Silwerskermfees 2016: The short and the long of it

Next week Silwerskermfees will once again commandeers the Table Bay Hotel to screen for the best local feature films and 13 commissioned short films from 24 – 27 August 2016.

Here’s a few of the films I’m most excited about:


Tess is about a sex worker who gets pregnant, how she got to that point and more importantly, what she’s going to do about it now. The film features a diverse cast that paints a true picture of South Africa.

I came across the film poster for Tess on Instagram and even though the name and the image was dramatically different to the novel, I immediately knew it was based on Tracey Farren’s Whiplash. I rcan not remember all the details of the book, but I do remember a feeling which is how, despite having just looked at a million pics of stranger’s lunch on Instagram, I identified the essence of the novel on Christia Visser’s (the eponymous star ofTess) face.

With: Christia Visser, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Brendon Daniels, Lee-Ann van Rooi, Quanita Adams and Greg Kriek.

13988116_318327588506951_587711829203814384_oNoem my Skollie: Elke roeping het ’n prys

Just last week South African rap-rave group Die Antwoord accused the makers of the blockbuster Suicide Squad for ripping off their look. Twitter in turn was quick to call out Die Antwoord for appropriating the gangster culture of the Cape flats.

Now forget everything you know about the above mentioned mess.

Set in the 60s Noem my Skollie looks at the real life experiences of the people living on the Cape Flats and joining a gang. Noem my Skollie is the directorial debut of Daryne Joshua and is based on the life of scriptwriter John W. Fredericks. Joshua who was born in raised on the Cape Flats made a point to cast actors similar backgrounds of the characters.

With: DJ Mouton, Austin Rose, Tarryn Wyngaard, Christian Bennett, Gershwin Mias, Oscar Peterson, Abdu Adams, Peter Butler, Charlton George, Jill ­Levenberg en Denise Newman.

Promising short films…

Die-Bok-Poster-723x1024Die Bok

A bitter pregnant women fights to protect her rose garden against a goat while her marriage is deteriorating.

Philip van Zyl is the director and writer of Die Bok. He is a film-maker from Pretoria with a love for truly South African stories with a strong human element.

Beloofde-Land-Poster-729x1024Beloofde Land

Lodewyk Mouton is the naive ruler of the dictatorship Anskroepolis. When a group of socialist rebels arrives at his manor house and threatens to topple him, Lood is confronted with the reality of his bubble-existence and the misery of his people.

Mia Cilliers is a writer and director of Cape Town with a background in documentary films, web series and reality television. She obtained a master’s degree in documentary arts from the University of Cape Town. She is the author and director of Beloofde Land.


If we could just disappear.

Marisa Drummond is a famous film and theatre actress and director of Spoor(loos). She made her directorial debut in the new kykNET soap Getroud met Rugby. The author of the short film is the PANSA-winning author Jannes Erasmus, making his short film debut.

Click here to snag the last few tickets to Silwerkermfees 2016.



Acoustics Underground: Francois van coke and Arno Carstens

Arno Carstens, Francios van Coke and Jett Kossew at Acoustics Underground at the Chavonnes Battery Museum Foto Credit: Chavonnes Battery Museum via Facebook

Arno Carstens, Francois van Coke and Jett Kossew at the Chavonnes Battery Museum         Photo Credit: Chavonnes Battery Museum via Facebook

It was a few months before the turn the century and a corporate was once again breaking ground on prime V&A Waterfront real estate to build boring offices. However, the power tools were soon downed in favour of excavation tools (in my mind it’s a million UCT archaeological students with fine brushes) when the ruins a 17th Century battery was discovered. The Chavonnes Battery is now a nerd fabulous museum where one can wear a tricorn hat and experience a sliver of Cape Town’s history that was almost lost under concrete and overpriced suits.

On Wednesday evening we were versed on a slightly newer chapter of the Mother City’s history, as Francois van Coke along with Arno Carstens and Jett Kossew opened Acoustics Underground with fokofolisiekar’s Hemel op die platteland.

The set was a retrospective of tunes from Francois van Coke (fokofpolisiekar, van Coke Kartel and solo) and Arno Carstens’ (Springbok Nude Girls and solo) projects peppered with a few covers of songs that inspired them. Carstens also debuted a few new songs off his Afrikaans album, so brand spanking new that he used sheet music.

Though the show had elements of van Coke and Carstens’ Blood Brothers performance last year where the duo teamed up with 8 other South African legends for the Vrede Foundation, the stunning venue added to the performance like no commercial space can. Acoustics Underground is the bottle of moderately priced wine you reluctantly share, to Blood Brothers’ shot of Jose Cuervo with a slice of orange*.

The cover of the evening was ACDC’s Highway to Hell reimagined as a ballad. Just as Carstens had the crowd whipped up like congregants receiving the spirit with his take on Hozier’ Take Me To Church at Blood Brothers, I could see quite a few people ready to call shotgun if he announced a road trip on said highway.

When I looked at how the three musos interacted with each other (at that point I had a unique top down view of the stage standing on a walkway) the word that came to mind is not often associated with rock n roll, mindfulness. Like when Carstens quietly swapped microphones with van Coke while the latter seemed to have mild technical difficulties during Toe vind ek jou. The 2 lead singers respectively stepped back, in a manner of speaking of course as they were seated, as the other took the rein of their respective treffers.

After being buried so many years, Underground Acoustics concert series gives the Chavonnes Battery a masterclass in the local music scene, pulling it into the 21st Century while still respecting the integrity of its hallowed walls.

The next Underground Acoustics features Judith Sephuma and Camillo Lombard on Wednesday, 18 August.

* Catch Blood Brothers at Carnival City on 9 of September 2016 with new recruit Zolani Mahola (!) replacing Arno Carstens. Unfortunately, there won’t be a Cape Town gig this year