22 March 2022
By Sharon Gugwini
AFDA has a long-standing history with the Silwerskerm Film Festival and that relationship continues for this year’s event.
The 10th Silwerskerm festival takes place from 23-26 March 2022 at the Bay Hotel in Camp’s Bay.
The festival will include the film competition, which has made it one of the best platforms for highlighting local emerging filmmakers.
“AFDA students and alumni have always had a strong presence at the festival showcasing their films every year,” says Earle Holmes, AFDA’s PR Manager.
The institution not only provides theoretical knowledge but student are equipped to thrive in their industries, according AFDA’s Dean Diaan Lawrenson.
“Our learning faculty are not only teachers but also practitioners within their fields of expertise and this adds to the learning ethos and our strong belief in creating relevant South African content that adds to Nation building and sustainable economies,” Lawrenson says.
AFDA alumnus Travis Taute’s feature film Indemnity will be making its South African premiere at Silwerskerm.
The Gambit Films-produced action thriller film is written and directed by Taute, who was also at the helm of Blood & Water (2020) and Number 37 (2018).
Indemnity follows Theo Abrams (played by Jarrid Geduld), an ex-firefighter in Cape Town who wakes up to his wife’s dead body and is forced to fight for his life after being framed.
“The most challenging aspects of this production was translating the various action sequences from script to screen. Action is notoriously expensive to produce, and we unfortunately don’t have the kinds of budgets used in Hollywood films,” Taute says
“So, for us, it was about deciding which set pieces were going to be the ones we would spend the most time and money on. But in saying that, the various sequences were all important to the overall story arc as they provided context to Theo’s emotional state. So, our challenge was to achieve an ambitious amount of action with extremely limited resources, which meant we had to be clever in designing certain set pieces.”
The Indemnity cast also includes seasoned actors Gail Mabalane and Hlomla Dandala.
The completion of Indemnity is an illustration of resilience and the local film industry’s dogged determination stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
When production on Indemnity started in March 2020, Taute and his team had no idea they would have to pack up because of the pandemic.
“Only three weeks into principal photography we had to shut down due to the national lockdown, as a result of cover-19. Fortunately, we were able to resume and complete production in June 2020 with an additional 2 weeks of filming.”
Indemnity has received much praise for its cinematography and has gained international recognition since its release at US in February.
Indemnity will premiere at Silwerskerm on 23 March at 20:00.
Another feature film – Stiekty produced by Homebrew films and directed by AFDA alumnus Etienne Fourie will screen at the Silwerskerm festival.
It was shot at the Atlantic Studios situated 30 minutes from Cape Town International Airport.
Fourie is no stranger to the festival having won the competition with the feature film Die Windpomp.
He has also produced project such as Dis Koue Kos, Skat and Liewe Kerfeesvader.
Stiekyt is the story of James, a struggling actor who secretly moonlights at a failing drag club in an effort to provide for his family.
Here, he not only battles to fit in as the only “straighty”, but has to also fight for his marriage after his wife discovers his secret, catching him red-handed in a dress.
“It’s predominantly a thriller, although the relationship drama and dark comedy aspects were really important to me as well. The balancing of tone was key. I wanted the film to be surprising and feel as fresh and novel as possible”, Fourie explains.
For Fourie, it was important to approach the storytelling from a personal point of view, unique but also relatable.
“It was an absolute joy to make this film. To me, Stiekyt is the highlight of my career thus far and I’m eternally grateful to everyone who made it possible.
“I can’t wait to finally — after more than two years — share it with audiences.”
The cast includes Paul du Toit, Cintaine Schutte, Illse Roos, Wessel Pretorius, Albert Pretorius, Jacques Bessenger, Herman Lensing, Carla Smith, Frannie van der Walt, Charlton George and Llandi Beeslaar.
Stiekyt will premiere at the festival on 24 March at 20:00.
Other feature films to keep an eye out for at the Silwerskerm Festival this year include Beurtkrag; Down so Long; Vlugtig and Gaia.
The films will screen at the Theater on the Bay or you watch the films from Silwerskerm festival website at the comfort of your home.
“Our focus and determination will always be to give local filmmakers a platform to tell their stories,” says Karen Meiring, director of M-Net’s kykNET Channels.