Local film wins: Meet director Julia & dancer who moved her, Stoan

Local film wins: Meet director Julia & dancer who moved her, Stoan

- South African writer/director/producer, Julia Jansch's film My Father The Mover, has won a Tribeca Film Festival award

- The short film tells the story of Stoan (a.k.a. Stoan ‘MOVE’ Galela), a dancer who uses African electronic Gqom beats to motivate kids in the township of Khayelitsha, South Africa to jive through their hardship and find their superpowers

- Telling Stoan’s story meant more to Julia than just making a movie, it was a way she could share a story of a mover that moved her

- Winning this award means more to Julia than she can express in words

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Some awesome news has surfaced in the midst of this uncertain time, a local film has won a coveted award at the 19th annual Tribeca Film Festival.

The event, which showcases a diverse selection of independent films each year, has been able to award winners despite Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Briefly.co.za learnt that the awards will be held online and that a local film, My Father The Mover, has won Best Documentary Short Film.

South African writer/director/producer, Julia Jansch, is the lady behind this beautiful local short film and the prestigious win.

The judging panel referred to Julia’s film as “a ‘movement’ film, which frees people from the pain, had the biggest impression on us and lasted through the tragedies we’re going through now”.

The short film tells the story of Stoan (a.k.a. Stoan ‘MOVE’ Galela), a dancer who uses African electronic Gqom beats to motivate kids in the township of Khayelitsha, South Africa to jive through their hardship and find their superpowers.

Speaking on how the idea came to her, Julia said it was purely by chance. She met Stoan through her co-producer, Mandilakhe Yengo, totally unexpectedly, and there the magic started.

Hearing Stoan refer to himself as ‘a mover’, not a dancer, was just one of the moments that pulled Julia into his story.

Stoan (Mthuthuzeli Stoan Galela) is a self-taught dancer from Gugulethu outside Cape Town. He started dancing at an early age and his passion is his free dance group, the United Township Dancers. Stoan’s dream is to make dance his mainstream gig.

“To make money I sell paraffin, I choreograph bride and groom dances and other gigs that come my way and I sell ‘#move - away from gangsterism’ T-shirts to raise awareness about fighting crime and gangsterism in the community”.

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Telling Stoan’s story meant more to Julia than just making a movie, it was a way she could share a story of a mover that moved her.

Being that inspired by Stoan’s story, Julia found it effortless to create the film. Raw and real was the only way his story could be told, and that is exactly why Julia did it.

“This was the only way to tell his story. Of course, no-one could play a better Stoan than Stoan himself. The same goes for Alatha, his daughter, and the dancers. I wanted to bring as much integrity to the project as possible while shining a light and raising awareness for Stoan and the incredibly talented kids he teaches.”

Winning this award is something Julia is extremely proud of as this film is so much more than just a film, its someone’s story that needed to be told.

“Sometimes the universe conspires to make something happen. This project was not planned. My last short took a year to write and months of pre-production; this small gem came together swiftly without sacrificing on quality.”
“Winning this award is an incredible honour and truly came as a surprise. When the jury told me I had won, it became divinely apparent why I had been compelled to make this film – to give Stoan and these extremely talented kids the global platform they deserve”.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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