Wednesday, October 03, 2007

And here we are at the start of October 2007, which means that we are at the start of a new chapter for alt film – we have moved to a new venue, with our new host being the legendary Coffee Bean in Rondebosch. We are very excited to work with Braam and his team!

alt film is still operating on Tuesday nights, from 7-9pm. There is still no entry fee to be paid. And yes, we are also still showing a lot more than what is written in this newsletter, just to keep things spiced up.

Situated just above the Pick’n’Pay in Main Road, this coffee shop and restaurant is also a hub of social and creative activity. Ideal for us, since alt film is an interactive platform for the medium of film, to encourage dialogue and thinking about moving images.
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.

As a launch night special, on 2 October all pizzas will be available for R25.

alt film

· The Coffee Bean, Rondebosch Village Centre (above the Pick’n’Pay), Main Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town
· 7-9pm every Tuesday
· Free entrance
· (To receive 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.)

2: Zula Days Revisited
9: Ryan
16: Lost Prophets
23: Death of Pelican-16
30: Film Appreciation 101 (Episode 1: “The Beginning – Early Cinema”)

*** 2 October 2007 ***

Zula Days Revisited

For our launch session at Coffee Bean, we will be screening favourite short films from the past two and a half years of shows at Zula Sound Bar (where alt film was born, took its first steps, and crashed its first car).

*** 9 October 2007 ***


Director: Chris Landreth
Canada 2004
14 minutes (animation) + 45 minutes (doccie)

This two-part show deals with the life of Ryan Larkin, a gifted Canadian animator of the late 60’s and the early 70’s.

A true original animation genius, Ryan produced some groundbreaking work during his short career, before falling into the bottle and out of society.

The first part of the show consists of a breathtaking animated short film, with the director (Chris Landreth) interviewing Ryan in his later years.

The second part of the show is a documentary about the first part, showing the process of creating the animated masterpiece, and also shedding some light on the progress/regress of the creative genius that was Ryan Larkin.

*** 16 October 2007 ***

Lost Prophets

Directors: Dylan Valley and Sean Drummond
South Africa 2006
85 minutes

Cape Town hip-hop pioneers Prophets of da City (POC) burst onto the South African music scene in the late 80s, with a hard-hitting, Africanised brand of hip-hop. As the first rap group ever in the country, they inspired and influenced a whole new wave of local artists, and with a massive social and political focus, they quickly generated a large and dedicated fan base, locally and overseas. The very same focus, however, saw them banned in this country, and after a period of relocation overseas, the band drifted out of public view.

In 2006, UCT Film Students Sean Drummond and Dylan Valley set out to discover, ‘Where are POC, ten years later?’ Their journey took them all across the country, where they were able to spend time with former members, observing their lives today and allowing them to reminisce on past experiences, highs and lows. The result is LOST PROPHETS. The film looks back at the trajectory that catapulted a tight, clean crew to stardom, only to let them fall into relative and separate obscurity. To a pumping POC soundtrack, Ready D, Jazmo, Ramone, Gogga, Ishmael, and manager Lance Stehr, discuss the personal impact the band had ‘back in the day’.

Are friendships still intact? Which members are still riding the wave, and which have dropped out of sight? Does success come with a price? Are their lyrics still relevant? And should South Africa expect more to come from POC? Lost Prophets gives POC members a chance to offer their own answers to these questions, and many more.

Additional information:

Since re-editing and polishing the film this year (still on zero budget) the film has been to both the Apollo Film Festival and the Encounters Film Festival (Where it was rated no5 best South African film and competing with the industry standard and not other student films). Dylan and Sean now two UCT Honours graduates have started the production company Be Phat Motel in partnership with City Varsity graduates, and are working on a feature project as well as a documentary project.

*** 23 October 2007 ***


Director: Andrew White
South Africa 2004
60 minutes
Courtesy of the producer

Pelican-16 was one of eight Avro Shackleton maritime patrol aircraft commissioned by the South African Air Force in 1954. In 1993, a Shackleton enthusiast had the ambitious plan to restore one of these now decommissioned aircraft and turn it into a flying museum. The name of this aircraft: Pelican-16.

In mid 1994, after ten years on the ground and two years of restoration work this last Shackleton flew again. Following an invitation to take part in the 1994 summer air-show circuit in the UK, Pelican-16 and its crew of 19 took off from Cape Town and headed north. But then in the dead of the blackest night, high over the Western Sahara the unthinkable happened; two engines on the starboard side failed within a period of just ten minutes. The aircraft and its crew went down.

In an absorbing documentary, this remarkable story is told by the men who dared to dream. What makes this film unusual is that there are no re-creations; Real life footage was recorded by the crew as the story unfolded and together with vibrant testimonials, a crew reunion and new footage of Pelican-16’s flying replacement, Pelican-22, create a dramatic and moving story.

It is a story of courage, tenacity, professionalism and friendship which has become one of the greats in the annals of South African aviation. A central theme of the film, portrayed through the survival of the nineteen crew members, is the uncanny skill of the senior flight commander, Major Eric ‘Oompie’ Pienaar who put Pelican-16 down in the Sahara Desert in one piece, with no injury to the crew.

During the production of the film, Major Pienaar lost a long battle with cancer late 2002 and his ashes were scattered over Table Bay from the last remaining serviceable Shackleton Mk3, now resident in Cape Town. The memorial service on board, included in the closing scenes, creates a memorable and moving picture of gratitude and admiration by the crew for their fallen comrade.

*** 30 October 2007 ***


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.

This series was launched in the past few months in Zula Sound Bar, but we decided to start over again in The Coffee Bean. So, starting at the beginning…

Episode 1: “The Beginning – Early Cinema”
In this class we will explore the early days of cinema, including the very first films produced in the 19th century, and also the start of filmmaking in South Africa in the early parts of the 20th 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).