SHORT FILM & DOCUMENTARY
In the film Manthe Ribane performs different incarnations of herself whilst simultaneously occupying mythologised characters that connect to ancient she-warrior narratives drawn from a fictionalised nexus between ancient African and Far-Eastern cultures. This is expressed through movement within and flow through four environments that suggest imaginings of a horizon-less, time-less night, a wild nature, a parched pre-apocalyptic river bed and a divine redemptive inner-space.
As Manthe moves through these four locations her form and movement manifest the emotional arc of her journey. She is 'La Loba' - the she-wolf. She is the Akai Tori - 'the red bird', a keeper of the light, and possessing the wisdom of ages. She is the maternal Sentinel - chaotic nature, the weather, the elements. Finally, she is the Senri Yokai, attaining divine spiritual power over her own destiny.
The film draws on Chris Saunders' photography and film work capturing contemporary movement and dance , but applies this to an abstracted interrogation of a person's place within different natures - real and fictionalised, performative and psychosomatic. Animated textures and digital landscapes from Manuel Zambrano are overlaid, challenging the integrity of Manthe's cinematic world, rupturing the viewer's engagement with it, evoking an internet-like unrest, bringing with it a sense of the imminent beyond the present continuous.
Director: Chris Saunders
Performer: Manthe Ribane
Choreography, Styling: Manthe Ribane
Director of Photography: Deon Van Zyl
Editor: Josh Borril
Graphics, Animation: Optigram
Artworks: Jonathan Freemantle
Artworks made and film shot on location in December 2017
@ Nirox Sculpture Park, The Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Soundtrack from the album ‘Closer Apart’ by Okzharp and Manche Ribane, Hyperdub Records
GHOST DIAMOND TRAILER (UK)
Ghost Diamond is the new film by Chris Saunders, a Johannesburg-based photographer and filmmaker, and Okzharp, a Cape Town-born, London-based musician. The film was made over the last 2 years and was supported by the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa, and the British Council.
In Ghost Diamond, a young woman journeys to the heart of a new African metropolis. She finds a jewel in the dust and is given a book by a stranger. Inspired, she must find a purpose for this new possession and for this new knowledge. Figures, objects and places from her past appear to her as she moves against the cold city curves. Can she find hope in this place and time?
The film connects specific Zulu and Japanese mythologies via elements of the story, the visual style and Manthe Ribane’s dance performance. This film looks at the emotional landscape of the new international dialogues that are occurring in the modern hyper-connected African city. The film was itself a product of such a relationship. Okzharp previously toured in SA with Zaki Ibrahim and Okmalumkoolkat via the British Council’s Connect ZA project. This lead to Chris Saunders directing short films for Sebenza and Spitting Cobra by Okzharp’s previous group LV and Okmalumkoolkat, both on Hyperdub. Ghost Diamond is the latest work in this audiovisual collaboration.
The film was shot on location in and around Johannesburg. It was edited in Cape Town. The soundtrack is by Okzharp in collaboration with Manthe Ribane, Zaki Ibrahim and Petite Noir. Music was written and recorded in SA at various locations including a security bunker in the Cape flats, Red Bull studios, Cape Town and a cavernous ex-marshmallow factory in Maboneng, Joburg. The final mix to picture was done at The Crush in London by Okzharp with UK mixing engineer, Dil Harris. Some of the music will be released later this year.
Directed and Produced by: CHRIS SAUNDERS
Written & Produced by: OKZHARP
Director of Photography, Editor, Grade & Online Composting: DEON VAN ZYL
Graphics and Animation: OPTIGRAM
Performers: MANTHE RIBANE, BHUBESSI AKA KHAYA SIBIYA, JAMAL NXEDLANA, ZAKI IBRAHIM, TEBOGO RIBANE, KAY KAY RIBANE
Choreographer: MANTHE RIBANE
Styling and Wardrobe: JAMAL NXEDLANA & MANTHE RIBANE
Hair, Makeup, Styling, Production Design: ZAKI IBRAHIM & MANTHE RIBANE
Security: BAD BOYZ OF HILLBROW, JHB
Original soundtrack: OKZHARP featuring MANTHE RIBANE, ZAKI IBRAHIM, PETITE NOIR
Thanks to Tiffany Mentoor (NFVF / SA-UK Season Liaison), Marcus & Steve (Hyperdub), Richard & Jake (Red Bull Studios Cape Town), Zaki & Yannick, Smiso & Zamani (Dirty Paraffin), Mkay, Justin McGee, Jacques de Jager, Freddy & Neo (Bad Boyz),
This project has been supported by the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and the British Council.
The British Council & Connect/ZA commissioned me to make a short documentary on their music competition in South Africa. They asked bands to enter their music in to stand the chance to win a show at the prestigious Roundhouse rising festival in late February 2014.
The Brother Moves On and Wildebeats where the winners.
Directed & Produced By. Chris Saunders
Cinematography. Adriaan Louw (WAA)
Edited by. Deon van Zyl
JOBURG PARTY - A SNAPSHOT OF THE SOUTH AFRICA'S NEW YOUTH UNDERGROUND (2012)
Over two days and nights in Johannesburg, South Africa, we travelled to illegal rooftop parties, warehouse raves, street fashion shoots and poolside jams to meet some of the young musicians, DJs, zine publishers and artists set on taking the SA scene global, and asked them how the city's youth culture is changing.
Features great music and interviews with Dirty Paraffin, Richard the Third, Desmond & The Tutus, MJ Turpin, Jamal Nxedlana (CUSS) and Khaya Sibiya AKA Bhubessi. Joburg...It's like a movie.
A Film by Rod Stanley & Chris Saunders.
Edited by Rob Hannah.
Music Video Credits:
DIRTY PARAFFIN in collaboration with CUSSMONTHLY
Edited & Directed by: Ravi GOVENDER
Shot by: Justin MCGEE & Jamal NXEDLANA
Animation by: Lex TRICKETT
Styled by: Jamal NXEDLANA & Ravi GOVENDER
Dirty Paraffin - Papap! Papap!
Directed by Smiso Zwane.
Footage by Lebogang Rasethaba.
Edited by Ravi Govender.
mtkidu - Skeleton key
album: skeleton key 2012
free music: soundcloud.com/search?q[fulltext]=mtkidu
Written and Directed by MJ Turpin
Dop: Chris Saunders and Justin Mcgee
Edit: Malcolm Che
Producer: MJ Turpin
MTKIDU SNUFF HOUSE PARTY ARCHIVE 1992.
Album: shakawon 2010
Written, Produced and Directed
by MJ Turpin and Nick Nesbitt.
Dop. Robyn Nesbitt
Edited Nick and Robyn Nesbitt.
Bhubessi - Members Only.
directed by Obrian Manana and Khaya Sibiya
Cinematography Sims Phakisi
Edited By Themba Mbelu
PUMA - AFRICA ARTIST SERIES - GODFRIED DONKOR
A short documentary about artist Godfried Donkor a Fine Artist from Ghana who designed the national football teams new kit for Puma. The story was shot in Accra and Kumasi in Ghana.
COLORS MAGAZINE - PANTSULA
In the infamous township of Orange Farm, Johannesburg in South Africa, I tracked down the 'Real Actions' Pantsula dance crew.
Pantsula is a form of dance which developed through Tsotsi Culture (South African Township Gangster Culture). The 'Real Actions' dance crew have transformed the stereotype and turned kids of the streets and into professional dancers. They run community dance classes and have carried their form into a nationwide phenomenon.
You can read the full story and see the photos on my blog and in Colors Magazine.
Filmed & Directed by Chris Saunders
Edited by Pablo Pastor
Produced by Colors Magazine 2010
COLORS MAGAZINE - KUDURO
In Colors Magazine 78, I was sent out to do a documentary on a one legged dancer from Angola who we had found on a Youtube video and later tracked down in Paris, France.
He was now famous for Kuduro dancing and he welcomed me into his life for a couple of days.
From autographs to crowded nightclubs the experience was overwhelming.
Edited by Pablo Pastor
Produced by Colors Magazine