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MEET THE JUDGES: WESSEL VAN HUYSTEEN

Filmmaker Wessel van Huysteen walks us down his career path!

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covers the realms of Fine Art as well as film, Wessel has many years of industry experience and is well equipped to guide entrants towards showcasing the best of their filmmaking skills. We’re delighted to welcome him back and took some time out to chat to him about his career path and thoughts on the competition.

Please fill us in on your background?

I studied Fine Art at UFS, and Art History at UJ many years ago. With my arrival in Johannesburg in the late 1980’s, I worked in the film industry as a freelance art director. In 1990, I was offered a position as Education Officer at the Katlehong Art Centre. From this grew the Visual Arts and Crafts Academy. I was the principal of this institution until the mid 1990’s. During this time I also curated a few exhibitions, some of which toured nationally. In 1997, I was given the opportunity to work at Kulturhuset in Stockholm, Sweden, where I worked on a South African cultural festival that formed part of the Stockholm Cultural Capital of Europe ‘98. Since my return to South Africa in 1999 I have been producing/directing several award-winning documentary and cultural magazine programs. I also joined Big Fish School of Film Making as Head Mentor for the first year documentary course in 2008 and continued to mentor students until April this year. Currently I am producing/directing the thirteen-part drama series, Covert, for SABC 3.

Why do you think that you were chosen as a PPC Imaginarium judge?

I have previously been a judge and mentor for the Student Film Competition that was initiated by the Cement and Concrete Institute. I feel honoured to have been asked to continue as judge and mentor as PPC has taken this project to a new level since taking over in 2014.

What is the professional achievement that you are most proud of to date?

To be able to still do what I love doing.

What excites and inspires you about South African creative talent?

I am inspired by their socio-political engagement and through that the potential they carry within themselves to forge a new vision of Africa and South Africa.

Any advice for the PPC Imaginarium entrants?

Think beyond the material, think conceptually and don’t be afraid to present ideas that are controversial and critical. Make sure your idea is clear.

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