Sights set on film in­dus­try suc­cess

The Sunday Independent - - News - LUKE FOLB

WHILE women still face an up­hill bat­tle for equal­ity in the film in­dus­try, two young South African women are grab­bing op­por­tu­ni­ties to prove them­selves af­ter a stint over­seas that has broad­ened their skills and hori­zons.

Sne Ndlovu and Storm Solomons have ar­rived back in South Africa af­ter a seven-week in­tern­ship with Bri­tish pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies Ku­dos and Wild Mer­cury.

While in the UK, Ndlovu and Solomons were able to work on the third sea­son of the Chan­nel 4 se­ries, Hu­mans.

“We worked as part of the recce team and that was so in­ter­est­ing to see how the shoot­ing was planned,” says Solomons.

“We also at­tended writ­ing cour­ses and helped with devel­op­ing con­tent ideas. It was hard to be on set and go to class, but we got to see places that you wouldn’t nor­mally see be­cause of the film­ing lo­ca­tion,” she says.

Recce refers to the pre-film­ing phase when the team vis­its a lo­ca­tion to de­ter­mine its suit­abil­ity for shoot­ing and to as­sess whether ex­tra fa­cil­i­ties are needed or if there are sound and light­ing is­sues.

Ku­dos is ser­viced by Film Afrika World­wide for their South African op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing the re­cently re­leased BBC One and Net­flix se­ries Troy – Fall of a City.

It was be­cause of this in­volve­ment in the coun­try that the pair were hand-picked to be part of the in­tern­ship over­seas.

While at univer­sity, Ndlovu co-wrote a short se­ries called

Guns ’n Hoses, and adapted a short story into a screen­play.

“Since re­turn­ing from Lon­don, a fire has been ig­nited in me that en­cour­ages me to fur­ther pur­sue my de­sires and am­bi­tions to be a writer, di­rec­tor, and pro­ducer in the near fu­ture,” she says.

Ndlovu, 25, was born and raised in Dur­ban. She ob­tained her post­grad­u­ate de­gree in film and tele­vi­sion stud­ies from the Univer­sity of Cape Town.

Solomons, 27, is an as­sis­tant di­rec­tor with Film Afrika World­wide and works di­rectly with cast and helps the di­rec­tor dur­ing the shoots.

“Be­ing an AD (as­sis­tant di­rec­tor) has re­ally broad­ened my hori­zons as an as­pir­ing di­rec­tor, be­cause I get to see things more in depth. The AD needs to have au­thor­ity on set, so it’s a lot more chal­leng­ing and you have to come to the party be­cause it’s in­ten­sive work,” she says.

Solomons al­most didn’t en­ter the film in­dus­try af­ter ini­tially want­ing to go into jour­nal­ism.

“I was look­ing through the brochures at Wits and saw they had film and TV there and I thought that that was re­ally some­thing I wanted to get into.”

Af­ter com­plet­ing her de­gree in film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion and screen­writ­ing at Wits Univer­sity, Solomons be­gan work as a ju­nior pro­ducer, but says she wanted a role that calls for more cre­ativ­ity.

“I wanted to bring out my own sto­ries and so I ap­plied for an as­sis­tant di­rec­tor po­si­tion with Film Afrika,” she says.

Women still face many chal­lenges in the film in­dus­try, she says, but she is pos­i­tive about the way the in­dus­try is chang­ing.

“It’s cer­tainly a lot tougher for women, but there’s been a lit­tle bit of a shift and it is a great time to be fe­male and alive. One of the big­gest chal­lenges is that peo­ple don’t give you enough chance to prove your­self.”

Her plans for the fu­ture in­clude ac­quir­ing new skills and broad­en­ing her port­fo­lio.

“In the near fu­ture I want to film my own skits, so that I can build my show reel, but my ul­ti­mate goal is to di­rect my own fea­ture film,” says Solomons.


Storm Solomons was se­lected to take part in an in­ten­sive in­tern­ship in the UK.

Sne Ndlovu worked on the Bri­tish TV se­ries Hu­mans.

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