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Meet the judges - Wessel van Huyssteen, 2016

We’re thrilled to have Wessel van Huyssteen back as a judge in the film category. Here he shares his thoughts on the future of arts and design in South Africa and offers some useful advice for aspiring artists.


Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a documentary filmmaker and a visual artist.

Did you study formally, and if so, how did this inform your future career?

I studied Fine Art and Art History. Film and Fine Art are visual languages and they inform each other and overlap. The tools Fine Art gave me are very usefull when looking at the world critically because it reminds you to find poetry in every image. I find it usefull when constructing visual narratives. 

How do yu feel about being chosen as a judge for the PPC Imaginarium Awards?

I am very happy to be part of a platform that gives young filmmakers the opportunity to experiment.

Whatkey aspects will you be looking at when judging contestants’ work?

I want to see conceptually strong, technically proficient and innovative films. The films also need to be relevant to South Africa today, while still being able to appeal to international audiences.

What are your thoughts on art and design in South Africa and Africa as a whole?

I think South African art, design and film are at an incredibly high standard considering the little support it gets from the government. Film struggles with very few outlets locally, but still makes an impact on the international stage. Funding is a huge problem and the fact that the public broadcaster is collapsing as we speak does not bode well for the future of the industry.

What do you think about the future of art and design in South Africa?

I hope to see more arts education in schools. If citizens are not conscious of the benefits of the arts for themselves and their community, it will stagnate.

What advice would you give young and up-and-coming designers and artists?

If you want to create, you will have to persevere. Get friends who will to listen to you during the hard times, they will support you in the good times. Read a lot and make notes of all your ideas, they might not work now, but could come in handy later. 

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