Documentary: The Art Of Survival
Covid-19 has decimated the entertainment industry, leaving performing artists with the near-insurmountable task of making ends meet without the ability to perform live. This film looks at 9 diverse South African artists’ responses to this unprecedented challenge, and highlights the ability of art to connect and uplift people, especially during times of hardship.
“When Cyril said ‘My Fellow South Africans’, it was pretty much over. The next day within 4 hours I lost all of my jobs – Megan Carelse
As gigs were being cancelled, and theatre dates were being postponed, it started becoming evident that this lockdown is actually not a 21 day deal… That the entire world will no longer be what it was before. Not for a long time anyway – Stuart Taylor
Maybe in and amongst the barriers, you can find the freedoms to be able to still communicate, and to be able to create something amazing, to create something beautiful. – Larry Soffer
I made it my mission to not be stopped by the lack of support, and to actually use my art and use my work to add more to the life that I’m living in terms of educating and providing more skills – Kwanele Finch Thusi
Behind The Scenes
Before the pandemic took hold of South Africa, Carina Bruwer had been working actively as a professional musician and entertainment producer, whilst also building a profile and pursuing opportunities in the film industry when off stage. In March 2020, when live performances were put on hold indefinitely, she decided to shift focus solely to production, and in collaboration with director Warren Mac Carthy and Seed Media, applied for funding from the DSAC’s Digital Artist Relief Fund, in order to create a film that would equip other performers with some tools with which to remain artistically and economically active despite being unable to perform live, whilst also offering inspiration to artists and viewers alike through the sheer resilience of the artists featured.
What was initially planned to be 26 minute mini-documentary, soon developed into a more multifaceted production. The interviews produced enough content, entertainment and inspiration for a full-length documentary, and Bruwer and Mac Carthy decided to sponsor their time and resources to create a 55 minute documentary that does justice to the stories and experiences of the artists involved. Subsequently, Showmax picked up the film, and offered a non-exclusive licence for Sub Saharan Africa and the Diaspora, debuting in July 2021.