Having dedicated over a decade to the art of photography, OSJ is expanding its horizons into the realm of motion pictures. In partnership with CinemaTAKE, OSJ is currently running an exciting seven month film course which launched in September 2023, featuring workshops led by CinemaTAKE founders Emilie Demon, Muriel Huet, and film director Mpumelelo Mcata. The highlight of this collaboration will be the creation of a short film by OSJ students, to be screened at the upcoming CCAJ 5-day film festival (A nous le cinéma!) in Lisbon, Portugal, from 3 – 7 June 2024.
The film course, catering for up to 15 children aged 12 to 16, consists of monthly workshops on Saturdays (September 2023 – April 2024) totalling 30 to 40 hours, and four shoot days between April and May 2024. This initiative aims to empower underprivileged South African youth by imparting filmmaking skills, providing a platform for creative expression, and fostering positive community impact.
The short film created by the OSJ students will explore the subject of filming the world, the self, and the other – attempting to answer documentary cinema’s enduring question of defining and capturing the subject (the other) in relation to the filmmaker (self) and their environment (the world).
“We’re so excited about this collaboration, as it aligns with our mission to cultivate artistic expression and storytelling skills among the youth. It’s also such an honour to be the first on the continent to take part in the CCAJ programme, where we’ll be able to bring fresh perspectives that help to enrich the global cinematic landscape,” says Jabulani Dhlamini, Of Soul and Joy project manager.
To celebrate this collaboration, OSAJ and CinemaTAKE will also host the Tigritudes Pan African Film Cycle, sponsored by the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), on 2 December, 2023 at 3pm at the OSJ headquarters in Buhlebuzile High School, Thokoza.
This free screening will showcase African short films from the 1960s, offering a cinematic journey through history, social issues, and human experiences. The event will also include a Q&A session with a guest speaker, providing an opportunity for insightful discussions.