Rewriting the code : film documentary

We made a concept video over 12 months during 2018/2019. This was meant to be our big project for 2020 and then the pandemic changed the world, and we had to press pause.
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Watch this on a big screen – when you start you won’t stop watching and you will be amazed and inspired.

We were meant to start up this project again in April (2022), and then, well, this insane war began.

This was the original elevator pitch/log-line :

Ukraine’s struggle for freedom and recognition from their hard-wired Soviet conditioning. A story of identity. They are not The Ukraine.

We were spot on !

This war is about their identity – they are Ukraine.

We had been in talks with various streaming platforms going back a number of years – everyone was excited. When the war is over we will try complete this project.

Our motivation from all those years ago, going back now over 14 years : Ukraine deserves a better conversation in the world.




Every app on your phone is a software program. All of these applications often run over the Internet, which requires communications between the app program and other systems in the background (often referred to as the backend systems – linked through APIs). For each component of this ecosystem to function smoothly and securely it often means a lot of work has been done in the software domain, and the work never ends, as the software continually gets updated and improved.


Take a look at the apps on your phone. So many of these software programs have replaced the physical counterpart from the real world. These virtual manifestations keep coming. The calculator, radio, map book, compass, torch, spirit level, television, remote control, notepad, books, music, movies and many more very complicated tools. These now all exists in virtual format on your phone. All of these are created by programmers, writing software, all across the globe. If you were building a business and needed software to help you, who do you call?




Matwetwe, a coming-of-age adventure set in the iconic township of Atteridgeville, was released on the 25th January 2019. It pulled in an impressive R 980 762 within it’s first three days of release. It went on to make another million in the next 5 days. On Friday the 1st March, Matwetwe’s lead actor Sibusiso Khwinana was stabbed to death in Pretoria – over a cellphone.

Our feature-length documentary will be centred around the violent and relentless crime we as South Africans face on a daily basis. It’s a monstrous enemy; an enemy that has no preference in terms of age, gender, race or social standing; that attacks all walks of life. Sibusiso’s tragic passing will not only provide the emotional preface for the first act, it will be a thread that we will intermittently reference through the course of the feature.

Statistics suggest a state that is closer to a war zone than a country with a civilian crime issue. That said, we are not looking to create a shock-driven, investigative journalism-styled exposé. Rather we want to focus more on the state of our nation’s internal spirit and ways in which we can steer our country toward a more positive and hopeful destiny. This will be a contemporary, modern and refreshing look at who we really are as South Africans; our individual and communal identities, and how together we can look at real and pragmatic solutions in facing this common enemy.

This documentary aims to open a conversation, unearth insights, and hopefully begin to demystify the madness that is currently consuming and suffocating our nation. In order to forge a way forward, we will need to unpack our past, dissect our present, and light a path toward our future. To do this, we will need to hear from historians, head of crime fighting units, politicians, psychologists, violent crime cleaning services, down-on-the-ground crime counsellors and, of course, from the people of our nation who have suffered at the hands of this merciless enemy. We will track stories, trace socio-historical influences and attempt to understand the mechanics behind the atrocities. We will listen to victims who have forgiven their attackers, and to those who have not. We will hear testimonies from the criminals themselves. And through it all, we will relentlessly hunt for solutions… Maybe, just maybe, significant insights will bubble to the surface – insights that will at least help build a foundation of understanding, that could in turn lead to a potential counter strategy.

We suspect that the reasons for the chronic levels of crime in our country are far more complex and layered than what we think we know; and that the solutions many of us currently believe would make a difference are desperately outmoded. Solutions like “we need more policing”. Our chequered, convoluted and unique history as a country demands a far more multi-pronged solutions strategy. Solutions that we need to unite on, construct together and, at the very least, talk about. And that we need to talk about now.

Returning sporadically to the narrative heartline of Sibusiso’s passing, we will continue bringing the story back from the macro to the micro, from the nation to the individual. Through the testimonials of his colleagues, friends and family, we hope to uncover how the aftermath of such a tragedy has had such devastating and far-reaching impact on the lives of those closest to him; how the passion and spirit of a young man at the cusp of realising his dream could be so senselessly ended, and the ripple effect that this cruel metamorphosis of dream-to-nightmare has had on those around him. It’s a film that we hope will help turn depression into hope, suffocation into inspiration, victimisation into empowerment.



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Nothing for Mahala – a feature film from the NGO Heartlines

The film is coming out in October (2013). Here is a synopsis :

Axe Nikiwe is all about the Benjamins and the Randelas. An up-and-coming property agent, he is desperate to make his mark in life and believes you have to spend money in order to make it. Only problem is Axe is spending a lot more than he is making, driving the flashy car and trying to live up to the Motsepes. This extravagant lifestyle gets him into trouble with loan sharks and, through a series of mishaps, in trouble with the law.

His fast-paced career is rudely interrupted when he gets sentenced to 200 hours of community service at an old-age home. There he meets and gets assigned to Henry, a grumpy old man who spent his life chasing money and now finds himself miserable and alone. Their story is a comic clash of cultures spiced up with hard-hitting life lessons.

At the old-age home, Axe finds himself intrigued by the beautiful manager Renilwe, whose value system is totally different to his. Being in a world where people are the most valuable resource, Axe finds his own worldviews regularly challenged. But due to his make-money nature and his growing debt troubles he negotiates a deal that compromises the wellbeing of the oldsters. It also causes Renilwe to lose all faith in him.

Can a man like Axe realise true wealth doesn’t lie in temporal things? Can he change his own journey to make a mark that will cost him everything but gain him much more? Nothing for Mahala challenges us all to take a comical and critical look at our own relationships with money, and people.




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