragan’s Lair, a thought provoking and courageous dissection of rape and abuse by her stepfather and confrontations with him as an adult.

*Vincent Moloi’s Skulls of My People about the struggle of the Hereo and Nama people of Namibiaseeking the return of the skulls taken by German scientists  after the 1904 genocide.

In what has been a year of global political turmoil the line-up covers a wide range of thought provoking, relevant and gripping topics from fake news in the age of Donald Trump in All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, And the Spirit of IF Stone to Brexit in Brexitannia, with British voters explaining their gut, nostalgic and sometimes absurd reasons to leave or remain in the European Union.

The killing of an 18 year old in Ferguson, Missouri, that inspired the rise of Black Lives Matter movement is captured in Whose Streets while Stranger in Paradise takes an off the wall look at the complex plight of asylum seekers and refugees in an increasingly hostile Europe.

Encounters also focuses on South African issues:

Miki Redelinghuy’s This Land examines the lives of villages once forcibly removed under apartheid now under threat from a mining company in cahoots with the Entembeni Zulu Royal Family, while Aryan Kaganof’s Metalepsis in Black is a daring account of the ‘Fees Must Fall’ movement gripping the country’s universities.

Bringing past political context to current topical debates, Sifiso Khanyile’s Uprize!  highlights the 1976 protest action of student activists in Bonteheuwel, Langa and the Cape Flats with struggle stalwarts expressing their disappointment with thestatus quo, while Nomakhomazi Derwarvin’s Indwe chronicles events that led up to the famous 1956 women’s march in Pretoria (world premiere) and Troupes of War: Ditrupa (world premiere) juxtaposes black memory against white history.

Helping to conceptualise transformation are some socially relevant films featuring the work of a variety of artists. The much-anticipated world premiere of Goldblatt a biography of leading photographer David Goldblatt ‘s life’s work directed by Daniel Zimbler (with interviews with Nadine Gordimer and William Kentridge) and Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back a portrait of Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan who once duct taped his dealer to a wall and made a sculpture of a penitent Hitler and the highly anticipated Deep Blue: Middle C by two time Encounters audience award winner director Bryan Little promises not to disappoint.

The Festival offers an eclectic lineup of International features.

Oscar and BAFTA nominated The Eagle Huntress  an empowering and awe-inspiring movie based on the true story of 13-year-old Aisolpan Nurgaiv, who became the first female in 12 generations of her nomadic Kazakh family to learn how to become an eagle hunter to talented Dutch director Samira Elagoz’s intimate encounters with strangers in Craiglist Allstars and Christina Clusiau’s exploration of the international big game hunting industry and the attendant conservation movement in Trophy.

Politics enters the world sports arena in Daniel Gordon’s The Fall the dramatic  story of South African track star Zola Budd and America’s Mary Decker in the grubby world of 1980s Olympic sport at the 1984 Los Angeles Games  to  Maya Zinshtein’s exposé of racism in the Beitar Jerusalem football team in Forever Pure while the dark heart of the global workplace is laid bare in Machines on the Victorian conditions facing textile workers.

Other international favourites include Poland’s Anna Zamecka’s Communion f Bulgaria’s Tonislav Histov’s The Good Postman and Chile’s Maite Alberdi’s The Grown- Ups.

Favourites from the African Continent include Award- winning local director Riaan Hendricks world premiere of Country of Fishes a fly on the wall look at fishermen in Hout Bay and Eve Munyiri’s moving biography Waithria on colonialism and immigration is showcased.

African documentaries  are well represented with The African Who Wanted to Fly from Gabon, Mama Colonel from the DRC and The Fruitless Tree from Niger.

Announcing the Swiss Focus.

In partnership with Swiss Films, Encounters proudly presents Heidi Specongo’s Caheir Africain disturbing Central African testimonies of trauma at the hands of mercenaries and Lauence Bonvin’s three compelling shorts After Vegas, Blikkiesdorp and Before the Flight Avant’envol.

Other Swiss must-sees are Jacques Mathey’s magical musical biography Jazz: The Only Way of Life. Jacqueline Zund’s existential masterpiece Almost There and Segio Da Costa’s delicately constructed debut feature film Rio Corgo about a Portuguese drifter.

For further information check the website

Three Dimensional

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in a bubble? How about, opening up a vault full of money?

At Incredible Illusions, the first “travelling exhibition of Kurt Wenner, the inventor and pioneer of 3D Art you are allowed to fully immerse yourself in the Art by direct interaction. You are allowed to stand on, touch and pose with all the artwork…..who knows what you’ll find once that vault is opened…

What is Art?

The word art in the broadest sense describes a skill….walking through the exhibition you’ll be amazed at the skill it must take to create such Incredible Illusions which are normally done on the street using chalk.

Not only is the exhibition interactive but it also includes an educational element whereby the viewer is able to learn more about the intricacies of this art form….and also be inspired by the knowledge that maths is important even in the art world.

Each piece has a different story to tell and will take you on a journey or rather a roller coaster ride…

…to Paris to see the Mona Lisa, Dubai to see the beautiful skyline and even the Grand Canyon in all its splendor. I enjoyed the imagination used in some of the pieces as it encompasses a mythical element making art fun and ofcourse interacting with each piece trying to find the best angle for a picture is all part of the fun.

This is a fun-filled experience for all ages, bring the kids and let their creative juices flow as they try and create their own masterpiece at the Artjamming centre at the end of the exhibition, a little something to take home and remember the day by..

Do not miss out on this incredible experience now on at The V&A Waterfront for more info and to book tickets follow the links and

Don’t delay because the bubble might just…



When the medical system that Dr Lisa Cooper has worked in for so many years starts to fail her, she turns her back on what she has always believed in and get lured into an organ smuggling syndicate in order to save her son’s life.

This is the synopsis for South Africa’s first Medical Thriller, a rollercoaster ride of emotions from the opening credits to the end, you’ll literally be gasping for air once the movie is over.

The lead actress Natalie Becker does a stunning job portraying a strong woman who would do anything to save her son, the human instinct of survival is a strong force if placed in a desperate situation. The supporting cast featuring Greg Kriek, Deon Lotz and Hakeem Kae-Kazim all deliver stellar performances in their various roles and believe me there are a couple of twists that you would not see coming….so hold onto your seat and do not bat an eye.

With various promotional gimmicks doing the rounds leading up to the opening of the movie, I am sure you might have seen a truck driving around town with what looks like a live operation being performed inside…do not worry it is not real but it hopes to get people to turn their heads and start talking and promoting the underlying theme of the movie.

Bypass, the movie that has everyone talking due to its controversial marketing, has resulted in a 40% spike in organ donation even before it hits cinema screens next week Friday, 12 May. This locally produced and directed medical thriller by husband and wife team Shane and Bianca Vermooten exposes the underworld of organ trafficking where the rich can buy the poor organ by organ.

Not only does this movie encourage the support of local talent but it also wants to expose the harsh reality of organ trafficking, with only 2% of our country on the organ donor list this figure highlights the need for shocking stories like these to be put on the big screen for all to see and hopefully leave the audience moved into action.

For more information on organ donation call – 0800 22 66 11 (Toll Free) or

Once again an amazing, gripping edge of your seat movie, well done to the Cast, Producers, Director and all people behind the scenes I really enjoyed the movie and encourage more people to check it out…
Visit, to view the trailer, learn more about the film and sign up to become an organ donor.

Who knows we might see a Double Bypass next!!!

Bypass the movie: Behind the Scenes of Africa’s First Medical Thriller

Bypass, the movie that has everyone talking due to its controversial marketing, has resulted in a 40% spike in organ donation even before it hits cinema screens next week Friday, 12 May. This locally produced and directed medical thriller by husband and wife team Shane and Bianca Vermooten exposes the underworld of organ trafficking where the rich can buy the poor organ by organ.

 Bypass is the story of a cardiac surgeon, Dr Lisa Cooper (Natalie Becker-Aakervik), who saves lives on her operating table every day, but is absolutely powerless when it comes to saving the life of her only son, Sam. With only 2% of the country on the organ donor list, Sam’s chances of getting a liver transplant are overwhelmingly stacked against him. When the final hope of receiving a transplant is severed, Lisa faces the most difficult decision of her life; to wait for a donor organ that may never present itself or to bypass the institutionalised medical system. Her decision leads her right into the heart of conspiracy, danger and an international organ trafficking syndicate.


When asked about the story, Director Shane Vermooten says that the controlling idea ofBypass is that every life is of equal value. Lisa’s journey takes her on a path where that belief becomes very difficult to hold onto, especially when it is pinned up against the need to save her own son. When these two ideals collide, which one will win? Writer/Producer Diane Vermooten goes on to say: “We wanted to capture the dynamics of  what goes on in a mother’s heart when the decision she makes could mean the life or death of her child. We asked so many mothers what they would do if they had the choice to save the life of their child, and most said that they would do whatever it takes.”  As Becker explains: “The things we believe when we are far removed from a situation are often challenged when we find ourselves confronted with the issue. Very often we may surprise ourselves with the decisions we make.”


From the outset the team behind Bypasswanted to craft a story that creates social awareness and makes a lasting impression. This was fuelled by the realisation that there aren’t enough stories being told around the issue of organ trafficking. Actor Deon Lotz, who portrays Dr Wright, one of the surgeons at the New Day Clinic, adds: “Besides the sex trade and drug trafficking, organ trafficking is one of the biggest problems that we currently face in the world. I am surprised that more movies aren’t made about it.”


Perhaps one of the most poignant messages comes from actor Greg Kriek, who plays Martin Fischer: “Bypass is not just another movie – it gives you a slice of life and exposes the underbelly of an issue that is happening right under our noses.”


The national interest and conversation that Bypass has already managed to create is nothing short of amazing. This film, which boldly takes a stab at a subject many want to avoid, is a major step forward for the South African film industry. Bypass is a thriller that hits home and will keep audiences on the edge of their seats from the opening frame to the closing scene. 


If 90 minutes of thrilling entertainment isn’t enough to get you out of the house and into cinemas, then an added motivation is the fact that the team behind Bypass will give 10% of the profits made in cinemas to the Organ Donor Foundation. Don’t miss this opportunity from 12 May to be entertained while making a difference to society.


Moviegoers who are keen to catch Bypass on the big screen can visit Ster-Kinekor Theatres at the following shopping malls from Friday, 12 May:


* Gateway – Durban (The Open Door Crisis Centre will host a gala premiere on 13 May – tickets available from

* Sterland – Pretoria

* N1 City- Cape Town 

* The Zone – Rosebank, Johannesburg

* Tygervalley – Durbanville, Cape Town

* Cresta – Randburg, Johannesburg

* Baywest – Port Elizabeth

* Kollonade – Pretoria

* Cavendish – Claremont, Cape Town

* Eikestad Mall – Stellenbosch

Visit, to view the trailer, learn more about the film and sign up to become an organ donor.


Housing Solutions for Middle-Income Earners

The appeal of city living encompasses far more than just the allure of having a convenient base in the hub of the daily hustle and bustle. With less travelling time and more time for “living”, city dwellers can truly enjoy urban living to the full, as they have more time available to explore their city’s offerings and mingle with a cosmopolitan mix of people. They can more frequently visit local establishments and enjoy cultural and health activities, without the stress of lengthy commuting afterwards.

However, despite rapid developments in our cities, housing solutions have overwhelmingly been provided at the lowest and uppermost ends of the market – leaving the millions of households in the middle without an entry point into the urban property market.

“An unfavourable situation exists in the South African housing sector, whereby the government is required to cater to the needs of people falling in the lower end of the income bracket (<R3 500) and the private sector traditionally caters to the needs of those at the high end of the income bracket (> R30 000),” says Rashiq Fataar, Director of Future Cape Town.

No one caters to those in-between (early career persons, key or essential services workers), which traps many families in long-term renting or long commutes, and denies them the security of home ownership in favourable or well-located areas.

The limited supply of both land and houses and a relatively noncompetitive housing market where sellers dictate the cost of land, along with relatively uncompetitive building costs, has exerted significant upward pressure on rental, housing and land prices.

Rob McGaffin, a town planner and land economist, adds: “The housing sector is not delivering adequate stock at the rate and scale needed, nor is it serving the diversity of the market given varying levels of affordability and access to credit.”

The middle-income market – which have a total household income of R15 000 to R45 000 – therefore face tremendous pressure (financial and otherwise) in trying to access housing opportunities, particularly in well-located areas of the city. This group also falls outside of the gap and social housing market (R3 500 to R15 000), and therefore cannot access government subsidies or support.

As a result, middle-income groups are either forced to rent, or tend to buy property in the outer suburbs where housing is cheaper but where they are unable to access shared public assets. Moreover, they lose out on the savings from massively reduced transport and time costs.

Housing solutions for the middle-income earners needed

When looking at the global picture, a UN report notes that “in 2016, an estimated 54.5 per cent of the world’s population lived in urban settlements. By 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60 per cent of people globally and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants”. It also states that between now and 2030, Johannesburg is expected to be amongst the world’s top ten megacities.

Cape Town’s population grew by 45,9% between 1996 and 2011 from 2 563 095 to 3 740 026 people. Currently, the Mother City’s population is estimated to be 3 860 589, reaching 4.46 million by 2032.

This growth in our cities without doubt calls for developers to find and create solutions for middle-income urban housing.

There is a need for local developers to cooperate more closely with government authorities and agencies at a local, regional and national level to address and shape living conditions that are feasible and long-standing and include the middle-income bracket.