Complex doccie, Buddha in Africa, has been a labour of love for its creator

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Set against China’s expanding influence on the continent, Buddha in Africa provides a unique insight into the forces of cultural soft power on the identity and imagination of an African boy and his school friends growing up between two cultures.

GETTING her award-winning documentary, Buddha in Africa, to the big screen has been a labour of love for KZN Midlands filmmaker Nicole Schafer, writes ESTELLE SINKINS.

The powerful documentary, which follows the intimate story of a Malawian teenager growing up in a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, won the best South African documentary prize at the Durban International Film Festival in July, an accolade which means that the film is being considered for the documentary feature qualifying festival hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences.

Schafer is trying to play down the news, but the truth is her documentary could automatically qualify for consideration for an Oscar nomination in 2020. Continue reading

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Hilton Arts Festival introduces an ‘art to auction’ project

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Iain ‘Ewok’ Robinson.

THANKS to the generous support of First National Bank, the Hilton Arts Festival will be hosting an exciting and unusual “art to auction” project.

Festivalgoers will be able to watch art being created and auctioned before their very eyes at the FNB Art Block. Iain “Ewok” Robinson will be transforming one entire side of a building on the Hilton College campus on September 13 and September 14. Continue reading

Pietermaritzburg band, Acoustiq Assassins, to launch single and video

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Acoustiq Assassins.

FRESH from wowing fans in Johannesburg, Maritzburg band Acoustiq Assassins will be launching the music video for their latest single, Running, at the Grandstation in Railway Street, Pietermaritzburg, at 7 pm on Friday, September 13.

Fans are encouraged to arrive at 6 pm to buy tickets, which cost R70 each. Drinks are sold at the venue and snacks will be provided.

Acoustiq Assassins were finalists in the 2019 MTV Base Music showcase competition, were part of former V-Entertainment presenter Shelton Forbes’ New Melody show at the Joburg Theatre, and finalists in the UJ Week of Jazz competition.

The trio perform poetic, minimalistic music using just two acoustic guitars as accompaniment. Their aim is to create room for the expression of their voices. The band’s sound can best be described as contemporary/indie R n B mixed with acoustic soul.

A proudly Pietermaritzburg outfit, Acoustiq Assassins originally had four members — Siphesihle Bhengu, Junior Mazibuko, Gugu Mdladla and 2016 SA Idols winner Noma Khumalo. Khumalo has now signed with Gallo records.

Acoustiq Assassins, who perform original work, aim to make music that speaks more to the ears than the eyes. They have shared platforms with Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C, Zakes Bantwini, Dreamteam, Sibongile Khumalo, Big Nuz, DJ Tira, Shekinah, Dumi Mkostad, Babes Wodumo and more.

Absa Gallery to showcase old masters and young break-out talent at Hilton Arts Festival

Anton van Wouw 'The Skapu Player' Bronze

Anton van Wouw’s ‘The Skapu Player’.

Two of South Africa’s proudest artistic exports – JH Pierneef and Anton van Wouw – will come under the spotlight at this year’s Hilton Arts Festival, which takes place on the Hilton College campus from September 13 and 15, when Absa features a sample of some of their leading work from its corporate collection. Continue reading

Judy Garland’s story to be brought to life at the Hilton Arts Festival

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Judy Garland.

“WOULDN’T it be wonderful if we could all be a little bit more gentle with each other, and a little more loving, have a little more empathy, and maybe we would like each other a little bit more.”

Wise words from iconic screen and vaudeville actress Judy Garland, and ones which we should all heed as we navigate these troubled times.

Bringing to the stage Garland’s life story is East London’s Kerry Hiles, who will be performing at the Hilton Arts Festival at Hilton College this weekend. Continue reading