Behind the Blazer reaches school audiences in KZN

Behind the Blazer (NPO) in association with the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) presented the Behind the Blazer Film Festival during March in Dannhauser, KwaZulu-Natal to showcase films made by South African high school students form the vibrant townships, developed cities and rural areas.

The film festival was organised by Behind the Blazer, a non-profit organisation dedicated to enriching young minds through local cultures, supporting the industry in driving storytelling throughout the country, through different communities, and reaching new audience around South Africa.

Seven high schools around Dannhauser participated: Hlalanathi High School, Malambule High School, Sizimele High School, Mana High School, Mnyamande High School, Mzwethu High School and St Lewis High School.

Behind the Blazer Film Festival, based at the Kwamdakane Community Hall , highlighted the very best of filmmaking from different high schools with different backgrounds and experiences, exploring a broad range of topics that affect students in schools, communities and at home and stir their heart and minds. The festival also offered Q&A sessions with these future practitioners. Kalushi was the main attraction thanks to IPO member Mandla Dube for allowing the festival an opportunity to screen his inspiring story of anti-apartheid youth hero Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu.

The culmination of the Behind the Blazer Film Festival was the Awards Ceremony with a  competition jury comprising film community representatives, each with an original and diverse point of view, The jury consisted of: Luthuli Dlamini, Nomvelo Makhanya and Khanyisile Zwane  (Scandal), Thuthuka Zondi (ENCA cameraman), Minenhle Gumbi (Langelihle Films), with Mihlali Mzima and Mathapelo Mokoena (ASE Film and TV Production student). Films from different genres received a range of awards as well as special Audience Awards based on festival goers’ ballots.

Award winners of the Behind the Blazer Film Festival:

Best Script: Mana High School

Best Actor: Mnyamande High School

Best Actress: St Lewis High School

Best Director: Malambule High School

Best DOP: St Lewis High School

Best Film: St Lewis High School

Special thanks to: NFVF, MICT SETA, Mandla Dube, Amile Productions, Dannhauser Municipality and the Community of Kwamdakane.

Behind the Blazer Film Project is an initiative that introduces learners from high schools to the techniques, language, and process of film making. Professional filmmakers and respected critics provide expert instruction in what it takes to understand and create a film. Behind the Blazer will gives learners who love movies a chance to understand filmmaking from behind the scenes. Instruction includes:

  • The basics of filmmaking techniques, including camera angles, shots, lighting, sound recording, acting style, screenwriting, storyboarding, and directing.
  • A foundation in film vocabulary and criticism.
  • Dozens of hands-on activities, including storyboarding, screenwriting, acting, writing reviews, and making a movie.

To support Behind the Blazer or for further information contact Vusi Thwala on