Tuesday, July 03, 2007

JULY 2007 line-up

3/7: Film Appreciation 101 (Lesson 1), PLUS Jump The Gun

10/7: White Working Class

17/7: The Future of Food

24/7: Zen & Zero, PLUS animation by the Black Heart Gang

31/7: Film Appreciation 101 (Lesson 2)

and a variety of music videos and short films during every show.

(Scroll down for more details of the films)

More about alt film

alt film is a free film screening event, at Zula Sound Bar every Tuesday. We play all kinds of interesting films to all kinds of interesting people.

alt film is an interactive and open two-way platform, available to everyone to utilise in creative ways, to encourage dialogue and thinking about moving images.

It is there for filmmakers (dazzle the audience with your work, or simply get objective feedback from the public), and it is there for the general public (see a film show that won’t cost you a cent, and get an idea of what the local film industry is doing).

We wish to empower everyone involved to become more visually literate, and to cultivate an educated sense of quality with regards to the art of filmmaking.

We want to present as many South African films as possible, so feel free to submit your film for screening in this comfortable and sociable setting, with Zula’s sound system making the difference to your experience.

Let us know what you want to see – your input may just cause spontaneous reactions.

Or just come over, sit down, and open your eyes.

The restaurant and bar provides the necessary culinary ingredients to keep your tummy happy. And if you wish to stay for some aural pleasure, Zula presents the Acoustic Sessions, a free musical jam session just after alt film.

alt film

Zula Sound Bar, 196 Long Street, Cape Town

7-9pm every Tuesday

Free entrance



(To get the alt film newsletters, send us an email with “YES PLEASE” in the subject line.

To stop getting the alt film newsletters, send us an email with “GO AWAY” in the subject line.)

Special thanks to:

  • Vusa, Grant and the rest of the Zula team
  • Zivia Desai Keiper (Tri-Continental Film Festival)
  • Derek Serra (Controversi Films)
  • Charmaine, Luanne and Adrian (SAFeAGE)

Film descriptions


Dir: Derek Antonio Serra

SA 2006

48 mins

Courtesy of the director

In this personal film on his father, director Derek Antonio Serra provides us with a glimpse into the life of an ordinary white working class man who has lived through much of the 20th century in South Africa.

Bill Serra is the son of an Italian immigrant who came to South Africa in 1903, three hundred years after the first colonial settlers set foot in Southern Africa. A simple man with a strong work ethic, Bill was never unemployed for one day of his adult life. We follow him as he revisits some of the major landmarks he helped construct during his lifetime. A great storyteller, he shares his memories of the trials and tribulations he and his men endured while building these landmarks.

Through these intriguing tales we gain an insight into the life of a typical white working class family struggling to make ends meet each day, a story seldom told in today’s politically correct South African documentaries.


CONTROVERSI FILMS has established itself as a producer of cutting -edge, controversial social documentaries over the past 10 years with titles like CAPE OF RAPE, STREETLIFE-Virgins, CULTURECLASH and "nudecapetown".

Producer/director Derek Antonio Serra is a fiercely independent filmmaker, who owns his own HD cameras and edit suites, which enables him to make films outside of the "SABC commissioning censorship machine." He has produced and directed 10 documentaries in 10 years on budgets ranging from R 200 000 to R 2000 often using a guerrilla-style approach to filmmaking. Derek is considered a technical expert on low-budget digital production, and has offered HDV Masterclasses at the Sithengi Talent Campus and Zambian Film Festival on several occasions, as well as free Digital Production Workshops countrywide.


Dir: Deborah Koons Garcia

US 2004

88 mins


(Screening will be followed by an audience discussion)

There is a revolution happening in the farm fields and on the dinner tables of countries around the world. A revolution that is transforming the very nature of the food we eat. THE FUTURE OF FOOD offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled grocery store shelves for the past decade.

The health implications, government policies and push towards globalization, are all part of the reason why many people are alarmed about the introduction of genetically altered crops into our food supply. Although shot on location in the US, Canada and Mexico, THE FUTURE OF FOOD examines the complex web of market and political forces that are changing what the world eats, as large multinational corporations seek control of the world's food systems.

After the movie we will have a discussion about GM Foods in South Africa.


Dir: Michael Ginthor

Austria 2006

61 mins, Subtitled

Courtesy of the Tri-Continental Film Festival

It takes quite some ingenuity for five landlocked Austrians to get to ride the waves for three months straight, or at least the juggling of a few figures. In Costa Rica, they say off-roaders sell for double their price in LA, plus minus a couple of bucks. You just have to get them through 7000 miles of Central America.

With this in mind they fly into LA, buy used cars and drive down to Costa Rica - surfing along the way with plans, once they arrive at their destination, of selling the vehicles so they can afford to stay put and surf some more.

Ginthor’s metaphysical Hunter Thompsonesque road picture has a ‘70s feel and fine surf footage, but it’s the characters met along the way that make it stand out.

Film Appreciation 101

An alt film initiative! Every month we present a short class on the medium of film, covering a wide range of topics. By charting the history timeline of filmmaking, we hope to educate and foster a new sense of appreciation for this art form and also a positive reception and renewed interests in what’s happening in modern day cinema. Each class is structured around a period, movement or theme.

July 2007: Lesson 1: “The Beginning – Early Cinema”

In this class we will explore the early days of cinema, including the very first films produced in the 18th century, and also the start of filmmaking in South Africa in the early parts of the 19th century. Screenings include Georges Meli├Ęs’ sensational sci-fi called A Trip to the Moon, which featured the most inventive spaceship we’ve seen in a very long time (this film was the inspiration behind Smashing Pumpkins’ award-winning video, Tonight,tonight).

Before Yesterday, before Tsotsi, and even before Mr Bones, South African cinema has been at the forefront of filmmaking on the continent. As a bonus feature, alt film takes you back to the times of SA screen heroes, the likes of Jamie Uys (contentious subject matter...never the less) and Katinka Heyns, by screening a truly South African cinema classic directly after the class.

Latest news: We will screen JUMP THE GUN, courtesy of the producer and Ochre Media.

July 2007: Lesson 2: Silent Classics

Still focusing on the evolution of early cinema, this week’s lesson will take a look at the silent classics, and stylistic innovations of that era. From the zany, heyday antics of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton to breathtaking German Expressionism to the extraordinary technique of Surrealism in film, these images formed a vital part of the collective consciousness and style within modern cinema. Screening includes clips from German Expressionism classic, The Cabinet of Dr Caligri (which was the influence behind a Red Hot Chili Peppers music video), Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, Louis Bunuel and Salvador Dali’s masterpiece, Un Chien Andalou and a few other surprises.