November 30, 2020

Discovery Networks Announces Shortlisted Filmmakers as Part of Discovery RISE Competition

Discovery Networks, in partnership with the Jozi Film Festival (JFF) and Save the Children South Africa (SCSA), announced the shortlisted filmmakers as part of the recently announced Discovery RISE competition.


10 filmmakers were matched with 10 storytellers (beneficiaries, partners and staff) from SCSA, who embarked on a journey to share each tale, having received a R10,000 contribution from Discovery RISE to go toward their production. Now completed, the films are available to be watched by the public, who will vote for their favourite and decide on the winning film.  Each of the storytellers also received a contribution towards their academic or professional development.


“Over 250 responses were received”, says JFF Founder and Organizer, Lisa Henry, “out of which 10 filmmakers were chosen for their passion and vision – “people whose one-pager motivations touched me in some way and who I thought would embrace this kind of project”.


The films can be watched and voted for at, with voting closing on 10 December at 12:00pm (CAT). The stories can also be watched across Discovery’s portfolio of channels in South Africa, including Discovery Channel, Discovery Family, Food Network, HGTV, ID, Real Time, TLC and Travel Channel. The winner will be announced on 11 December.


The shortlisted filmmakers, and the stories they’re sharing, are:


PAPA WA NGWANA by Andrew Hofmeyr (Johannesburg)

A young woman acknowledges the power she harnesses inside her, in spite of her experiences. Recalling a time when she felt proud of her achievements, and the loss she suffered shortly after, she reminds herself she is here to continue her dream.


STATELESS by Anele Hlongwane (Cape Town)

This story is about a young man living in South Africa, whose family is originally from Mozambique. Even though he’s lived in the country for well over a decade – having arriving on his parent’s passport – he has not been able to get South African citizenship and does not have Mozambique identification. Equally, he’s unable to leave the country.


MA MAPULA by Colin Macrae (Cape Town)

Mama Mapula runs an informal bridging school that caters largely to migrant children who are waiting to access formal education. She has also expanded her work to include young women’s empowerment and a senior support group.


WAITING TO BLOOM by Fidel Tshivhasa (Pretoria)

In 2010, a young woman arrives in South Africa with her mother and four siblings, following the death of their father. Eight years later, her mother also passed away. Today, she faces ongoing tribulations with health, and money for food and rent, in addition to the challenges associated with being an undocumented migrant.


RISE SONTO RISE by Grant Scissons & Shahir Chundra (Johannesburg)

A 20-year-old youth reporter living in QwaQwa, Free State, who took part in a Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Programme with Save the Children South Africa asks herself, “how can we stop unwelcome behaviour, if we can’t even articulate what it is?” Since participating, the programme has influenced her to speak out on behalf of those whose voices could not be heard, as she works to empower women to break the cycle of gender-based norms, and amplify the voices of all women in her community


THE BEAUTY IN PLIGHT by Kabelo Ramputa (Pretoria)

Professor Lesiba Mantsaung is the founder and chairperson of a Christian Women’s Ministry, the Child and Youth Care Centre, which he founded in 2008. The centre accommodates unaccompanied and separated migrant children, which for many, this bridging house is a place of sanctuary and support as families recoup.


PAIN TO ASHES by Londiwe Shange (Pietermaritzburg)

A young girl, grappling with the harsh realities of life, confronts the trauma of her past by going on a journey of self-discovery. This is a touching tribute and offer of support, to her younger self.


DIFFUSE by Naomi Gumede (Durban)

A triumphant 17-year-old girl who was tired of being worried, scared and not being allowed to take a breath and grasp the glory she deserves, powers through life’s hurdles as she fights for a chance for a better life. What makes her even more extraordinary is her dedication to fight for her family and everyone around her too.


LEARNING TO TEACH by Rapelang Ntamu (Johannesburg)

Nthabiseng, a student teacher, joined the Save the Children South Africa District Based Recruitment Strategy (DBTRS) Project in Qwa-Qwa, Free State. The project takes student teachers from various universities to test and apply differential teacher training in the district. The aim: to keep teachers informed, prepared to handle their classrooms and employed in the same district. A win-win for learners and teachers.


ZERO TO FIVE by Tamarin Gerrierty (Johannesburg)

Phindile Zulu is a project coordinator at Save the Children South Africa and works in the Sireletsa Bana Project in Limpopo. The project, targeting maternal and child nutrition, impacts communities in Limpopo and the Free State, through the support of parents, caregivers, Community Health Care Workers and ECCD practitioners.


The winning film will be announced on 11 December, with the winning filmmaker walking away with state-of-the-art filming equipment to the value of approximately R50,000. All of the SCSA storytellers taking part will also receive educational tablets from Discovery RISE.


Commenting on the films, Henry Windridge, Senior Director: Marketing, Digital & Creative, EMEA Pay TV & Global Brands, Discovery, said: “We at Discovery are delighted to be airing these 10 outstanding short films across our portfolio of channels later on this month. The poignant ways in which these children’s lives have been so positively impacted as a result of their relationship with Save the Children South Africa fully encompasses everything that we are trying to achieve with Discovery RISE globally. And we are thrilled to be using our local platforms to spread the word and to help tell these stories”


We thank Save the Children South Africa for allowing us to tell these stories, and to Jozi Film Festival for helping us to bring this to life. Lastly, we thank the public for embracing each of these filmmakers and the stories being told, and for showing their support to the cause and to the creative craft by voting for their favourite film.”


The personal accounts are moving, uplifting and revealing, in keeping with Save the Children South Africa’s mission to amplify children’s voices. “These are not doom-and-gloom stories,” says Dianne van der Tuin, partnerships manager at Save the Children South Africa. “When you watch these films, it is not about feeling sorry for the story tellers – they have overcome and shown such resilience. The whole premise of our work is the future. So we’re excited about telling these wonderful stories, and about changing minds and how people see undocumented minors and other vulnerable groups.”


Launched to help shine a global spotlight on SCSA and the incredible work that they do, Discovery RISE (Reducing Inequalities and Supporting Empowerment) is a global initiative focused on reducing inequality and supporting empowerment around the world. In South Africa, the RISE initiative supports SCSA, an organisation established in 2013 to fight for children’s rights.


Voting is now open and closes on 10 December at 12:00pm (CAT).

Visit to watch the films, vote, and for more information.

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