LivingIt Ubuntu Film Festival


The work of young amateur South African filmmakers will be publicly celebrated at the fifth annual LivingIt Ubuntu Youth Film Festival, taking place at the US Woordfees at Oude Libertas Arts and Culture Centre in Stellenbosch on 13 March 2016.

The festival, which was made possible by a grant from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), will screen a series of short five-minute films produced by amateur youth.  Besides its mission of ‘ubuntu’ – bringing people together – the festival has a legacy of fostering talent, with works on YouTube, and seen on local television and screens as far afield as Boston, Toronto, Edinburgh and London. Some of its winners, such as Kobus Potgieter, have gone on to become filmmakers.

LivingIt is a non-profit organisation with an impressive track record of success in giving voice to the hopes and dreams of young people in South Africa. Programme activities challenge, inspire, support and train young South Africans to produce short films of under five minutes.

This year’s Festival theme is Ubuntu (stay/happy/bly/hlala/onwabile). With the assistance of skilled professionals, these films are generated entirely by the young people, from script writing, acting and shooting the film, to final editing. In this way the participants are provided with a wide range of skills and opportunities while using film as a vehicle to voice the hopes and dreams of youngsters, for a united world.

The top five competition entries will be announced at the Festival and each of these will receive R6 000, part sponsored by the Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuurvereniging. Further prizes will be awarded at an Artscape screening in August.

Teens who take part in LivingIt’s programme and who show a talent in the various aspects of filmmaking (from pre-production to script-writing to acting) are linked to national and international educational institutions where they can further their education to become employable within South Africa’s film industry.

Two one-day introductory workshops were held in Cape Town in December 2015 to guide and assist aspirant young film makers in getting started.  In addition, a one-day workshop at City Varsity film school was made available in January to the first five individuals or groups who appealed for final tweaking and assistance of their entries at City Varsity film school.

A pre-screening of the film entries along with short films from other organisations that work with young people and children making their own movies, will be shown on 9 March 2016 at 15h30 in the Neelsie, Stellenbosch University. A permanent interactive art installation, Afrigamibirds, inspired by the Japanese tradition of seeking to make a wish come true by folding 1000 paper cranes, will also be on display at the Oude Libertas Art Gallery.  This installation reflects the wishes of diverse communities for a peaceful and compassionate society that lives in harmony with the earth.

Entry to both the Film Festival, pre-screening and art installation is free.

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Photo L-R: Liam de Blique, Ronel Geldenhuys, Angus Innes, Karmelita, & Nicole