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Thursday, April 22, 2021

DURBAN FILMMART ANNOUNCES ACCESS PROGRAMME & SELECTED PROJECTS


(Names from left to right:

Llewellyn James Rice, Chiziwiso Pswarayi, Tenjiwe Pswarayi, Lungile Mayindi, Linda E.T Gumede, Lwazi Duma, Shumelani Mapholi, Siphumelele Nene, Gugu Kunene, Happiness Mpase, Muneera Sallies, Lerato Sokhulu, Mlingane Dube, Samkelisiwe Nkabinde, Yolanda Keabetswe Mogatusi, Mamokuena Makhema, Amanda Lane, Sihle Ndaba, Zoe Ramushu, Thabiso Xolo, Glenn Masokoane, Joe Spirit, Simphiwe Ngcobo, Buyani Gumede, Sihle Mzobe, Mzimasi Ndzombane, Sinomtha Nduna, Danile Annah Mohlamme, Tshego Monaisa, Liese Kuhn, Mandy Mbekeni, Marie Midcalf, Lusanda Mangqangwana and Siyasanga Mbikwana)

The Durban FilmMart Institute is pleased to announce its inaugural DFM Access programme and the 22 projects selected to participate in the programme.

DFM Access is a 10-week development platform for emerging producers. The programme is created to provide a nurturing framework for participants with existing long-form or episodic independent film projects to hone and improve their scripts and project packages. The objective of the programme is to help participants with the necessary skills to participate in programmes and markets locally and globally.

“The virtual incubation programme is aimed to support producers shape their stories, prepare their project presentations and understand the marketplace in order to create effective strategies for their current projects and to plan their professional trajectory,” says Magdalene Reddy, acting General Manager of the Durban FilmMart Institute. “The programme will consist of one-on-one mentorship and plenary sessions lead by industry experts.”

The projects - six documentaries, seven fiction features, nine episodic - were selected from the 2021 DFM project submissions. Three projects participating in DFM Access will be selected to present their project in the 2021 DFM’s Finance Forum as an official DFM project. This opportunity will allow participants a chance to engage with potential co producers, financiers and broadcasters. All participants will be given free accreditation to the DFM 2021.

 

DFM Access 2021 PROJECT SELECTION

 

FICTION SELECTION

Cancelled– Producer and Director: Lungile Mayindi

The Story of a Thorn Producer: Sinomtha Nduna, Director: Mzimasi Ndzombane

Sweetheart – Producer and Director: Thabiso Xolo

IBUYA – Producer: Happiness Mpase, Director: Gugu Kunene

Grade 10D – Producer: Shumelani Mapholi, Siphumelele Nene

Professional Mourners – Producer: Sihle Ndaba, Director: Amanda Lane

Becoming passionate – Producer: Tenjiwe Pswarayi, Director: Chiziwiso Pswarayi

 

DOCUMENTARY SELECTION 

Windward – Producers: Lusanda Mangqangwana, Lindiwe Mnisi, Katie Taylor, Director: Marie Midcalf

We Are Only Ever Passing Through – Producer and Director: Mandy Mbekeni

THE NEW AFRIKANS – Producers: Glenn Masokoane and Yolanda Ndhlovu, Director: Glenn Ujebe Masokoane

Dingiswayo: King of Kings – Producer: Linda E.T Gumede, Director: Lwazi Duma

My Plastic Hair – Producer: Mamokuena Makhema, Director: Yolanda Keabetswe Mogatusi

THE UNCHOSEN WORLD – Producer: Danile Annah Mohlamme, Director: Linda Keiser 

 

EPISODIC SELECTION

The Oath – Producer: Joe Spirit, Simphiwe Ngcobo, Director: Zuko Nodada

Wisdom Cries Out From The Streets – Producer and Director: Siyasanga Mbikwana

The Psycho – Producer: Buyani Gumede, Director: Sihle Mzobe

Pretty Hustle - Producer and Director: Zoe Ramushu

TWELVE - Producer and Director: Liese Kuhn

Zulu Dynasty – Producer: Llewellyn James Rice, Adze Ugah, Director: Llewellyn James Rice

In Tongues – Producer: Lerato Sokhulu, Director: Muneera Sallies

Keng daai deng? – Producer: Samkelisiwe Nkabinde, Director: Mlingane Dube

Three Sisters – Producer and Director: Tshego Monaisa

 

The DFM Access is produced by the Durban FilmMart Institute with principal funding from the Durban Film Office and Ethekwini Municipality. The DFM Access 2021 is supported by South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation PESP funding.

For more information contact the Durban FilmMart Institute on email: info@durbanfilmmart.com

SAMRO STIMULATES INDUSTRY CREATIVITY WITH MUSIC SUPPORT FUND

The Southern Africa Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) Foundation has approved micro-grants for 100 members as part of the SAMRO Music Creation Support Fund.

The grants were approved based primarily on the soundness of proposals, says SAMRO Chairperson, Nicholas Maweni.

“Following the request for proposals from members, the Foundation received 265 applications, and a hundred were selected by the independent adjudication committee to receive up to R20,000 each,” says Maweni.

“The successful applicants had to demonstrate that their idea was both creatively and financially sound and also stood a good chance of yielding positive results in the marketplace.”

The Foundation set up this fund to help SAMRO members to keep creating.

Maweni says the micro-grants should be considered "seed-capital" to assist many of our music composers in completing their creative projects. “We have noted that the majority of responders to this request for funding expressed a need for assistance with recording their music and to create videos.”

“This initiative is one of many interventions by the SAMRO Foundation aligned with the mission of enabling music creators to manage sustainable music businesses,” Maweni concludes.

DSTV HIGHLIGHTS APRIL 23-29


(“Judi Dench's Wild Borneo Adventure” on April 23, 2021)

As Freedom Month comes to a close, South Africans still have one more public holiday awaiting them on Tuesday, April 27. More than just another day off work, Freedom Day represents and commemorates the anniversary of South Africa’s first non-racial election in 1994 and South Africa’s liberation from apartheid. While DStv has been celebrating freedom for the entire month, there’s still a lot more ahead with special documentaries on History Channel (DStv channel 186).

Highlights include:

Judi Dench's Wild Borneo Adventure

Friday, April 23 on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 19h00

In this new mini-series, Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench takes us on the trip of a lifetime to Borneo. Beautifully filmed with cutting-edge technology, join Dame Dench as she explores the lush rainforests, magical wildlife and spectacular coastlines of Malaysian Borneo. She comes face-to-face with a variety of unique animals and meets the amazing individuals who live alongside them, all while examining the threats posed by global warming and deforestation.

 

Lady Driver (Drama)

Saturday, April 24 on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 15h45

In this feisty motorsport drama, a rebellious teenage girl finally gets her licence and, after some minor accidents, uncovers some pretty interesting family history. With the help of her uncle, she becomes a dirt-track racer and learns to connect with her “routes”.


 
(Right: Jessica Chastain appears in “Ava”)

 Ava (Action Thriller)

Sunday, April 25 on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 20h05, and on Showmax

Jessica Chastain (The Help) stars as Ava Faulkner, a recovering addict and former soldier turned assassin. After questioning orders and breaking protocol from her own black ops organisation, she becomes marked for death. This action-thriller has a star-studded cast that includes John Malkovich (Of Mice and Men), Common (John Wick: Chapter 2), Geena Davis (A League Of Their Own, Thelma & Louise) and Colin Farrell (Phone Booth).

 

A Black Lady Sketch Show S2

Monday, April 26 on 1Magic (DStv channel 103) at 21h30

This narrative sketch comedy series touches on culturally relevant themes such as social norms, anxiety, religion, sex, dating and relationships. In addition to being hilarious, it’s also notable for its many firsts in the entertainment sector: the first all-black women writers’ room, the first black woman sketch director and the first series’ cast composed entirely of black women. Each episode consists of five to six sketches with guest stars such as Angela Bassett (Black Panther), Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black), Tia Mowry (Sister, Sister), Loretta Devine (Madea’s Big Happy Family), Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland and David Alan Grier (In Living Color).

 

Baghdad Central S1

Thursday, April 29 on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 22h30

Set in 2003 right after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Baghdad Central follows former police inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji in Iraq. Al-Khafaji must decide whether to become a collaborator with the US-led coalition to find his last remaining family member, his eldest daughter.

 

Just Go With It (Romantic Comedy)

Friday, April 23 on M-Net Movies 1 (DStv channel 104) at 18h35

To marry the woman of his dreams, a plastic surgeon makes up an elaborate lie that involves his assistant and her two kids joining him on vacation to Hawaii. Once there, the kids pretend to be his loving children in front of the woman who he is expecting to marry. Catch this fun-loving family comedy with Adam Sandler (Grown Ups) and Jennifer Aniston (Friends).

 

Step Up (Dance)

Saturday, April 24 on M-Net Movies 3 (DStv channel 107) at 16h35

In this rags to riches story, former real-life husband and wife Channing Tatum (Magic Mike) and Jenna Dewan (Witches of East End) star as street dancer Tyler and pro dancer Nora, respectively. When the two meet at the Maryland School of Arts where Nora is a student and Tyler is completing community service, she convinces him to be her dance partner after she secretly sees him performing. Will this unlikely duo have what it takes to succeed or will their differences keep them from achieving their dreams?

(Scene from "Palm Beach")

Palm Beach (Comedy Drama)

Sunday, April 25 on M-Net Movies 1 (DStv channel 104) at 20h00

A group of old friends reunite at Sydney’s Palm Beach to celebrate the birthday of someone special. But, as with any friend group, secrets can’t stay hidden. When old secrets start to resurface, it threatens to ruin the celebration. Starring Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) and Richard E Grant (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker).

 

 Dark Waters (Drama/Thriller)

Thursday, 29 April on Showmax

In order to stop a chemical manufacturing corporation, DuPont, from contaminating his town, defense attorney Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo of Avengers fame) is forced to jeopardise his own life to expose them. Will he be able to give up everything he worked for to save the lives of many? Also starring Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada), Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption), Bill Camp (The Queen’s Gambit), Victor Garber (Annie) and Bill Pullman (Independence Day).

 

ONE-DAY FREE ATTENDANCE ONLINE JAZZ FESTIVAL


(13h00 Todd Matshikiza Centenary)

The Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) will join hands this month with the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at UKZN and the South African Association for Jazz Education to present a one-day free to attend online mini-festival on Tuesday April 27 to mark Jazz Appreciation Month.

Jazz Appreciation Month (fondly known as “JAM”) is a global event held in April every year to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz. JAM is intended to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz – to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.

(15h00: King Kong 60 years later)

“This first collaboration came about as a result of one idea and one Zoom meeting – cultural activists and administrators getting things done! And so, we are now able to present South African Jazz : Connecting the Tradition, a one-day online celebration of South African Jazz Education during Jazz Appreciation Month,” says Di Rossi speaking on behalf of the South African Association for Jazz Education (SAJE).

The free one-day online mini-festival will feature both performances and lectures as well as a public participation programme that begs the question, “Does Jazz Matter?” This pertinent question would have been the theme of the 15th SAJE Jazz Conference in August, 2021. The conference had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 national lockdowns. The conference has since been reconfigured into a series of smaller events over the course of the year featuring collaborations and digital events.


(17h00: Analysis: Covid-19: Impacts on the Jazz Festival and Gig economy)

“The Centre for Creative Arts and the Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg both have a track record for strong engagement with the cultural sector. We believe that this inaugural partnership between the arts centres at our two universities is vital to support the South African Association for Jazz Education and the Centre for Jazz & Contemporary Music to consider how an arts economy that has been almost decimated by the pandemic can be rebuilt,” says Ismail Mahomed, the Director for the Centre for Creative Arts.

“Now, more than ever, it is important for role players in the arts and culture industry to collaborate and combine efforts and resources to maximise the impact of our projects on both the industry and the communities we serve. We are thrilled to be partnering on the presentation of this one-day educational jazz celebration and to be marking Jazz Appreciation Month in such a meaningful way,” says Head of Arts & Culture at the University Johannesburg, Pieter Jacobs.


(19h00: Dreaming and Believing: New South African Voices in Jazz)

The two university centres are at the forefront of creating platforms for scholarly engagement and showcasing good quality performances. The collaboration between the two centres and their jazz partners aims to raise the profile of South African Jazz through a series of webinars, performances and a public engagement initiative. The mini festival will feature webinars moderated by media personalities Brenda Sisane, Sam Mathe and Atiyyah Khan.

Brenda Sisane will present a showcase of performance by young South African jazz musicians and will moderate a discussion with them about the future of South African jazz. Atiyyah Khan will speak to jazz festival promoters and venue operators about the impact of Covid-19 and the recovery plans for the sector. Sam Mathe will moderate a discussion about the legacy of Todd Matshikiza.

To attend the online mini-festival on April 27, 2021, RSVP https://tinyurl.com/nhejxvwc

For more information contact Thulile Zama, Concert and Jazzcentre Coordinator on 031 260 3385 or email: zamat1@ukzn.ac.za

 

OPEN-AIR MUSIC AT THE DHC

(Right: Simthandile Mtolo)

Join the Denis Hurley Centre this Saturday morning (April 24) for an early celebration of Freedom Day.

“Just as the 1994 elections brought together people from all parts of South African society, so we know that music can do the same: homeless people, local traders and shoppers, Cathedral parishioners - and you!,” says the DHC director, Raymond Perrier.

“We are partnering with the Independent Artists Busking Project to showcase musicians who are not getting opportunities to perform because of COVID. The organiser is Simthandile Mtolo who is one of the singers (pictured above).

“The event will be outdoors, socially distanced and everyone on site will be screened so that the space is as safe as possible.  There is no charge for admission - but please bring cash that you can 'throw in the hat' to help support the artists,” he adds.

This is the start of what it is hoped will be an on-going collaboration. If you are a musician looking for a chance to busk please contact Simthandile. The DHC is also willing to provide free rehearsal space for artists. Contact the Director for more information. 

There will also be a StreetLit bookseller and vendors selling crafts and drinks.

Open-Air Music at the DHC takes place this Saturday from 10h00 to 13h00. Safe parking behind the Cathedral (cost R20) or below Victoria Street market. If you need directions for parking or for Uber email: raymond@denishurleycentre.org

NIBS AND GUY KZN TOUR DATES


(Guy Buttery & Nibs van der Spuy. Pic by Tim Hopwood)

Having shared the stage together for more than 20 years now, the opportunity of catching Nibs van der Spuy and Guy Buttery performing as a duo in South Africa has become increasingly rare these days. With their demanding schedules as solo artists and with van der Spuy being based six months of the year in Portugal, the duo only manages a handful of shows together a year, if any at all. This however all changes this month as they kick off their first series of concerts since the pandemic around their home province of KZN.

After an eight-year silence on the recording front, the musicians have released a spell-binding live album, Live in Lisbon. It sees their return with a stripped-down performance beautifully captured beside the mighty Tagus River just outside the capital city of Portugal. This will be the duo's first opportunity to tour their new release and is also their first concerts since the European tour when this was recorded in September 2019.

These two internationally-renowned musicians have toured many major festivals and venues throughout Europe and the UK in promotion of their SAMA nominated album, In the Shade of the Wild Fig. The duo has also won the very prestigious Standard Bank Ovation Award at The National Arts Festival. These accolades led to further sold-out performances at numerous festivals and concert halls in both South Africa and in Europe receiving rave reviews for both their live show and their recorded work. Van der Spuy and Buttery were then invited to perform with the 52 piece KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, dubbed “Africa’s greatest orchestra” and were later voted “Top Live Show of the Year” by The Cape Times.

These two virtuosos collaborated on a series of shows in the early and mid-2000’s before their respective solo careers took off with whirlwind individual touring schedules across the globe. Their performing paths crossed at a major festival in Toulouse, France, and this inspired a new combination of performances and sowed the seeds for recording a full length album together. In The Shade of the Wild Fig showcases their mutual interest and deep love for World Music and different folk movements featuring numerous instruments such as the cuatro, mbira, tampura, sitar and various acoustic guitars.

Their upcoming live performances will showcase their numerous recordings as well as the collected live work which is unique to every concert.

 

TOUR DATES:

April, 30 2021.

Westville Theatre Club, 6 St James Avenue (Westville Pool), Westville

Tickets R180. Doors open at 19h00 for 19h30 show

Bring picnic baskets and wine

Bookings: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/137492-nibs-van-der-spuy-guy-buttery-live-at-westville-theatre-club/

 

May 1, 2021

Cane Rats, Monzi Golf Estate, Mtubatuba, Monzi at 16h00 for 16h30

Tickets R180. Bring your own picnic/chairs/blankets

Bookings: Contact Despi on 076 1553 999 or email: papa.despi@gmail.com

 

May, 2 2021

Mtunzini Country Club, 43 Hely Hutchinson Road, Mtunzini

Doors open at 12h30 for lunch, with show starting at 14h00

Tickets R200 (including carvery lunch)

Bookings: 035 340 4310

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

DIRE STRAITS UNPLUGGED

(Barry Thomson, Dawn Selby, Trevor Donjeany & Mali Sewell)

Taking a fresh approach with the music of Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits, Dire Straits Unplugged will run at the Allan Wilson Shellhole in Pietermaritzburg on April 25 and in Durban from April 30 to May 2 with a further run at Tina’s Hotel from May 7 to 9, 2021.

Dire Straits Unplugged features Barry Thomson and The Reals with Thomson (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars); Dawn Selby (vocals and keyboards); Mali Sewell (vocals and percussion) and Trevor Donjeany (vocals and bass guitar).

The show includes new songs, some of which were collaborations between Knopfler and James Taylor (Sailing To Philadelphia), Emmylou Harris (This is Us), Jeff Healy (So Far Away) and includes the iconic Your Latest Trick. Of course, the most popular Dire Straits songs, including favourites Sultans Of Swing, Money For Nothing, Brothers In Arms and Romeo and Juliet, will be performed with a new ‘unplugged twist’.

Since 1995 when Dire Straits disbanded, Knopfler has recorded and produced nine solo albums which produced many hit songs. He has also composed and produced the music for nine film scores including Going Home from Local Hero, another song which will be included in this show.

The show runs at the Allan Wilson Shellhole in Pietermaritzburg on April 25 at 14h00. Bring food picnic baskets or buy from Prego Rolls from the Moths.

The Durban season runs at Rhumbelow from April 30 to May 2 and then at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof from May 7 to 9. (Venue opens 90 minutes before show for snacks/drinks)

“Whilst we are not changing our 2020 pricing, we would ask that if you are able to please assist us and the performers by donating a higher ticket price,” says Rhumbelow Theatre’s director, Roland Stansell.

Tickets R160. Booking is essential on email: roland@stansell.co.za or visit http://events.durbantheatre.com/

75 PEOPLE MAX PER SHOW (50% capacity)

All seating will be at separate tables and the management will obviously be seating co-habiting couples and/or family members.

Limited secure parking is available at all three venues and there is a cash bar (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises).

All Covid-19 protocols will be observed.

 

PIETER-DIRK UYS TO DELIVER KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT INAUGURAL ARTFLUENCE

(Right: Pieter-Dirk Uys)

South African playwright, satirist, and social justice activist, Pieter-Dirk Uys, will deliver the keynote address at the inaugural Artfluence Human Rights festival presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands from May 5 to 8, 2021.

Pieter-Dirk Uys has worked in the performing arts sector since the early 60s. Closely associated with both the Space Theatre in Cape Town and Johannesburg's Market Theatre during the turbulent 1970s and 1980s, Uys was no stranger to the apartheid era’s censor board. His defiant voice against State censorship is articulated in more than 20 plays and over 30 revues and one-man shows performed throughout South Africa and abroad.

Having survived the mediocrity of apartheid kultuur, Uys claims that he derived therapy from exposing the bones of the apartheid dinosaur and delights equally in exposing the contradictions of the current government.

“For more than four decades, Pieter-Dirk Uys has been a powerful voice of courage, hope and resilience. In 2001, he was awarded South Africa’s prestigious Truth & Reconciliation Award. Twenty years after receiving this award, while his voice for justice continues to resonate with the same force, he is an appropriate choice to deliver the inaugural keynote address at the Artfluence Human Rights festival”, says Ismail Mahomed, the director of the Centre for Creative Arts.

Uys’ list of accolades include being conferred with honorary degrees from Rhodes University (D.Litt.Hon. 1997), the University of Cape Town (D.Litt.Hon. 2003), the University of the Western Cape (D.Edu.Hon. 2003), the University of the Witwatersrand (D.Litt.Hon. 2004) and University of KwaZulu-Natal (Doctor of Literature honoris causa 2014). His celebrated alter-ego, Evita Bezuidenhout, proudly received the Living Legacy 2000 Award in San Diego, USA. In 2011, Uys was honoured with a lifetime achievement Teddy award at the Berlin International Film Festival; in 2012, he received both the FW de Klerk Goodwill Award and the German-Africa Award; and in 2016, he received the ACT (Arts & Culture Trust) Theatre Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Since 2000, Uys has travelled around South Africa with a free AIDS-awareness entertainment called For Facts Sake!, visiting over 1.5 million schoolchildren, as well as prisons and reformatories. He has also released a corporate AIDS-information video, Having Sex with Pieter-Dirk Uys, the family-friendly video, Survival Aids, and Just a Small Prick!, addressing the fears surrounding testing for HIV.

Evita se Peron, Uys’s cabaret theatre and restaurant in Darling, where he lives, would have celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The venue, which Uys converted from the old Darling railway station, is famous for its satirical garden, Boerassic Park, and is the domain of Evita Bezuidenhout, the “most famous white woman in South Africa”. The unique museum/nauseum of apartheid artefacts there, reflecting the madness of the past, is arguably the only satirical exhibition of South Africa’s recent past. 

The inaugural Artfluence Human Rights Arts Festival with a focus on arts, constitution and democracy will be presented by the Centre for Creative Arts in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands. Voices of Hope, Courage and Resilience will be the theme for the inaugural festival. It will mark the 25th anniversary of the Centre for Creative Arts as a vibrantly creative enabler and advocate for social justice and democracy, as well as the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the South African Constitution. The inaugural festival will run for four days, from May 5 to 8, 2021.

Uys will deliver his keynote address during the opening Artfluence on May 5 at 15h00, after which also the Artfluence Human Rights Champion will be announced.

The festival is freely accessible and can be watched via www.facebook.com/artfluencefest and www.youtube.com/centreforcreativearts. The full programme will be announced next week.

TROY: RELEASE

Fry has a wonderful way of relating his story, introducing conversations between gods and mortals, and sometimes seems to have his tongue firmly in his cheek when doing so. (Review by Barry Meehan)

Myth versus reality – will we ever know the absolute truth about the rise and fall of Troy? Seeing as the Trojan War started in 1200 BC, and the main account thereof was written over 400 years later by Homer, it is highly debatable.

Stephen Fry presents his version of the War in Troy, the latest in his series of novels covering the history of Greece and all thing Greek. His previous novels are Mythos, which covers the birth and rise of gods and humans, and Heroes, which relates the incredible adventures of Perseus, Heracles, Jason and Theseus, all mortals.

Fortunately, one does not have to have read these two earlier novels, as Fry provides dozens of footnotes, detailing where one can find further details, should they be required. He also makes a point of telling us that we need not remember every name, place or relationship in the book, which is a good thing, as there are literally hundreds of characters on each side of the conflict, not to mention the forty-odd gods, titans and other immortals. The gods seemed to be a pretty randy bunch, as there are numerous tales woven into the narrative of many of them – male and female - popping down to earth, some disguised as various animals, having sexual intercourse with whoever they fancied, creating many mortals with godlike qualities.

The gods were also not averse to interfering in the Trojan conflict, taking sides according to their preferences whenever the mood took them, even though the supreme god, Zeus, ordered the others to desist from interfering.

Fry has a wonderful way of relating his story, introducing conversations between gods and mortals, and sometimes seems to have his tongue firmly in his cheek when doing so. Troy is, however, a damn fine read, and lays out very clearly the scenario behind the Trojan War, which lasted for many years, stretching the forces of Greece and Troy to their absolute limit.

If you were fed the basis of the Trojan War story during History classes at School, as I was, then you’ll find Stephen Fry’s novel educational, entertaining and illuminating. Once the conflict gets under way after Paris’s abduction of the incredibly lovely Helen, Fry’s descriptive talents come to the fore, giving us a wonderfully descriptive tale that brings history to life in all its gory and brutal detail. Highly recommended reading.

Troy is published by Penguin - ISBN 978-0-241-42458-2 – Barry Meehan

DIANE ERASMUS DRAWS INSPIRATION FROM NATURE


(These 20 x 20cm Seascapes are a recent collection from Diane Erasmus’ “Ocean Walks Series”. They are painted in oils on canvas.)

Drawing her inspiration primarily from the beauty of the natural world, South African artist, Diane Erasmus, has emerged as one of the most innovative and creative painters of her generation.

Her vivid and colouristically inventive landscapes and seascapes are imbued with a profoundly spiritual awareness, yet remain grounded in those elements which define a great work of art.

She prefers to work from life and travels extensively in order to glean new material for her work and whether in her depictions of the floral glory of the Namaqualand spring re-birthing, or in her moody treatment of river and seascapes, the honesty and uniqueness of her vision shines through.

Under the mentorship of her life-partner renowned landscape artist Anton Benzon, her work has matured to the extent that it has become instantly recognisable and, once seen, imminently memorable.


The possession of this fine artist's work has become not only an authentic pleasure but a progressive and fine investment opportunity.

Erasmus showcases her work in online galleries presently on www.southafricanartists.com and an international site www.singulart.com as well as in local galleries in Natal, the Cape and Gauteng.

To see more of Erasmus’ work visit www.dianeerasmus.com

Monday, April 19, 2021

DOUBLE UP! EXHIBITION

(Left: Layla Jacob, "”Bittersweet", 2021)

A Curate.a.Space curation bringing new blood into the art field, Double Up! is currently running at the KZNSA Gallery.

During the Covid-19 lockdowns, the concept of the “bubble” became known. The bubble is formed by a small group of people who can share their lockdown experience safely and allows them to have some personal interaction. 

Ideally, a connection will be made between each bubble.

(Right: "Enye Impilo", photographic imprint by Thembi Mthembu, 2019)

The KZNSA explains: “We have taken this concept and selected five artists who have not had the opportunity to show work during the lockdown. These five artists have each been invited to select one other artist who has been similarly affected. 

The exhibition is titled Double up! and is intended to give opportunities to artists who have not been in the mainstream of exhibiting in Durban. 

The initial brief gave each of the selected artists free rein to select who they wished, which also gave them a curatorial role.

(Left: "A House of Bone", mixed media by Alka Dass, 2021)

“The process is intended to draw attention to the fact that Covid-19 has taught us how important mutual support and collaborations can be. 

"So come and see how fashion becomes sculpture, sugar cane is part of art, pompoms jumping out of the wall, and the Covid Bubble making art creep up the stairs."

This exhibition has been made possible by the NAC PESP funding.

The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. 


(Right: "Bavumile", Red clay and oil on canvas by Selloane Moeti, 2020)

More information on 031 277 1705 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit www.kznsa.co.za

DSTV HIGHLIGHTS APRIL 16 – 22

(Right: Kate Winslet in “Mare of Easttown”)

It’s already the middle of April – but that doesn’t mean the entertainment stops. DStv has great programming lined up this week.

Both M-Net (DStv channel 101) and kykNET (DStv channel 144) have exciting new shows. On M-Net, Kate Winslet takes on the role of producer and female lead in the limited series Mare of Easttown. While trying to keep her life from falling apart, traumatised small-town detective Mare Sheehan (Winslet) must solve a brutal murder. As she constantly pushes the boundaries, she also uncovers the dark past and secret tragedies in her close community.

Op My Eish! is kykNET’s newest reality show with South African heartthrob Neels van Jaarsveld. Join him and wingman HenrĂ© Pretorius as Neels looks for love in Hermanus.

Over on History Channel (DStv channel 186), In Their Own Words: Muhammad Ali tells the life story of the world’s greatest boxer and his profound impact on both culture and history, while CBS Reality (DStv channel 132) airs the latest season of Rumble & Hum, with SA’s very own Lewis “Vudulew” Williams, a controversial yet intriguing figure. Join Williams and his team as they pierce and tattoo a wide variety of customers – from international Formula One drivers and musicians to motorbike enthusiasts and business professionals.

Youngsters also have plenty to look forward to with Darwin & Newts on Da Vinci (DStv channel 318). New Zealand Maori siblings Darwin and Newts figure out how stuff works with the help of science and some Kiwi ingenuity.

This year, Earth Day is on April 22– and Curiosity Channel (DStv channel 185) is celebrating with a full day of earthy programmes. Begin the day with Secret Life of Lakes at 09h00 and discover how people and nature have existed together for centuries with a deep-dive into the immutable lake waters. Unlike the tumultuous oceans and mighty rivers, lakes offer tranquility – and beneath their depths, an aquatic heart. At 14h00, Life On Fire takes us into the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua, where life has struggled to emerge after thousands of years. Later in the evening at 19h00, Polar Bears will entertain youngsters and adults alike. These furry creatures are majestic and are able to withstand the harshest environments while remaining top predators.

Whale Wisdom at 20h00 shows us just how smart whales can be – and yet, they remain a mystery despite new science giving us answers as to how they might see and interact with the world. Filmed entirely in 4K from above and below the water, marine biologist and filmmaker Rick Rosenthal shines a light on the culture and wisdom of whales in this exciting factual feature. 

To end off the thrilling Earth Day entertainment, Rainforest Home airs at 21h00 and takes us on a journey through the richest habitat on earth. Teeming with millions of plants and animals, the tropical belts of green stretches across South and Central America, Indonesia, Malaysia and northern Australia.