IN: Inspiration

MEET THE JUDGES: SARA BLECHER

A moviemaker whose star is on the ascent, Sara Blecher’s scorching talent is setting the pace for African film…

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For an aspirant filmmaker, there is superlative value to be had in learning first-hand from someone else’s triumphs. In a tough industry to crack, uncovering the secrets of someone else’s success helps remove a few of the speed bumps that invariably slow the road to progress. Which is why PPC Imaginarium winners are so fortunate: not only do they win considerable cash prizes, but they also get mentorship and guidance from the best in the business.

Sara Blecher

A new addition to this year’s judging panel, the multiple award-winning and multi-talented Sara Blecher is considered to be one of the foremost proponents of new African film. She is a co-founder of CINGA Productions, a South African based film and television production company that has made a number of award-winning drama series including Zero Tolerance, which was nominated for an international Emmy award. She co-created, wrote, directed and produced many of the episodes in the series.

Director/producer Sara Blecher

A veritable Renaissance woman, Sara also works as a drama and documentary producer and director. She has made some outstanding and noteworthy documentaries including “Surfing Soweto” and “Kobus And Dumile” for which she won CNN’s African journalist of the year award. She is co-creator, director and producer of the award-winning 36-part drama “Bay Of Plenty” and she produced and directed the local version of “Who Do You Think You Are?”.

Although she graduated from NYU, she currently lives in Johannesburg where she has just completed her third feature film “Dis Ek Anna” (released in October 2015). Her debut feature film “Otelo Burning” earned her over 17 international awards and was named by CNN as one of the top ten African films of the decade.

Sara Blecher

At the moment, the spotlight is firmly focused on Ms Blecher because her second film “Ayanda and the Mechanic” has received a host of local and international accolades. She co-produced the film with award-winning Tsotsi star and actor Terry Pheto and it enjoyed a sold-out world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, followed by success at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Back on our shores, “Ayanda and the Mechanic” was screened as the opening film of the 36th Durban International Film Festival. Move over Spielberg, the stars of the Southern Cross are starting to shine…

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