Zoey Black is a transgender woman of colour living in Cape Town. She is trans rights activist, actress, freelance writer and digital content creator. She is employed with Gender Dynamix, a non-profit organisation with a focus on championing human rights for trans and gender diverse persons and communities in Southern Africa. Zoey is the organisation’s Legal and Education Advocacy Officer and leads the legal, policy and educational reform initiatives and projects. In her personal capacity, Zoey publicly advocates for trans rights and visibility, and broadens the scope of trans representation and narratives through her social media and online platforms, including her recently launched Youtube channel. Her channel acts as a resource in providing accessible information on trans specific issues, including accessing hormone replacement therapy, and changing one’s name and gender marker at the Department of Home Affairs. Working in tandem with her YouTube channel, Zoey runs a blog, which focuses on sharing her personal experiences and narrative as a transgender woman, including issues around discrimination and violence, mental health and wellness, and acceptance and tolerance. In addition, Zoey is studying toward a Bachelor of Laws, with intensions to enhance her capacity to further assist vulnerable persons and communities in accessing their rights, as well as contributing to the development of policy and legislation which will enhance, promote and protect the rights of marginalised members of society.
Theresa Ryan – van Graan is a film producer. She heads up Penzance Films in conjunction with Oliver Hermanus and spent seven years as Head of Productions at Moonlighting Films. During this time, she was SA Production Executive on Season 4 of Homeland and actively involved in the servicing and pre-production of the films Invictus, Safe House, The Giver and Mad Max: Fury Road, amongst others. In addition to working with Oliver Hermanus on his previous film The Endless River, she is the co-producer of his latest film Moffie, which arrives in local cinemas on March 13th 2020.
Nicola Hanekom has been a freelance actress, director and writer for the past twenty years. Her theatre work as writer/director includes a series of site-specific productions; Betésda, Lot, Babbel and Land van Skedels. As a writer and performer, Nicola created Trippie, and her self-penned one-woman show Hol/Running on Empty. These together with her latest play In glas have garnered twelve Kanna awards, eleven Fiësta awards, two ATKV writing awards and one Aartvark award. Nicola was also awarded the Eugène Marais Prize for her collection of plays Die pad byster. She has written and directed two short films, Trippie and Unspoken. Her short, Trippie won two Silwerskermfees awards. Cut-Out Girls is her first feature film and arrives in local cinemas on November 22nd.
Puleng Lange-Stewart is a writer, playwright, filmmaker, director, designer and illustrator. In 2016, she was one of three shortlisted writers in the national PEN student writing competition. Her writing has appeared in the 2017 African Literature curriculum at UCT. Her first independent short film, written and directed with Jannous Aukema, Until the Silence Comes, was selected for the 2017 Cape Town International Film Festival and was nominated for an audience award at the Shnit International Short Film Festival. Her primary focus is in interdisciplinary performance and multimedia integration. As a queer, feminist, artist and mother of colour, she hopes to find ways to explore and question the practices and hierarchies that continue to erode human dignity and self-determinacy for so many within the context of South Africa and Africa as a whole. Her work is deeply embedded in a decolonial framework which hopes to elevate and recentre African bodies and voices as a response to its violent historical negation. During the 2018 Open Book Festival, Puleng will appear on a panel entitled Moving Pictures and Borders. Continue reading
Actress and artist, Jemma Kahn returns to the Alexander Bar with In Bocca al lupo, her latest Kamishibai endeavor. Following the breakout success that was Epicene Butcher and We Didn’t Come To Hell For The Croissants, Jemma has become a pioneer of not only the Kamishibai style in South Africa but for boldly creating her own boundary-pushing work. Continue reading
Bonnie Rodini is a casting director, writer, director and producer working in the film and television industry. Best known for her feature film, The Story of an African Farm, Bonnie began her career as a ballet dancer before moving into the world of acting and eventually the world of filmmaking. Continue reading
Following a limited release last year, Tess, the award-winning film based on the novel Whiplash by Tracey Farren, releases across South Africa tomorrow. Director Meg Rickards has assembled an entirely South African crew and cast, lead by Christia Visser to tell the haunting story of Tess, a 20-year-old sex worker whose life is turned upside down when she discovers that she’s pregnant. We sat down with Meg and Christia to discuss their work on this groundbreaking film.
Shnit International Shortfilmfestival (October 5th to 9th) is the wold’s first truly international, multicultural short film festival, hosted in 8 cities across 5 continents. For 5 days, shnit brings together thousands of filmmakers and film lovers across Cape Town for an unforgettable short film experience. What started as a local initiative in the heart of Europe is now a transnational event that connects and inspires makers and fans of short films across the globe.