Rise of a young SA film maker
A young South African film maker this week lifted two awards at one of Africa’s most prestigious film festivals. The Bicycle Man, directed by Grahamstown-born Ntombozuko “Twiggy” Matiwana (33), won the Silver Stallion as well as the EU’s Africa, Caribbean, Pacific prize in the short feature category at the 25th Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou. A pleased Matiwana told City Press that she drew the inspiration for her film from “three great men who in real life were dealing with breast cancer”. The central focus of the short film is Steven Grootboom, “a passionate township gardener and loving husband and father who is forced to reassess his life and relationships when he is diagnosed”. Matiwana has been making her friends and neighbours in Joza Extension 4 proud for years as her films continue to do better at festivals. In 2014, her short film Waterless Flower made it to the final stages of a Spanish film festival. She started in the industry after landing an internship in 2005 and then became second assistant director at Penguin Films. Three years later she moved to eNews and local soapie Scandal as an assistant director. She credits support structures created by government, such as the National Film and Video Foundation, for working with young female directors and writers, as well as the Youth Filmmakers’ Project guided by Natives at Large. These projects gave her hope and the drive to become a director of distinction, she said. Going forward, she is planning another short film that she intends to write and direct herself. She is also crafting a full-length feature script. Matiwana dreams of studying abroad and further her skills so that she may one day be “the greatest film maker” of her generation.
Ntombozuko ‘Twiggy’ Matiwana