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Re-Screening: « Afrikaaps. The origins of Afrikaans » with Ottilie Abrahams in Attendance


InfoEntrance is 30,- N$.


After organiszing the Namibian Premiere 5 years ago, AfricAvenir Windhoek presents the re-screening of the winner of the Best Documentary at the Cape Winelands Film Festival 2011, “Afrikaaps” by Dylan Valley, 2010, South Africa, 60 min, Original (Afrikaans/Afrikaaps) with English subtitles.

Special guest: Ottilie Abrahams, principal of the Jakob Marengo Secondary School, with 40 years of experience in the education sector, THE champion of people's education in Namibia, an expert in language politics in Southern Africa, and a dear companion to late Prof. Neville Alexander, who features in the film.

The screening takes place at the FNCC, Wednesday, 13.July, 18h30. Entrance is 30,- N$. In cooperation with the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre and Plexus Films.

About the movie:
In his debut documentary, “Afrikaaps”, Dylan Valley explores the untold Creole history of Afrikaans, using what he knows best: HipHop, humour and personal perspective. The film follows a group of local artists creating the stage production, AFRIKAAPS, as they trace the true roots of Afrikaans to slaves in the Cape. It features the musical greats, Jitsvinger, Kyle Shepard, Emile (black noise), Moenier Parker, Shane Cooper, Blaq Pearl, the powerhouse b-boy, Bliksemstraal, and the poetic genius of Jethro Louw. The film reclaims and liberates Afrikaans from its reputation as the language of the oppressor, taking it back to the people who own it.

“Afrikaaps” premiered at Encounters documentary festival in August 2010 and screened to sold out houses at the V & A Waterfront’s Nu Metro Cinema in Cape Town. It received the runner-up audience award for best South African documentary. It has since screened at the Tri-Continents documentary festival in Johannesburg, the Cultavaria festival in Paarl and is currently screening on Mnet’s Msanzi Magic Channel.

In March 2011, it won the Best Documentary at the Cape Winelands Film Festival.

AfricAvenir presented the film to Namibian audiences in June 2011 as Namibian premiere. Language expert Hon Minister Dr.Becky Ndozo-Ojo was the special guest at the time.

“The film follows a group of local artists creating the critically acclaimed stage production Afrikaaps, as they trace the true roots of Afrikaans to slaves in the Cape. Both funny and moving, the film goes beyond what happens on stage to reflect how this history informs the cast’s personal lives today.“     Mail & Guardian

“The untold story of Afrikaans may seem rather academic and hard to translate to film. Add to this the story of a theatre troupe and their production, ‘Afrikaaps’ that they use to tell this untold story, and you have quite a challenge ahead of you if your job is to make the film about all of this. Dylan Valley, however, first time documentary filmmaker was admirably up to the task. Together with editor, Khalid Shamis, he crafted a story that entertains, informs and – for those whose dialect is explored – even vindicates.”
Tina Luise Smith

“On the surface, Afrikaaps appears to be a theatre piece within a film, based as it is on the creative processes and performances of the critically acclaimed stage production of the same name. But rather than depending on the drama on stage and the production’s prominent characters to carry the narrative, Valley finds revealing moments from the cast’s and production crew’s personal narratives that transcend what happens on stage. Afrikaaps, the film and the stage play, breaks ground by boldly attempting to reclaim Afrikaans – so long considered a language of the oppressor – as a language of liberation.”
The Bioscope

Director’s Comment: Dylan Valley on the film “Afrikaaps”
“I had written an article with my sister, Greer, about Afrikaans hip hop and the origins of Afrikaans in the Cape just before I met Catherine (Henegan) and Aryan (Kaganof), the dramaturg. The timing was just perfect and we really clicked. I learnt a great deal in the process as well. Some of the history we learnt really blew my mind.”

“I always thought the film would end up resembling “The Buena Vista Social Club” by Wim Wenders. I’m a huge fan of the film, and I referenced its style and structure a lot in my initial documentary proposal. Because I had around ten characters in my film, I needed to reference a successful musical documentary film that had quite a large cast. The film ended up being quite different from what I had initially planned.”

“We decided to not have the theatre show dominate the screen time. Instead, we used songs from the show to punctuate different points in the narrative. For example there is a scene in the film where one of the cast members gets arrested; we cut that together with a moving ghoema song in the show that deals with the historically unfair judicial system in South Africa. We had a lot of great music to choose from, so that made it so much easier.”

“I think it appeals to both a local and international audience, as it deals with universal themes. However, I think that young South Africans especially will enjoy it, particularly the “coloured” community as it might reveal parts of their heritage they have never known about. I myself certainly never knew the extent to which the Malays, the Khoi and the San had shaped the language until I started researching this for myself.”

Valley hopes, that the film “gets people to think about Afrikaans in a different light. There is a whole different side to languages, their origins and adaptations, especially in Cape Town.”

About the director
Capetonian born Dylan Valley, studied Film and Media at the University of Cape Town and interned for 2 months at E-TV news. As his final research project in 2005 he directed a 10 minute documentary on the history and current tensions in the Cape capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) scene. At UCT he was a DJ on UCT Radio and was an active member of the universities TAC branch as well as the UCT Film Society.

In 2006 he obtained his Honours degree in Film Theory and Practice from UCT. “Lost Prophets”, a film about the personal stories of South Africa’s hip hop pioneers Prophets of da City, and where they are now, was his honours thesis project in partnership with co-producer and collaborator Sean Drummond. The film was selected for the Encounters documentary festival in 2007.

In 2007 he joined the Plexus Films Headwrap team as a researcher and Trainee Director, where he was quickly promoted to Director. He has subsequently directed some of the series most inspiring episodes including "Hip Hopera" and "Awareness Thru Colours". He later acted as UCT term tutor in Documentary Filmmaking along with acclaimed director Francois Verster. In 2006 and 2008 he tutored a 1st year course for the UCT Film and Media Department. In 2009 he was featured in the Mail & Guardian 300 young South Africans to take to lunch. He is currently on the DFA Board as joint blog administrator and heads up the youth portfolio. In 2009 worked as camera operator on WHERE DO I STAND? - a documentary about South African children and the responses to Xenophobia.
He also worked as Camera operator and Director for the AMAZING TIME DECTECTIVES an SABC children’s production by Afrosoul Productions. After finishing "Afrikaaps" Dylan directed the documentary INCARCERTAED KNOWLEDGE along with Producer Lauren Groenewald from Plexus Films.
In 2010 Dylan’s debut feature documentary, “Afrikaaps”, was produced by Plexus Films.

After obtaining his MA in Specialized Journalism from the University of South California he directed work for Al Jazeera, SABC, and independently.
He's currently an associate lecturer of the University of Witwatersrand and is the film editor for the website "Africa Is A Country".

Contact:  Hans-Christian Mahnke, director & chairperson of the board, 0855630949, africavenir.whk(at)googlemail.com

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