Exploratory films for all tastes. A programme of innovative short films by South African filmmakers:
The B-Sides is not for everyone. This is where we explore the forbidden. Dark humour and blood flows in equal parts. Definitely no under 18's
You are strongly advised to experience these films. They will be unlike anything you have seen before. Experimental, demanding, satisfying.
Universally recognized as one of the greatest Egyptian films ever made, The Night of Counting the Years is based on a true story: in 1881, when precious artifacts began showing up at market, it was discovered that members of the ancient Horbat tribe were secretly raiding Deir al-Bahari, the site of a legendary cache of royal mummies. The tribe had little livelihood other than selling antiquities, putting them in conflict with the Egyptian government's Antiquities Organization. After reading the script, Roberto Rossellini agreed to lend his name to the project, and Shadi Abdel Salam's film was completed in 1969. Extremely difficult to see from the 1970s onward, the film was restored in 2009 by Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation. Using original 35mm camera and sound negatives preserved at the Egyptian Film Center in Giza, the restoration preserves the film's poetic beauty, its evocative sense of history, and its themes of desecration and veneration. Filmed in classical Arabic, with a musical score by the great Italian composer Mario Nascimbene. Restored in 2009 by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna L'Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory. The film was restored with the support of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.
This screening is made possible by courtesy of THE EGYPTIAN EMBASSY of South Africa.
Georges Méliès (December 8, 1861 – January 21, 1938) was a French filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in early cinema, and is considered to be the father of special effects. He accidentally discovered the stop trick, or substitution, in 1896, and was one of the first filmmakers to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color in his films. Because of his ability to seemingly manipulate and transform reality through cinematography, Méliès is sometimes referred to as the First Cinemagician. Before being inspired to work in film after seeing a demonstration of the medium by the Lumiére brothers in 1895, Méliès did in fact work as a stage magician. Méliès directed 531 films between 1896 and 1914, ranging in length from one to forty minutes. In subject matter, these films are often similar to the magic theater shows that Méliès had been doing, containing "tricks" and impossible events, such as objects disappearing or changing size.
The Rotoscope Orchestra is an eclectic group of individuals led by Magalela Mtshali, with influences ranging from hip hop and jazz to experimental and the avante garde. Their first performance as a group fusing cinema and sound sees them explore a murky space of improvisation and nostalgia.
This event was made possible with the support of THE FRENCH INSTITUTE OF SOUTH AFRICA and the EMBASSY OF FRANCE in South Africa.
Gerard Holthuis (b.1952) started out as sculptor and switched to moving image and sound at the Free Academy in The Hague. During the eighties he worked as editor, cameraman and production manager. He was co-founder of the Filmstad Foundation, a workshop for experimental filmmakers. In 1995 he founded Filmstad Producties, a vehicle for producing independent films and installations.
Mr Holthuis has kindly granted the FLI permission to screen these three titles as part of the iMPAC Festival.
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, also known as Sunrise, is a 1927 American silent film directed by German film director F. W. Murnau. Sunrise won an Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production at the first ever Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. In 1937, Sunrise's original negative was destroyed in a nitrate fire. A new negative was created from a surviving print. In 1989, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry. The film contains the longest continuous tracking shot ever made up to that point: over four minutes in one take. Sunrise was F. W. Murnau's compelling American debut - his first project for Hollywood's Fox Film Corporation (and William Fox), but planned in Germany. It was the first feature film released with synchronized sound-on-film using the Fox Movietone system, and incorporating a musical score by Hugo Riesenfeld. It appeared at the very end of the silent era and came only a few days before the opening of Warner Bros.' famous 'first talkie' The Jazz Singer (1927).
Contemporary sound artist, Jacob Israel and soundscape architects, A Skyline on Fire, have created an original soundtrack for the film in quadraphonic sound. The score will be performed live on the night.
This aural experience is made possible with the help of MUSICA INSTRUMENTS & SEGMA.
Hidano Shuichi's cutting edge ideas and flawless facility on Taiko drums have introduced exciting possibilities to the worlds of traditional and contemporary theatre. Touring as a soloist with Stevie Wonder is one among his several notable achievements.
A unique collaboration between choreographers/dancers, Kenshi Nohmi (from Japan) and Jacki Job (from South Africa). Both in daily life and in theatre, Japanese and South African cultures are vastly different in their physical expression and understanding of rhythm. The duet performed by these two dancers explores concepts of Rhythm and Flow across these two cultures to a fusion of Asian, specifically Taiko, and African sounds. Featuring musicians Hidano Shuichi and Garth Erasmus.
This performance is made possible courtesy of THE JAPAN FOUNDATION and THE EMBASSY OF JAPAN in South Africa.
YANAGI: A renowned and fascinating romantic fable, told through the magic of shadow puppetry, Yanagi follows the universally familiar Willow Pattern story. With its Shakespearean overtones of doomed love and tragedy, it is a timeless tale of star-crossed lovers. Created by Christelle Van Graan and Chris Van Rensburg. With Music by Riku Latti and Jahn Beukes. Designs by Anli Hattingh. Performed by Cindy Swanepoel, Johny Klein and Christell Van Graan.
DRAGONFACE: If you look into the eyes of a dragon, it will steal your soul. Come lose yourself in a tale of love, lust, obsession and chicken mesh wire. An adult fairy tale told in 2D and 3D shadow puppetry by puppeteer Marinda Botha.
iMPAC was founded in 2009. It is a non-profit organisation focused on challenging and enhancing sight-sound thinking and moving-image content generated by students and professionals working in Sub-Saharan Africa.
iMPAC evolved to include a forum promoting the investigation and preservation of Sub-Saharan cultural diversity not just for filmmakers, but all enthusiasts, artists, storytellers and scholars engaging with narrative, context, history and myth-making.
See previous festival programmes and read about the highlights: