To Finland and beyond

 

FILMING IN FINLAND: Wits documentary filmmakers, Zama-Afrika Mkhize (centre) and Margreet Cohen Gouws (right), take a tram in Helsinki.    Photo: Provided

FILMING IN FINLAND: Wits documentary filmmakers, Zama-Afrika Mkhize (centre) and Margreet Cohen Gouws (right), take a tram in Helsinki.
Photo: Provided

 

TWO Witsies have been selected to spend the next three months in Finland making documentary films.

Zama-Afrika Mkhize, 4th year BAPVA, and Margreet Cohen Gouws, 4th BADA, were selected to participate in the North-South–South Exchange( NSSE) programme.

Both Gouws and Mkhize expressed their excitement ahead of their trip to Finland and hoped to gain more skills as film-makers during their three month stay.

“I wanna produce and I’m not gonna settle for anything less… I really wanna come out as a specialised professional, a producer in the film industry,” said Mkhize.

Janet King, production coordinator at the Wits School of Arts film and television department, said students were selected based on academics, a motivational letter and a panel interview. King said the programme was open to third year film and television students.

The NSSE programme is a six-month course which creates a platform where 14 students from different corners of the globe come together for six months to create documentaries. This year the programme had two Witsies, two University of Johannesburg students, two AFDA Film School students, three students from Ghana, and four Finnish students.  The programme is designed to allow students from different institutions to collaborate creatively.

Gouws said the first three months of the programme were hosted in South Africa and the last three  in Finland. During the South African leg of the programme students had to make films centred on the theme of gendered landscapes. They divided their time attending workshops and lectures at Wits, UJ and AFDA. The students are expected to create 12 minute documentaries in groups of four or five both in South Africa and in Finland.

The two filmmakers said they were grateful for the opportunity to go to Finland.

“Europe is such a liberal place. We are very fortunate as young people who are still finding themselves to have this opportunity and for me more than anything I feel I’m gonna find myself,” said Mkhize.

Gouws said one of her goals for Finland was to make a film she could be proud of.

“ I want to make  something I can be proud of. I just want to be happy with the end product and I will try my best, that’s my goal at the moment,” said Gouws.