IkamvaYouth is very lucky that for the past two months 8 lucky ikamvanites has had the opportunity to be part of a film-making course with Reel Lives. The film-making course is being facilitated by Leah Sapin, Director of programs, and Lyle Kane, the Executive Director. Both Leah and Lyle are from New York and they have brought along with them very expensive photography equipment to help our learners tell their stories.

Reel Lives uses media to support education, empowerment and social change. Their approach consists of an integrated set of programming that achieves both depth and breadth of service. Each student learns the skills associated with documentary filmmaking, from cinematography to narrative development and non-linear editing with Final Cut Pro. Each young filmmaker is engaging with their own lives through film. Executive director and former teacher, Lyle Kane said, “Working with these young filmmakers in Cape Town has been amazing both personally and professionally. The power of their stories will have an impact on anyone who sees these films, and the process has proven to us that our model of training is transferable.  Our work dovetails so wonderfully with the concept and practice of IkamvaYouth’s work.”

“Reel Lives has been very useful to my life. It supported me on the huge challenge that I use to be afraid of. Now I am at the top of my life. I have accepted and know myself better,”  said Kuhle Riti, one of the lucky Ikamvanites. The Reel Lives project has started as an idea to show the world what really happens in South African townships from an insider’s perspective. Most documentaries tell stories from the outside, but by equipping the learners with the skills to make their own documentary, they give the world a personal view of what really happens.

Students are not just taught in a classroom setting, but they are taught how to handle the film-making equipment and shoot their documentaries on their own and in a group. This teaches the students how to work on their own, but also how to look after expensive equipment and will stand them in good stead later on in the lives. 

Join us on the 24th of November 2012 for the premiere of the documentaries. More details will follow, so watch this space.