Rise of a young SA film maker

CityPress - - News - PHUMLANI S LANGA phumlani.sithebe@city­press.co.za

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

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