Rehad Desai on Durban International Film Festival 2014 awards

 

“The prize for best South African documentary went to Rehad Desai’s Miners Shot Down, which also won the Amnesty Intl. (Durban) Human Rights Award, accompanied by a prize of R10,000 ($951) sponsored by the Artists for Human Rights Trust. The film was selected for its profoundly moving portrayal of the Marikana miners’ massacre.”

- Durban International Film Festival

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Miners Shot Down on TV

The AfriDocs Film Week allowed Miners Shot Down to be screened to an audience that would otherwise not have access to this important film. The response was phenomenal, with people commending the film for raising awareness about this tragedy and asking how they could further get involved and help the cause.

“It is good that the film is viewed so widely. The movie has the potential to raise awareness and inform people on an unprecedented scale. The question now becomes where do we go from here.”

After the success of the AfriDocs screenings, we are even more aware of the importance of getting Miners Shot Down aired on national television, as a way to reach an audience of millions that otherwise would not have access to the film. However we’ve been waiting five months for the SABC to tell us whether or not they will broadcast the film. We want as many people as possible to be able to see the film and in order to do so we are actively campaigning to get Miners Shot Down screened on SABC and e.tv. Keep following us for updates and for how you can get involved in the Amandla.mobi campaign to put pressure on the public broadcasters and e.tv to air Miners Shot Down.

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16 August – Day of Action

Many people who have watched Miners Shot Down have asked us “what can we do to help the justice campaign?” One of the most important things we can do is to make the 16th August a ‘special’ day, similar to the 21st of March, the day of the Sharpeville Massacre and June 16th when 76 school students were mowed down in Soweto. These two days are national holidays in South Africa sending out a loud message that people will not forget what the apartheid state did on these two dates. We want the 16th August to be a national holiday, reminding people of the massacre of 34 strikers by the South African police and honoring the dead and wounded. This is enormously important to the families who lost loved ones on the 16th August 2012, and to the Lonmin platinum miners who took part in the strike.

We are encouraging people to take action on and around the 16th August, to show support for the Justice Now for Marikana campaign. Many people are already planning film screenings or protests at police stations.

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What’s being planned?

So far we know that while the big event will take place at Marikana, by the mountain, marches and protests are being planned by various civil society bodies in Soweto, Vaal, Germiston, Kathlehong, and Johannesburg Central.

NUMSA is planning to hold Political Discussion Forums on the day to discuss Marikana and in some cases joining mobilisations and screenings. Various churches across the country will be holding prayer services. Internationally there are at least 10 events being organized. Full details of all of these will be available from 9th August.

Screenings of Miners Shot Down are taking place in Vaal via the Community Assembly, at Pulp Cinema Stellenbosch (15th), at the Bioscope Independent Cinema in Johannesburg.

The African Arts Institute will be supporting the Justice now for Marikana Campaign by embarking on a series of public art interventions in Cape Town. Ideas on the table include mobile bicycle art, street murals, renaming streets to that of the slain miners and much more. To get involved contact the organisers here.

We are still gathering information on the events taking place and will put out a full list in the week prior to the 16th. If you want to plan an event, or are already organizing something that you want on the newsletter, please contact anita@uhuruproductions.co.za

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AfriDocs Film Week

Exciting news for Miners Shot Down –  the film will be broadcasted on DStv as a part of the Afridocs Film Week. Below is the press release with all the details…

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A world first will be taking place this month when a full week of African documentary films are broadcast across sub-Saharan Africa on DStv channel ED (channel 190) and GOtv (channel 65).

This unique film event will see a diverse and exciting range of films screened across 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, to coincide with the Durban International Film Festival, the largest film festival in South Africa that takes place from July 17th – 27th.

One of the films to be screened will be the South African film Miners Shot Down – the powerful and riveting documentary about the shooting down of 34 mineworkers in August 2012.

Miners Shot Down, the documentary that many commentators have said every South African should see, is also resonating deeply with international audiences due to its global themes of democracy, worker’s rights, citizen activism and freedom of speech.

The film, which will be screened on Thursday 24th July at 19:30 on DStv channel 190 and GOtv channel 65 as part of the AfriDocs Film Week, will also be screened during the Durban International Film Festival.

In the four short months since it was released, Miners Shot Down has been screened to large numbers of people at film festivals across the globe, in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Australasia and will be shown in a host of festivals over the coming months, including special 20 Years of Democracy screenings in Berlin and New York.

With 2014 being used by many to showcase the achievements of South Africa’s 20 years of democracy, Miners Shot Down presents an alternative view – one that needs to be seen and heard beyond the borders of South Africa.

The power of the film and its relevance for people across Africa and the globe is based on its bold and unabashed critique of South Africa in its 20th year of democracy. Taking the Marikana shootings head on – Miners Shot Down – is essential viewing for anyone concerned about preserving the basic democratic rights of citizens whether it is in South Africa, across the African continent or beyond.  With this in mind, a number of independently organized impact screenings of the film have taken place in Europe, including the UK.

The film has also garnered four awards to date.

  • Vaclav Havel Award, One World Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, 2014 – Best Film
  • Camera Justitia Award, Movies That Matter, The Hague, Holland, 2014 – Best Film
  • Aung San Suu Kyi Award, Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, Myanmar, 2014 – Best Film
  • Special Choice Award, Encounters South African, International Documentary Film Festival, South Africa, 2014

For the full programme schedule and synopses of the films, please go to the AfriDocs website and Facebook page.

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Marikana Film Resonates Beyond Our Borders

“Rehad Desai’s beautifully filmed and uncompromising documentary, ‘Miners Shot Down’, is about so much more than the massacre by police of 34 striking workers at the Lonmin platinum mine at Marikana in August 2012. The film offers a unique prism through which to view contemporary power relations in ‘democratic’ South Africa (and perhaps globally) where the unholy trinity of capital, politics and security were (and are) pitted against labour…” MARIANNE THAMM, DAILY MAVERICK.

Miners Shot Down, the documentary that commentators have said every South African should see, is resonating deeply with international audiences. The film has been picked up by no less than seven international broadcast channels, including more recently Al Jazeera English and North America who will air the film from the 13th August onwards, just prior to the second anniversary of the massacre.

In the four short months since it was released, Miners Shot Down has been screened to large numbers of people at film festivals across the globe, in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Australasia and will be shown in a host of festivals over the coming months, including special 20 Years of Democracy screenings in Berlin and New York. Several festivals have given the film opening night status – One World, Prague, Sheffield Documentary Festival, UK and iRepresent in Lagos, Nigeria. The film has garnered four awards to date:

Vaclav Havel Award, One World Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, 2014 – Best Film

Camera Justitia Award, Movies That Matter, The Hague, Holland, 2014 – Best Film

Aung San Suu Kyi Award, Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, Myanmar, 2014 – Best Film

Special Choice Award, Encounters South African, International Documentary Film Festival, South Africa, 2014

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As well as festival screenings, a number of independently organized impact screenings of the film have taken place in Europe, including the UK where, for example, the Islington branch of the National Union of Teachers passed a union resolution in support of the Marikana Justice Campaign after watching the film. There have been floods of requests for similar screenings to be organized in Brazil and other Latin American countries.

In July, the film will be shown at the Durban International Film festival, giving people in Durban another chance to see the film on the big screen. An initial week-long cinema release of the film at Ster Kinekor’s Cinema Nouveau was extended to a three week run in key cinemas, due to popular demand. The Bioscope Cinema in Johannesburg has also shown the film and will do so again in the run up to the 16th August, the second anniversary of the massacre.

In South Africa, in addition to a cinema release, over 140 impact screenings have taken place to date in universities, schools, community halls, mining towns, unions meetings and churches, reaching over 18,000 people in South Africa. Many of these were attended by the filmmaker or representative of the Marikana Justice Campaign, including mineworkers who took part in the 2012 strike and lawyers representing the families of the killed miners at the commission of inquiry.

Miners Shot Down is available to buy from Exclusives bookstores, as well as several independent bookshops and on kalahari.com. People are invited to buy the DVD and to organise small screenings in their homes, or workplaces.

Given the notable international reaction to the film, it is surprising that there has been no uptake of the film by free to air broadcasters in South Africa. There is no more efficient way to reach large audiences with a film that ‘every South African should see” than national television.

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Special Choice Award

Miners Shot Down is acknowledged for a Special Choice Award, as decided by the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival team. Encounters ran from the 5th to the 15th of June 2014 in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Over 400 documentaries from across the globe were reviewed and a programme of 21 international films and 24 South African and African films were screened, with numerous sell-out films and packed audiences across the line-up.

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Another Award for Miners Shot Down

Miners Shot Down has been announced as winner of the Aung San Suu Kyi Award at the Human Rights and Dignity Film Festival in Yangon, Myanmar.

“Miners Shot Down,” by the South African director Rehad Desai, offers a look into deadly anti-mining protests in his country in August 2012, and won the Aung San Suu Kyi Award in the International Film category.

Read more about the awards here.

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