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Screening: "Miners Shot Down" with Rehad Desai in Attendance

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InfoAdmission is free

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Human Rights and Documentation Centre (UNAM), AfricAvenir and Independence Avenue Films present South Africa’s “Miners Shot Down” at the main UNAM campus, multimedia centre, library building. The director of the film, Rehad Desai, as well as two Marikana mine workers will attend the screening. A discussion with UNAM students will take place after the screening of the film. Entrance is free.

Background of the film
Co-funded by the NFVF and the DTI, this South African documentary by Rehad Desai is like nothing you have ever seen before. The film is a blistering criticism of the government’s deadly response to striking miners in Marikana in 2012. The story made headlines worldwide, and the commission of inquiry is ongoing.

In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days later, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more.  The POV of the Marikana miners, Miners Shot Down, follows the strike at one of South Africa’s platinum mines from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low paid workers.

“We’re going to go for a very fresh look,” declares Carla Dias of South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation in a Variety interview regarding the presentation of South African films in Cannes. Dias says Miners Shot Down reflects the growing spirit and conviction of South African filmmakers who are “not worried about criticizing our own government.” “They’re not scared to tell (this story),” she says. “Look how far we’ve come and we can still make films like this,’” says Dias. “That for me is freedom.”

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk77YFfad1I

Interview with the filmmaker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vglBAzJ7oSM

More information here:  http://www.minersshotdown.co.za /

Awards and world-wide reception

  • Best South African Documentary Award, Durban International Film Festival
  • Amnesty International Human Rights award in July 2014
  • Vaclav Havel Award, One World Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, 2014
  • Best Film Camera Justitia Award, Movies That Matter, The Hague, Holland, 2014 – Best Film
  • Aung San Suu Kyi Award, Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, Myanmar, 2014
  • Best Film Special Choice Award, Encounters South African, International Documentary Film Festival, South Africa, 2014.

In the five short months since it was released, Miners Shot Down has been screened to large numbers of people at film festivals across the globe, in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Australasia and will be shown in a host of festivals over the coming months, including special 20 Years of Democracy screenings in Berlin and New York. Several festivals have given the film opening night status – One World, Prague, Sheffield Documentary Festival, UK and iRepresent in Lagos, Nigeria.

An initial week-long cinema release of the film at Ster Kinekor’s Cinema Nouveau was extended to a three week run in key cinemas, due to popular demand. The Bioscope Cinema in Johannesburg has also shown the film and repeated this in the run up to the 16th August, the second anniversary of the massacre.

Public petitions were handed over to the SABC to broadcast the film on their channels too.

In South Africa, in addition to a cinema release, over 160 impact screenings have taken place to date in universities, schools, community halls, mining towns, unions meetings and churches, reaching over 20,000 people in South Africa.

The film has been picked up by no less than seven international broadcast channels, including more recently Al Jazeera English and North America aired the film from the 13th August onwards, just prior to the second anniversary of the massacre.

About the film director
Rehad Desai is one of South Africa’s best-known documentary filmmakers and the CEO of a Uhuru Productions. A former political exile, Rehad worked as a trade union organiser and as a Director of a HIV prevention NGO before entering the film and television industry as a current affairs journalist. He has a Masters in Social History and post-graduate degree in TV and film producing (AVEA) and a  post-graduate diploma in documentary (Eurodoc). Rehad has directed over twenty documentaries, many of which have seen international broadcast and been accepted into numerous festivals, receiving critical acclaim.

One of his films, “The Battle of Johannesburg” (SA, 2010, 72 min) AfricAvenir screened in 2013 at the Polytechnic of Namibia, Department of Architecture.
His current project, “Miners Shot Down”, is a synthesis of Rehad’s skills as a filmmaker and experience as an activist.

About Production Company/Producers
Uhuru Productions has been making social justice films in southern Africa for 11 years, since the beginning of 2003. It has produced over twenty high-quality documentaries for local and international audiences.

Headed by acclaimed producer/director Rehad Desai, the company has a wealth of expertise in the production and management of current affairs programming, documentaries, drama and non-broadcast productions in South Africa and Southern Africa. Uhuru has also acted as an implementing partner of the renowned Tri Continental Film Festival since its inception in 2003, and the People to People International Documentary Conference, since 2007.

Beyond the film production expertise, Uhuru Productions has extensive experience working with communities at a very grassroots level in using film as a catalyst for social change.  This puts us in a unique position to run a very successful outreach project as we fully understand the power of film to motivate for change but are also able to engage with communities so that the film gets seen by large numbers of people.

For more information, contact: AfricAvenir, 0855630949, africavenir.whk(at)googlemail.com

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