The New South Africa – a chrysalis land of new hopes and reformed dreams, a land premised not only on what could happen but rather on what is happening and the action being taken now to get it done. But 16 years on and we must ask ourselves what change has been achieved and what has been left at the wayside. In this short film Director, Wim Steytler and Director of Photography, Dawie Verwey, explore what is occurring at the base level – the education sector – and promote the need for charities and communities to band together to bring about change at an accelerated rate.
Most of the film was shot using only two Canon 5D Mark II cameras, 3 Canon Prime lenses – 35mm F1.4, 50mm F1.4 and 85mm F1.2 and two zoom lenses. The majority of the shots were handheld as there was not a lot of time to set up intricate shots. Here and there the use of a tripod was necessary. Despite the minimal use of gear the end result is a 16 min 25 sec film which is moving, informative and professionally executed. For Dawie this is an exciting indication of a specific route short films are taking. They can form easily accessible platforms where a greater number of peoples’ stories and voices can be heard rather than continuing to be silenced by previously dominant large budget clients. Vimeo is the ideal broadcasting avenue for this.
The internet as a platform for the viewing and sharing of films, adverts and other video media is becoming more and more popular with channels such as Youtube and Vimeo receiving countless hits by the minute. Integration with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ has also made sharing and embedding easier thus expanding the reach of uploaded videos. This makes the internet an excellent tool for the dissemination of films as promotional and awareness messages.
Dawie is hoping to do more of this kind of shooting in the future and as he explains, “film is a very powerful tool that can be used to bring about real social change and justice, not just sentiment. Films speak directly to peoples’ hearts using the senses of sight and sound to make them feel the message.” Rather than just giving people knowledge which they may or may not apply, Dawie believes it is more effective to create a language which can communicate social change by adapting the way people communicate and think about social issues.
Films need to create a buzz and identity about its topic which people can then relate to and feel. This is exactly what Connecting Dots is for. Amandla Development will use the film as a tool to spark collective action and band together actors across given communities to highlight and tackle complex social issues. The only way we will bring about true social change and make an impact is if we all work together towards a common goal.
Check out this PSA also created by Wim and Dawie and expect many more similar projects in the future!