Tafelsig women’s film wins her a bursary

Benchfilms director Alan Shelley , Antholeen Petersen and Benchfilms producer Hisham Samie.

Lights, camera and action. Zooming her focus on women empowerment, Antholeen Petersen, 24, from Tafelsig won the 48 Hour Film Project Bursary Competition, which was run in partnership with Cape Community Newspapers, which publishes Plainsman and its sister papers (“Aspiring film-makers: win a bursary”, Plainsman, July 27).

The prizegiving was held on Saturday September 3, at the Woodstock Eatery.

Antholeen’s film is about a homeless girl who refuses to accept her circumstances, takes control of her life and makes a change.

The fim was shot at Kapteinsklip in Tafelsig and Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre library.

Antholeen, who is also a spoken word poet, will now have the opportunity to study film and television technique at City Varsity which sponsored the R140 000 bursary.

When she was announced the winner of the bursary, her first words were: “I am ecstatic and blessed.”

Antholeen said the aim of the film was to inspire viewers with the story of a woman of strength who used the little that she had to bring about an inner change, that would eventually translate into an outward change.

“I am from Tafelsig and my surroundings are not favourable, but as a young person, you need to stand up and make the change. There are so many opportunities for our young people out there, you just need to tap into it,” she said.

Antholeen said she enjoyed making the movie and looks forward to studying at City Varsity.

“It was stressful but doable. I remained focused and my team was very supportive. I would like to thank everyone for their support,” she said.

The 48 Hour Film Competition takes place in over 140 cities around the world each year. This is the fifth year the competition is run in Cape Town. The competition has two legs to it: you compete locally – and this year there was a record of 40 teams which entered – and the winner’s film then goes up against all the international city winners in Los Angeles to compete for a spot in Cannes film festival the following year.

Teams are required to write, shoot, edit and score a four to seven-minute film in 48 hours.

Benchfilms are the producers of the Cape Town leg of the competition and the bursary competition ran parallel to the main competition.

This year Plainsman, Vukani, Southern Mail and Athlone News, which are published by Cape Community Newspapers, partnered with Bench Films, producers of the Cape Town leg of the 48 Hour Film Project to extend the reach of the film challenge.

Cape Community Newspapers editor Chantel Erfort said the aim of the project was to reach aspiring film makers who would like to pursue filmmaking as a career, but were unable to afford tuition costs.

“Through the four CCN titles involved in this venture, we ran a call to young people to send us an essay in which they described their interest in film, influences, and why they felt they should be among the group that CCN would be sponsoring to talk part in the challenge.

“From the entries we received, we shortlisted nine candidates, seven of whom eventually took part in the 48 Hour Film Project, which challenges film makers to write, shoot and hand in a completed short film in just 48 hours,” she said.

Speaking about Ms Petersen’s film, Ms Erfort said she “hit the nail on the head with her approach, kept it simple, worked with a small team and managed what many other teams only dream of – she turned in her completed film an hour before the cut-off on Sunday August 21.

“I also liked that she capitalised on her own strengths as a poet, using poetry as the verbal narrative of her movie. I also found the imagery of her home town of Mitchell’s Plain to be particularly striking,” she said.

To this, Benchfilms producer Hisham Samie, said: “Antholeen has no formal training, but was able to tell a coherent story through her writing, shot choices and music score.

“We receive a high number of student film entries. Her film definitely stood out among the rest.

“Her attitude and approach to the competition has been great from the first day we met her, showing a love for storytelling and determination required to see production though to the end,” he said.

lRocklands resident Christopher September, who was among those competing for the bursary, will be showing Maxine, the short film he made during the 48 Hour Film Project, at Midtown Restaurant, 95 Plein Street, Cape Town, on Saturday September 10, at 3pm.

For details, call Christopher on 084 673 9981.