“RURAL FILM ART SCREENINGS” – CREATING ALTERNATIVE SCREENING PLATFORMS IN THE RURAL COMMUNITIES OF THE EASTERN CAPE
By Vuyo Madyibi
Khanyisile Zondi and Sivuyisiwe Giba attended their first inception meeting with optimism and a distinct plan of action for their Rural Film Art Screening endeavour. Khanyisile Zondi, a documentary filmmaker and PR and marketing professional, reached out to Sivuyisiwe Giba, also a documentary filmmaker and specialist in film production. Khanyi was drawn to Sivuyisiwe after joining the Documentary Filmmakers Association searching for another black woman in the association with whom she can connect and converse with.
The women’s identification of the need for film screenings in the rural areas arose out of addressing the fervent desideratum for access to information in the rural areas. Their main focus is creating an impact through training in documentary filmmaking as they believe that social issues and meaningful stories can be crafted through this niche of storytelling. Additionally, they hope to share their knowledge of documentary filmmaking to allow people to have the edification of filmmaking whilst also being able to use the resources readily available to them in a rural setting.
Khanyisile’s passion from the project stemmed from her upbringing in a rural area, and the need to migrate towards an urban area to achieve her dreams. Sivuyisiwe envisioned the project after doing a film in the village of Nqoko in the Eastern Cape, as the community was fascinated by the camera and equipment entering the area. She then realised the hunger for knowledge which exists in the community and how eager they were to learn this new skill. The team is hoping to uplift the community in teaching this new skill however they are cognisant of the possible shortcomings they will experience. Namely, the participants of the workshop wanted to reap the short-term benefits of the course, but they will only recognise it later and lastly, their personal strength being tested as they venture into the rural areas, unbeknownst of the social ills but ever ready to make a difference.
Nonetheless, the team has structured various workshop plans such as getting their brochures on how to make a film with a cell phone ready as well us pushing for participants to have completed a documentary in the course as physical proof that their patience, dedication, and passion is rewarded. The women are satisfied with the budget for the purposes of the project but are looking externally to continue the project outside of the voucher scheme as their belief in the beneficial education of film as a tool of financial, education and artistic freedom remain a dominating factor. Overall, the team is delighted to be a part of the AHSCE voucher scheme and shares the sentiments of sincerity expressed by all six beneficiaries.