THE AFRICAN CYPHER - THEATRICAL TRAILER

Feature documentary

2012

 

 

 "I dance, as if I have a gun to my head"  - Mada Sthembiso

The African Cypher is the birth place of ritual, celebration, council, story-telling and dance.

 

Street dance in South Africa is a complex, convoluted underworld; that, like most sub-cultures, exists as a sum of its participants.

 

"In Mapetla, Soweto if you steal phones and hand bags you will not live long. The community will kill you.

If you do a heist, they will tell the police you are not there."

 

Prince tells me this as we walk back to Mada’s place from the shisa nyama. (an informal outdoor fire where you can buy some meat to cook and drink a beer.)

 

Prince is a pantsula. He used to be a tsotsi, a gangster, a thug. Today he walks his streets with pride; he is a pantsula dancer and a little bit famous.

 

Tom London from Soweto’s Finest says,

 

When we dance we find purpose with our bodies”.

 

Prince, strolling down the dusty street with his fluid movement, a little trouble in his hat and a slight swagger, is perhaps the embodiment of that sentiment.

 

When he dances on the street corner with Mada; the kids, the tsotsi’s, the mama’s, the unemployed and the hustlers all stop to watch him. I always wonder how it must feel to have that power residing right inside you. No props, no burning hoops – nothing.

Whatever this dance thing is. It is beautiful, part circus/part soul. No matter the context or style.

 

We all ultimately dance for an audience of one.

AWARDS

 

Best South African Documentary - Durban International Film Festival

 

Audience Award Best South African Film - Encounters International Documentary Festival

(Bryan Little is the only filmmaker to have won this prestigious prize with both his first two films.)

 

African Academy Award Nominee (best African documentary)

 

Notable festivals:

 

Official Selection - Seattle International Film Festival (USA) 2013

Official Selection - Etonnant Voyageurs (France / Brazzaville) 2013

Best Documentary Nomination at African Film Development Awards 2013

THE FILM IS CO-OWNED BY THE FILMMAKERS AND DANCERS,

SO BY WATCHING AND SUPPORTING YOU HELP US ALL CONTINUE TO EXPLORE OUR PASSIONS.

 

Dance crews:

 

Shakers&Movers, Soweto :: Real Actions, Orange Farm :: Red for Danger, Mohtlakeng :: Artistic Intelligence , Jozi :: Afro Tribal, Soweto :: Ubuntu BBoys, Cape Town :: RFK, Cape Town :: Genesis Kings, Durban

 

Filmmakers:

 

Director - Bryan Little

Producer - Filipa Domingues

DOP - Grant Appleton

2nd cam - Alexia Webster

Editor - Grant Birch

Music composition + Sound Design - Simon Kohler

AFRO-TRIBAL on a White City, Soweto rooftop

AFRO-TRIBAL in Kliptown, Soweto

Image by Filipa Domingues

Michael watching the drifting on the Cape Flats

Image by : Filipa Domingues

Real Actions in KlipTown in front of the Zionist church

 

Real Actions in White City, Soweto

Real Actions between performing

Image by : Filipa Domingues

Shakers & Movers in Soweto

Ubuntu B-Boys, Cape Town

Ubuntu B-Boys, Cape Town