first published here: http://www.filmcontact.com/africa/south-africa/good-report-receives-critical-acclaim-lff
February 23, 2014
October 21, 2013
October 20, 2013
One of the shows that has been banned focused on Right2Know’s Vula ‘ma Connextion campaign for the right to communicate. The show featured a robust debate with cell phone operators and senior government officials from the Dept of Communications as well as State Security focused on the impact of failed government policy and profiteering in undermining the public’s right to know.
The SABC’s canning of the Big Debate smacks of political censorship and an abuse of the public broadcaster to protect certain individuals’ political interests. In its first season of 10 episodes the Big Debate offered viewers high quality programming and deep level debates on various current affairs pertinent to South Africa.
We wholeheartedly reject Kaizer Kganyago’s (SABC’s head of group communications) statement that the show was pulled for reasons of editorial oversight, and that news and current affairs programmes should not be outsourced. It is telling that the SABC suddenly discovered this so-called ‘lapse’ once the first season had ended, and the show had earned a reputation as a tough-talking debate where Ministers went to be ‘sliced, diced and fried’ . It would appear that the SABC wants to insource current affairs because the programme producers are too independently-minded for the broadcaster, and they have developed cold feet with a national election looming.
This has happened as the SABC is on a nationwide roadshow to ensure public participation in the review of editorial policies. The decision flies in the face of the current and draft policies which both commit the public broadcaster to reflect the diverse range of South African attitudes and opinions. At recent public appearances the SABC GCEO Lulama Mokhobo held up the Big Debate as the best example of this diversity.
The SABC is being dragged back to the days when it was a state broadcaster practicing political censorship ahead of the public’s right to know.
In the wake of SABC’s acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s recent call for the production of 70% ‘good news’ we are witnessing the continued erosion of the broadcaster’s independence. We do not want skewed and biased sunshine journalism from our public broadcaster – we want real news, culture and current affairs!
The public are fed a diet of cheap American sitcoms, aspirational soap operas and poor quality foreign programming in part because of the perennial underfunding and financial mismanagement at the SABC. The Big Debate is a massively popular exception to this that gives South Africans a taste of what a true public broadcaster can deliver.
The Right2Know reiterates our call for an SABC that is publicly funded and free of state or corporate censorship of editorial content.
PUBLIC CALL TO PROTEST AT THE SABC:
In protest at the continuing censorship and lack of editorial independence at the SABC, as well as the canning of the Big Debate, we are issuing a public call to protest: Thursday 24 October 2013 from 12:00am-14:00pm outside the SABC in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
For further comment contact:
Dale McKinley (Cell: 072 429 4086)
Julie Reid (Cell: 082 885 8969)
October 8, 2013
October 7, 2013
September 30, 2013
first published here: http://mg.co.za/article/2013-09-30-joburg-art-fair-artists-back-each-other-up
September 28, 2013
September 27, 2013
first published here: http://www.citypress.co.za/politics/zuma-painting-censored/
first published here: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Joburg-Art-Fair-removes-Zuma-painting-20130927
September 23, 2013
August 30, 2013
Claudia Jansen van Rensburg: Silence, censorship, audibility and the South African musical landscape
In 1948 the Swedish philosopher Max Picard wrote of bringing what is kept silent into the ‘loud places of history’, in his work The world of silence. This notion resonates strongly with the South African situation and its shift from apartheid to democracy in 1994. The democratic state, so crippled by the legacy of censorship and secrecy, appointed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to make South Africa’s silenced political landscape of the past audible to the masses. However, in the case of the arts and particularly music, this transition occurred in a more gradual manner. It is argued that the silencing (and eventual audibility) of music under apartheid, depended largely on the inner-workings of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, or SABC, and its response to South Africa’s broader political and ideological contexts at the time. The paper serves to critically examine the notion of music and silence initiated by the censorship of music with specific reference to the role of the SABC, the manner in which silenced music began to reach the South African public in the late 1980s and 1990s, and the legacy of silence in present day South Africa. Finally, the paper serves to relate the discussion to more recent moments of musical censorship in a post-apartheid South Africa and its current musical landscape. In this paper the term ‘landscape’ refers to a constructed space of sonic aesthetic production, subject to political and ideological interference and which has been shaped by silence and the processes of censorship.
Claudia Jansen van Rensburg (Stellenbosch) completed a BA in music in 2007 at the University of Pretoria and then spent a year in Moscow, Russia at the Gnessin Academy of Music as a foreign student. After returning to South Africa, Claudia enrolled for a BMus(Hons) at Stellenbosch University. In 2012 she completed her MMus in musicology under the supervision of Prof Stephanus Muller. Her MMus research focused on music censorship structures within the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) from 1974 to 1996. She is currently a PhD candidate at Stellenbosch University. Since 2012 she has served on the executive committee of the South African Society for Research in Music (SASRIM) as the society’s treasurer.
August 14, 2013
August 12, 2013
July 29, 2013
first published here: http://www.citypress.co.za/news/unbanned-of-good-report-wins-appeal/
July 27, 2013
keep reading this article here: http://www.citypress.co.za/entertainment/our-ideas-are-being-policed/
July 23, 2013
keep reading this article here: http://africasacountry.com/this-film-has-been-banned/
may be a young South African filmmaker, but he’s accomplished plenty in his time so far in the industry.
His work has been highlighted at film festivals around the world, and his 2005 HIV/AIDS documentary, “Talk to Me,” won a 2005 Peabody Award. His 2010 film, “A Small Town Called Descent,” premiered at the 31st Durban Film Festival, and his latest pic, “Of Good Report,” which he calls “Little Red Riding Hood from the wolf’s perspective,” was set to open the 34th Durban Film Festival on Thursday, but the opening screening was cancelled when the South African government refused to grant the film a license.
Before the dramatic events surrounding the cancelled opening night unfolded, he spoke to Variety about his approach to filmmaking.
Tell us about your new film project, “Of Good Report.”
The film charts the somber tale of a deranged man’s attempt at getting away with the brutal murder of a teenage beauty queen. In all honesty, this film is my indulgent homage to everything I fell in love with in what is termed “film noir,” or as I understand it to mean: films with a dark, unnerving edge to them. I would loosely describe it as disquieting whilst delivering an eerily engaging insight into a fractured mind.
The film is very macabre, yet it is fused with a humorous sensibility which for me was an imperative in order to make it palatable. Often the only way to deal with some of the uncomfortable bits is to have a nervous chuckle at them.
What inspired this project?
I intended the film to be a serial killer origins story. Our protagonist is a social misfit who grows into an inadequate man hell-bent on satisfying his shameful lust. It is told from the perspective of the perpetrator, which can be challenging considering that most of what he does can hardly be described as redeeming, to say the least. I am fascinated by the darker aspects of the human psyche.
You host “The Films that Made Me.” Can you explain how the five films you feature had an impact on you?
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The five films that I selected at some time or another in my life moved me to such a degree that they directly influenced my storytelling. Although they are all very different films, they share a common thread. The directors were what I would consider mavericks. The first film is Godfrey Reggio’s “Koyaanisqatsi” — a film that for me challenged the very DNA of what constituted narrative filmmaking. I vehemently disagree with the common assertion that this film has no story. To the contrary, the narrative is very evident.
John Schlesinger’s “Midnight Cowboy” — this remains one of my all-time favorite films. Not enough praise can ever be given to Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman for their stellar and inspiring performances. The other three films are Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Quest for Fire” (I really hope no one ever re-makes this classic), Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran” and Oliver Schmitz’s “Mapantsula,” a 1987 South African film that set the bar so high for local filmmaking that it has, up to this day, not been surpassed in its balance between characterization and plot.
What are you bringing to the South African film market?
I intend to bring anarchy, mayhem and dissent to an industry I feel is a sleeping giant. I want to tear the whole rule book to shreds and say to younger filmmakers, “Let your soul pilot your endeavors. It’s okay to fail if you gave it your best shot.” I am an eternal optimist with a strong streak of narcissism.
As a South African filmmaker, what kinds of challenges do you face?
As a filmmaker of African Descent I find that my artistic expression or work is not judged with the same discerning eye as that of my European or American counterparts. What I mean by that is, even if I set out to make a relatively universal story, because of the African context, the work is often viewed differently. For instance, my film “Of Good Report,” could have been set anywhere in the world. This could be a teacher in New Jersey. But because my character preys on young girls in a far flung, poor, rural village in Africa as opposed to Soho, London, the film will not be seen as a serial killer origins story, but instead, it will be seen as a story of grave social depravity that leads a young man of meager means on the wrong path. The socio-economic stigma cast on African art by external eyes can often be deflating. It’s almost as if the outside world does not want to see us making anything else but movies about HIV or child soldiers. But I won’t let it get to me. I have too many films to make.
With Nelson Mandela #nelsonmandela in the news, a lot of outsiders think of South Africa in terms of race and politics. Do local audiences want this topic addressed, or do they prefer escapism?
The entire world is fixated with race and politics. Look at the Trayvon Martin case in America. Race will always rear its ugly head. The Mandela saga has obviously brought our country under focus, but I just think that is a reflection of how we all feel about race and politics globally. I do think though it is time humanity lets the old man go in peace. He has done his part, now it’s our turn.
June 12, 2013
first published here: http://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/80075-iol-hit-by-dos-attack.html
May 20, 2013
first published here: http://www.citypress.co.za/news/the-doccie-the-sabc-doesnt-want-franschhoek-to-see/
May 7, 2013
Why France doesn’t want to let Aminata Traoré in and Germany allowed her only inside Berlin’s city limits
keep reading this article here: http://africasacountry.com/2013/04/30/aminata-traore-had-a-ticket-to-ride-and-we-dont-care/