May 19, 2013
May 13, 2013
I found the film to be a bit stilted and slow, and I wasn’t particularly impressed by the acting. What really irritated me was the continual focus on matches, fire and smoking. Okay, the main dude gets burned to death, but after the fifth smoking scene, where the sound of each match and every inhale is exaggerated to the hilt, it loses its impact. I had to stop myself laughing out loud, because the atmosphere at The Bioscope was one of deadly seriousness.
In the talks afterwards there was a massive amount of emotion coming out from the crowd, many of whom were foreigners, some of whom had been victims of xenophobia, or at least, prejudice, themselves. They were so passionate they spoke before they had collected their thoughts at times, and the makers of the film showed great patience in translating what was being said.
I found myself itching to ask the film-makers one burning question: ‘Were any cigarettes hurt or killed in the making of this film?” But I thought people might find this trite or trivial, coming from a so-called white. It was mainly to break the atmosphere of deadly seriousness. So I asked the main actor, (Hakeem?) the question afterwards, in the coffee shop, and he replied, “no, only matches” and then I wished I had asked it earlier.
I like what Omotso is doing and what the exhibition was about. It’s about, in their words, “doing something”, where most of us are content to do very little, or fuckall. So my reaction is kind of embarrassing, and I’m not sure if I would want it published.
It’s probably got to do with where I come from: I was someone who did little for anyone else, then I became involved, then I felt somewhat let down by those I was trying to help, and I got mugged a couple of times, beaten and stabbed and tied up, (by Zimbabweans, how is that for irony) and I went to a point where I became far more selfish and less willing to help others.
I’m busy coming back from there to a more balanced way of seeing others and deciding where I can be involved again. But I’m still quite wary of ‘wading in’ with good intentions because I have seen what happens if you don’t know what you are doing.
For example, some friends of mine tried to help some destitute San/Bushmen and now the one guy they were working with can’t return to his own community because there was miscommunications and jealousy … similar things, but not as bad, happened when funding became available to the marimba band I was working with … so you have to know what you are doing when you want to ‘help’.
A conversation I had with my partner after watching the movie revolved around living with integrity (not doing harm to others) and doing tiny things every single moment of your life, every day, such as paying attention to what a child is doing or saying, as ways of ‘doing something’ – it doesn’t have to be on a grand scale, like creating a new school, or joining an activist group.
So the film did inspire thought and words, for sure, which is what any good art aims to do .. surely.
May 8, 2013
May 7, 2013
May 5, 2013
April 26, 2013
FIVE YEARS ON – SCALABRINI HOSTS “man on ground” SCREENING ON ANNIVErSARY OF 2008 XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS
With the “Tell Them We Are From Here Project” the producers of “Man on Ground” are handing over the baton to South African communities by helping them to tell their stories and reflect on their lives and questions concerning identity, belonging and exclusion
The “The Tell Them We Are From Here Project” is an audio-visual initiative targeting youth in under-resourced communities across South Africa. The project is an offshoot from the film “Man On Ground”. Using the medium of film, the project is designed to inspire creativity, encourage youth activism and storytelling through film under the banner “We Are From Here”. ‘Here’ being planet earth”.
Using video cameras, the participating youth will tell their own stories and reflect over who they are, where they are from and how that has shaped them. The filmed five-minutes stories will be part of an exhibition by the name “Tell Them We Are From Here” to be screened and discussed among the participants as well as a wider audience.
The project has a Facebook page and this and the use of other related media, print, television, on-line presence will fuel continual interest in what the project is trying to achieve in the society and will definitely generate interest leading up to the exhibition, not just in this country but beyond our borders.
The Xenophobic attacks of 2008
On the evening of Sunday 11th May 2008, young men in Johannesburg’s Alexandra Township forced their way into a hostel on London Road and initiated a merciless attack on residents they deemed to be ‘foreigners’. From this spark, the murder, rape and looting directed at the bodies and belongings of non-South Africans spread within days from Alexandra to informal settlements in Diepsloot and the East Rand, where a Mozambican man, Ernesto Nhamuavhe, was burned alive while bystanders were laughing. By the time the violence subsided in early June, sixty-two people had died- a third of them South Africans.
The violence led to a state of profound national and continental shock followed by soul searching. The film “Man On Ground” was part of this soul searching and its producers commissioned research into the cause of the violence and its unfolding. One of the displaced children interviewed by the researcher was asked what he would say to his attackers if he met them. He replied; “Tell them we are from here.” – a declaration that perfectly encapsulated the ethos of “Man on Ground” and gave the project its name
The Film “Man on Ground”
Ade and Femi are expatriate Nigerian brothers. Ade is a successful banker in London, while Femi, once a political dissident in his home country has had to escape to South Africa, lives in refugee tenements and work menial jobs. The brothers have not only been physically estranged, their relationship is riddled with unspoken betrayal, guilt and scorn, which they have carried since the early days of their youth. During a short visit to Johannesburg, Ade discovers that his brother has been missing for a week. He sets out to investigate Femi’s mysterious disappearance, reconstructing the pieces of his everyday life and the cruel hardships he endured just to survive. A riot erupts while Ade is visiting Femi’s former boss, Timothi, in Extension 29. Ade is forced to take shelter with the employer. The mounting violence outside seeps into their exchanges and, eventually, prompts an explosion of revelation.
Cast and crew
The film stars Hakeem kae-Kazim (Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End), Fabian Adeoye Lojede (Jacob’s Cross), Fana Mokoena (Hotel Rwanda), Bubu Mazibuko (Catch A Fire), Makhoala Ndebele (Hijack stories), Mandisa Bardill (Nomzamo) and Thishiwe Ziqubu in her first role.
“Man On Ground” was produced by Rosie Motene, A.K Tshabalala, Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Hakeem kae-Kazim and Akin Omotoso.
To fund the film, the team opted for crowd funding, a method that reflects the ethos of the film and the “Tell Them We Are From Here-Project”
Crowd Funding describes the action of mobilizing the support of people who network and pool their money and other resources together to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Letters were sent to family and friends and friends of friends asking them donations beginning at R1000 in return for an Associate Producer credit. Donations came from around the world, mostly from people the team had never met but who believed in the producers’ vision and shared the ideals of the film.
“Man On Ground” premiered at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in September 2011. It was the only South African film selected to screen at the 2012 edition of The Berlin International Film Festival and it won two awards at the African Movie Academy Awards in April 2012.
“A cross hybridization of BBC police thriller and Bergmanesque meditation on intra-African immigration, “Man On Ground” boasts some literally fantastic flourishes. Helmer Akin Omotoso is a stylist of considerable flair”.
“A skillfully told drama, economical, highly accomplished sense of style, recurring images and symbols foreshadow in unexpected ways. The actors turn in entirely convincing portrayals of these conflicted people without a false note between them”
Art & Culture Mavern
“With “Man On Ground”, director Akin Omotoso exemplifies the kind of filmmaking that makes cinema worthwhile with a film that’s thoughtful, intelligent and heartbreaking. It tackles a notoriously difficult subject with sensitivity, yet unflinching directness (not to mention beautifully crafted cinematography) and still manages to insert moments of gentle humour and unexpected sensuality.
April 1, 2013
March 10, 2013
keep reading this article here: http://pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/03/10/omotoso-jacobs-blechers-otelo-win-big-at-amvca/
January 29, 2013
see the full list of award nominees here: http://mzansimagic.dstv.com/2013/01/29/amvca-nominees/
September 6, 2012
August 7, 2012
August 2, 2012
July 31, 2012
July 23, 2012
July 22, 2012
BEST ACTOR (FILM)
WALE OJO (PHONE SWAP)
BENJAMIN (MR & MRS)
CHET ANEKWE (UNWANTED GUESTS)
HAKEEM KAE KAZIM (MAN ON GROUND)
RAMSEY NOUAH( MEMORIES OF MY HEART)
PASCAL ATUMA (WHO IS THE MAN)
BEST FILM DIRECTOR
KUNLE AFOLAYAN (PHONE SWAP)
TADE OGIDAN (FAMILY ON FIRE)
TUNDE KELANI (MAAMI)
DANIEL ADEMINOKAN (UNWANTED GUESTS)
LEILA DJANSI (TIES THAT BIND)
AKIN OMOTOSHO (MAN ON GROUND)
see the full list here: http://www.nairaland.com/961950/nea-awards-2012-wizkid-brymo
July 21, 2012
July 15, 2012
July 13, 2012
July 10, 2012
July 5, 2012
July 4, 2012
July 3, 2012
keep reading this review here: http://www.flavourmag.co.uk/review-man-on-ground/