USD70K doccie “Unhinged: Surviving Jo’burg” wins fans
Film director Adrian Loveland from South Africa released a smart 52min documentary on Johannesburg. In his first film, Loveland gives viewers a sense of what living in Johannesburg – “or JHB, or Jo’Burg, …Sometimes it's even called Jozi, but that can feel a bit like calling Atilla the Hun Tilly" - is like for him.
He told the Sunday Times he was hoping to build on the momentum of the World Cup by taking the film, which he decided to make three years ago, to a global audience. He has just signed a deal with the FX channel - owned by giant US network Fox Television - who will soon be screening it on Top TV.
Loveland said that, by shooting the film, which cost him just over R500,000 (USD 71.76 at today’s exchange rate), he found the "heart" of Jo’burg. Kicking off with some pictures and film archives, the Guided City Tour style documentary aims at providing the audience a small taste of Johannesburg, using the city itself as the principle character. Adrian Loveland, an entrepreneur who was born and raised in the city, is the slightly eccentric “tour guide”. It’s clear that, although he loves his hometown, it also frustrates and exhausts him – something that fellow Jo’burgers will easily relate to. Insights are provided through a selection of interviews with an engaging group of city residents, including Robbie Brozin (CEO of Nandos), Ferial Haffajee (Editor of the City Press Newspaper), Justice Malala (Political Analyst) and Victor Kgomoeswana (Africa Business Expert).
The main reason for making the film is that Johannesburg has generally either been portrayed in the world’s media as a death trap, or marketed from internally as the ultimate place of gold and opportunity. In reality it lies somewhere in between and although Surviving Jo’burg doesn’t dish up all the answers, it’ll get you closer to the truth than you would have been before watching it.
The film’s biggest attribute is that it reflects the character of Jo’burg, not only through its content but also as a product. It will leave you drained, frustrated, confused, excited, sad, angry, positive, hopeful and wanting more – pretty much the same effects that the city itself has on people
“Survive, thrive is the anthem of Johannesburg. Loveland takes you on a spin (literally) through and around Jo’burg in this doccie. He calls it a black documentary and throws all the crazy, sad, hectic and magic of Jo’burg at you with a mixture of facts, photography and footage. The commentary and visuals of him is a good dose to the mix, and that probably holds the secret of what makes Johannesburg work – Jozi sense of humour. Look out for his Hadeda impersonation – for those of you who don’t know, it’s a very big pesky bird that is a signature to Africa’s gateway. The script and visuals are fast and inspiring and no nonsense, even though it might leave you feeling sentimental about the city’s magic – if you are familiar with it. If you are a Joburg newbie, the film will most certainly be a truthful helper and teaser that will make you feel compelled to visit it.“ Courtesy of the Director and the SABC
He hopes his film will make a difference in how people view Johannesburg.
Loveland is planning to shoot a similar documentary on Cape Town. The film trailer is available on youtube.