Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking selected by Siemens


Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking has recently been selected by Siemens in the UK as one of 12 international film and TV schools invited to submit proposals for making films about the filmmakers’ cities of origin.

These will be screened at the opening of Siemens’ Urban Sustainability Centre in London in September 2012 as part of the CityStories Contest. Other schools taking part are Beijing, Berlin, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney and yet, against all odds, Big Fish’s Wiseman Mabusela has been acknowledged to have submitted the best pitch worldwide. As a result of this achievement, he will be mentored, from creative development through post-production, by Academy Award winning director Davis Guggenheim (‘An Inconvenient Truth’, ‘Waiting for Superman’.)

‘This is a great honour for us’ says Dr Melanie Chait, CEO of Big Fish. ‘We are one of the newest film schools in South Africa interested in transforming the film industry and presenting a diverse range of content matter from around South Africa and our students are certainly making their mark’.

Last year Big Fish student Palesa Shongwe won the prestigious Oberhausen award in Germany for best short for her documentary film ‘Atrophy’ and is now doing her masters in filmmaking at NYU. Big Fish students have also been commissioned this year to make 14 programs for e-tv, Mzansi Magic and Mindset TV.

‘All Big Fish students work in an accelerated, work place simulated environment, using state-of-the art equipment and have Oscar, Emmy, BAFTA and other award winning tutors and mentors’. In addition to training young people who have just completed grade 12 as well as those with some experience in the industry, but want to get further, Big Fish is now in its 6th year of presenting the DSTV Skills Development Programme for talented previously disadvantaged students as well as providing training for Supersport and Magic Factory. Big Fish has achieved a very high employment rate for its graduates who have found employment with many of the top production companies throughout the country. In 2011 Big Fish opened a branch in Cape Town. Already 10 student films on design and up-cycling produced at Big Fish Cape Town were shown in Munich in March as part of the Western Cape’s Provincial Government’s Art Program.

Dr Chait says that the achievements of the Big Fish students are very exciting. Siemens is great recognition that our training model is working and the increasing need for local content as well as the rapid change of technological platforms is keeping our graduates very busy in a wide array of well-paid jobs.