Last March, we announced the Los Angeles premiere of The Creators, a documentary about artists in South Africa that Laura Gamse ’07 originally began as her senior thesis project. Since that screening, Gamse’s film has continually racked up awards, screenings and recognition. The film follows six artists—from musicians to visual artists—in modern South Africa, who use their art to re-craft history and the impacts of apartheid in their own unique voices.
The film has had premieres in South Africa, Germany, Zanzibar, Malaysia and Trinidad and Tobago, in addition to the United States. It will soon premiere at the Bahamas International Film Festival, and in the coming months Gamse will speak and screen the film at Emory University, the University of Colorado and the University of North Carolina. Recently, Gamse presented the film at the San Francisco DocFest and to 100 students from social justice programs in New York City, at a screening/discussion sponsored by HBO and the Museum of Natural History.
In September, the National Geographic Society honored The Creators as Best Documentary in its All Roads Film Project, and in August, the World Music and Independent Film Festival named it Best Music Documentary. The National Geographic All Roads blog says “this uplifting film leaves you with a sense of hope” and Huffington Post notes that the film “shows people who refuse to toe the line, whose music will not be silences, who use their art to combat brutality and injustice.”
The work began as Gamse’s thesis, “South African Countercultural Arts at the Fuel of Activism,” which grew out of her self-designed major, Social Activism Through Media and Art. Gamse received a Fulbright grant, which led her to begin filming in South Africa. Says Gamse in our previous article on the project: “I was interested in the protest art that seeped through apartheid’s censors and affected change in South Africa’s various subcultures. I applied for a Fulbright to research the modern day artistic subcultures in South Africa, and this film is the result of two years living and working in Cape Town.”
The film is available on DVD and will soon be available for digital download. View the trailer here.