IN: Inspiration

CHANGE AGENT

Using concrete as a catalyst for change, Kyle Goulden has scooped the 2015/2016 PPC Imaginarium Film Category Award.

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Concrete is a metaphor for the rigidity and narrowness of extremist ideology in Kyle Goulden’s powerful and highly emotive film, The Catalyst. Made as an homage to a friend who died in the recent Paris terror attacks, the film asks the important question: "How much more human suffering are we willing to endure in the name of pride, before we find the catalyst for change?" Described by the judges as a “skillfully crafted short film that deals with the divisive consequences of fundamentalism in a brave and bold manner”, the film is a moving exploration of this far-reaching topic. We chatted to the man behind it all, future film impresario in the making, Kyle Goulden…

catalyst

Please tell us a bit about your background?

One day, when I was young, I rushed home from school, gushing with excitement and eager to tell my parents that I had learned "Caps Lock". That one moment really describes what growing up in a family of editors was like, with a computer being my first big friend. As time went on, with adulthood beckoning, I got a few odd jobs in various fields, from graphic design, animation and promo production in the broadcasting field, to photography, videography and web design as a freelancer, as well as a stint doing creative direction and directing for agencies. Yes, I enjoy playing with a few creative outlets.

How do you find the medium of cement inspirational with regard to filmmaking?

I have always found the process by which things are made – the stories and the journey – a source of incredible inspiration. Being relatively unaware with regard to cement manufacturing, I found the making process rather incredible. All the various states it goes through and the trials that are required are fascinating. Cement goes through so many various states, undergoes a variety of actions, and in the end can become almost anything that the mind can think of.
People are the same. People with a narrow-minded, rigid and unchanging mindset mirror a brittle, uncured, unbalanced concrete mixture, resulting in a substance that is brittle, weak and susceptible to cracks and in time, its own destruction.

Did you encounter any challenges whilst working on your submission?

Oh, of course, and those challenges were actually a great thing in the end! Struggles with getting crew, the process of filming so many ideas, locations, gear, and casting – every part of the process had a set of challenges that we had to overcome. We had a tiny crew and a large cast so managing everyone was certainly an experience. The crew of Yash Lucid, Elsa Bleda, Kevin Gibson, Rose Van Staden, Chanté Roets, Damien Grivas and many others, really pulled in and we were able to create something we are proud of. Each one of those challenges pushed us and made the film what it is. Without those tensions, well, we wouldn't be here right now. Concrete gets pushed in many ways to become what it is, and so do people. It’s what makes us stronger and makes us create something more.

dance

What inspires you about South Africa and what are your thoughts on the South African creative scene?

South Africa is at a point where we are free to express and create a new history for ourselves, whilst still respecting and learning from the past. We have so many stories, so many experiences and so much happening that it really is an artist’s playground.
With various initiatives hopping onto the creative bandwagon and seeing the massive growth potential, I hope that more and more opportunities like this are created in the future. PPC is helping to bring creatives to the forefront, and for that I feel a great deal of appreciation. (I'd send a basket of concrete cupcakes, but that might not be a great idea…)

Who are the filmmakers that have had a strong influence on your work?

There are many people that could be mentioned here and many creatives that deserve to be mentioned, but overall, it’s people and their stories that are the greatest and strongest influence on my work. These include illustrators, artists, engineers, psychologists, friends, family, that guy on the side of the road who is homeless but speaks six languages including German, my dogs; they all are characters in their own stories and that fascinates me. Specifically, trying to find out what that story is.

What plans do you have for the future and how to you intend on using your prize money?

Firstly, I’m going to go for a steak somewhere nice, because really, we should all enjoy life more often. After that, most of the funds will be put towards getting the film seen across the world, and working on future projects and ideas. There is a massive amount of creativity out there and many causes to be reminded of and stories to be told. The film tackled an incredibly dark topic in the fact that rigid beliefs and extreme fundamentalism have caused a massive amount of tragedies and loss of lives over the span of human history.

To find out more about “The Catalyst” click here.

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