Mon. Nov 30th, 2020

MTV snaps up SA short film ‘My Father the Mover’ for its ‘heart and soul’

The award-winning ‘My Father the Mover’ has recently been acquired by MTV Documentary Films.

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MTV Documentary Films, a division of MTV Studios, has acquired the award-winning South African short film My Father the Mover as a part of four films that focus on the social, political and cultural trends and stories of young people today.

American television producer and head of MTV Documentary Films Sheila Nevins told The Wrap that “culling the magnificent film festivals with their extraordinary choices of documentary offerings is a gift to acquire films with heart and soul, insight and vision.”

Tribeca Film Festival honour for ‘My Father the Mover’

My Father the Mover was written, directed and produced by Julia Jansch and stars Stoan Galela and Alatha Galela in the lead roles.

The short film, set in the township of Khayelitsha, tells the story of how self-taught dancer, Stoan Move Galela uses gqom music to motivate the youth to find their “superpowers”.

The film won Best Documentary Short Film at the Tribeca Film Festival this year and has also been accepted into various Oscar-qualifying festivals across the world, including Palm Springs, Florida, Flickers Rhode Island and Cleveland.

My Father the Mover has also recently been nominated for a Critics’ Choice Movie Award in the short documentary category.

MTV selection qualifies ‘My Father the Mover’ for Oscars

“Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to make it into Tribeca, win at Tribeca and make it onto MTV, ‘nogal‘! I grew up watching MTV music videos. MTV was always on in the background at home.

“Now ‘My Father the Mover‘ is putting gqom and Stoan and his incredible miracle work on the map!” said Jansch.

According to Good Things Guy, MTV will qualify My Father the Mover for the Academy Awards, as well as a full awards campaign for the documentary.

Director Julia Jansch transcends boundaries

South African filmmaker Julia Jansch lives between New York and Cape Town. She studied filmmaking at The New York Film Academy and then completed her masters degree at the University of Oxford.

After a decade of working in development, Jansch set up a media company called Point Pictures to tell her own stories.

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‘My Father the Mover’ director Julia Jansch. Image: IMBD

Jansch has always been fascinated by the concept and psychology behind freedom, as well as the prospect of being able to transcend boundaries and this inspired her to tell the story of Stoan Move Galela.

“Stoan is a freedom warrior, using gqom dance to break the chains of any unhelpful narratives the kids in his dance group might tell themselves.

“I found his method to be universal and wanted to share it with the world. I also wanted to get up and dance!” said Jansch.

MTV Documentary Films

After the launch of MTV Documentary Films in 2019, it acquired St Louis Superman — which bagged an Oscar nomination — and Gay Chorus Deep South.

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D-Mo plays the role of activist, battle rapper, and former politician Bruce Franks Jr in the 2019 American short documentary film ‘St Louis Superman’. Image: Supplied

In 2020, MTV Documentary Films acquired the rights to the documentary features Beautiful Something Left Behind and Finding Yingying, which both won prizes at the Southwest Film Festival (SXSW).

Besides My Father the Mover, it also acquired the short film A Life Too Short.

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