The Creators Documentary

The Creators Documentary is a story that dives into a current of subversive art which fuels South Africa’s clashing and merging cultures.

The Creators started in 2009 with a Fulbright grant to do research on artistic activism in South Africa. The documentary is a very intimate and revealing film that has premiered in Heidelberg, Dallas, Beverly Hills, and will soon premiere in Cape Town, Joburg, and Zanzibar.

People come together and focus on sharing and creating art to give each other strength in a part of the world that is fueled by old feuds and hatred. Apartheid has impacted their lives heavily and even today they still struggle with it. By creating something beautiful from it they can come together and connect with each other.

Following the lives of Faith47 (graffiti artist), Warongx (Afro-blues), Emile (hip hop), Sweat.X (glam rap), Blaq Pearl (spoken word) and Mthetho (opera), we get a wide, but similar story about how they struggle to share their music and spread the culture of it. You can read more about the artists here.

One of my favorite responses to the film was from Ian Biederman, the Producer of Shark, who said The Creators was “A profoundly humane portrait of an inhumane reality.” Given the state of modern-day South Africa and the reflection of its tension in the artists’ work, I think that quote really gets at the crux of the documentary.
– Laura Gamse, producer / director of The Creators Documentary

Laura Gamse shared with me a powerful story, that I now want to share with you. It’s about Ongx, the main character in The Creators documentary.
He placed first in a national music competition in South Africa back in 2007. But as we know, there’s always a catch to these kinds of things. In this case, the fine print. The Production company sponsoring the competition took ownership of Ongx’s album, through these fine printed words in the competition rules, and also took all the profits made of the sales of the album. This means that no matter how much his first album sold he’d still live in hos small home, which some people would refer to as a shack, in the townships outside Cape Town.
Music has been his one true way for income, and they’ve taken it away from him. He had to give up the music he was naturally talented in to work as a dish washer and construction worker.

After the documentary got released a lot of donors showed up and decided to give him money to help to start his own music school in his township. The school is to help other disadvantaged musicians succeed and eventually record an album to sell for his own profit. Your donation can by extension help with this as well.
Here below is a scene with him from the documentary:

A little bit can go a long way towards helping these artists, many of whom live in shacks in the townships outside Cape Town.

Supporting this project documentary with donations will go towards them being able to duplicate the DVD they’ve created. 75% of the profits of the sales of these goes to the artists involved and the South African crew who shot the documentary.
A $10 donation would cover the cost of duplicating 10 DVDs, which would then be sold for $250 total – generating $187.5 for the artists involved.
Find the DVD here.

If you like the sound of this project and want to find out more about it check out their homepage, check out their Vimeo channel.
Also, if you wan to see scenes from the documentary you can do so here.
And of course if you want to support them via Flattr you can!

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