Stretching a R6 000 budget for an Afrikaans-medium short film marked the birth of Vusi Africa’s filmmaking career. The successful penny-pinching paid off: the rudimentary project eventually premiered at the Silicon Valley Film Festival in California and was nominated for the best short film award at the African International Film Festival.
The accolades continued with Africa’s debut feature-length film, Letters of Hope, which premiered at the 40th Durban International Film Festival, where he scooped an award for artistic bravery. The film subsequently opened the fifth edition of the Rapid Lion film festival and earned him a South African Film and Television Award for best emerging filmmaker.
Unique South African narratives underpin Africa’s work. He wants to inspire his audiences “to see themselves, defeat their shortfalls and regain their confidence”. His sophomore offering, Surviving Gaza, is a coming-of-age tale set against the vibrant backdrop of Kwaito’s heyday, and has just been released.
“Find something you are passionate about and do it like your freedom depends on it.”