Thursday, 28 January 2016

Bubblegum Club Launch - Featuring Manthe Ribane

My good friends over at Bubblegum Club have posted our first story together, as you can see Manthe and I have been making waves with the Ghost Diamond collaboration and before embarking on our first tour to Europe Jamal Nxedlana (co-creator of Bubblegum club) asked us to do a shoot. The results are tremendous and we are very happy to be associated and featured on such a great portal. From the creators of South Africa's CUSS magazine (and some of the members of the CUSS Collective) they bring you Bubblegum club magazine and agency. Below is a blurb from their site, check out the website
From the Bubblegum Club website:
Our Online Magazine is a compendium of images, news and opinion which presents our perspective on the people and production defining South African youth culture. Its vision is to present an alternative narrative on South African art and society, by showcasing cutting edge creators and their work. The magazine is not based solely on popularity or visibility, but aims to give exposure to individuals and groups who embody passion and innovation. As well as being a showcase, the magazine is a platform for ideas and commentary which frame and advance cultural trends.

The Bubblegum Club is a cultural intelligence agency, founded by Lex Trickett and Jamal Nxedlana. We work to help brands and organizations understand and engage with contemporary South African youth culture. Along with identifying trends, we take the holistic approach of interpreting and explaining them. Through conceptualizing the broader social context of trends, our projects and activations help our clients to organically access youth culture.

Reflecting this mission, the company is divided into three interconnected divisions- an agency, an online magazine and a physical project space based in the Newtown precinct.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Ghost Diamond Live - Switzerland & UK 2016

We have completed our first tour of screenings with the Ghost Diamond project (my new collaborative film project with musician OKZHARP starring Manthe Ribane). The film was presented at The 7th Norient Music Film festival in Bern Switzerland (as well as satellite events in Lausanne and St. Gallen), we where also given the opportunity to launch the new live experience, 'Ghost Diamond Live' where by OKZHARP, Manthe Ribane and myself (under the alias Sondeza as a VJ). Taking the footage from the film, I remix it live with the show, creating a new version of the film live at each time we play. 

On the tour we also took the opportunity to start filming new content which we use live in each live rendition, adding to the existing narrative. One element is to film new dance footage from the city we are touring in at the time, this way incorporating recent and up to date material into the show, this is also a form of recognition of the environment we are performing in. With such a fast moving pace to the music industry at the moment, incorporating relevant new content into the set all the time plays to the 'social media' and instant nature of the industry. My version is more of a thought through post event upload mentality where by I shoot the footage earlier in the day and then incorporate it later on live, this way curating and making sure that I can work in interesting locations and still honour my classic film making background, not just focussing on the instant element completely. This is both a statement on the fact that I think that its important for modern film makers to focus on the narrative, process and aesthetic, as well as work with modern, instant (as possible) showcasing techniques.

The images posted are photographic material shot of Manthe during the tour in Switzerland and in the London. 

CT 2012. 
All images copyright of Chris Saunders 2016

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Ghost Diamond (Official Trailer)

Ghost Diamond Official Trailer out now. The film will be having its first mini tour where it will be both presented as a short film and a live performance where Manthe Ribane, Gervase Gordon and myself perform live as a trio. I will be VJ'ing the film live to the audience in a new and more adaptive audio enhance manner. For now though, enjoy they trailer.

Ghost Diamond is the new film by Chris Saunders, a Johannesburg-based photographer and filmmaker, and Okzharp, a Cape Town-born, London-based musician. The film was made over the last 2 years and was supported by the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa, and the British Council.
In Ghost Diamond, a young woman journeys to the heart of a new African metropolis. She finds a jewel in the dust and is given a book by a stranger. Inspired, she must find a purpose for this new possession and for this new knowledge. Figures, objects and places from her past appear to her as she moves against the cold city curves. Can she find hope in this place and time?
The film connects specific Zulu and Japanese mythologies via elements of the story, the visual style and Manthe Ribane’s dance performance. This film looks at the emotional landscape of the new international dialogues that are occurring in the modern hyper-connected African city. The film was itself a product of such a relationship. Okzharp previously toured in SA with Zaki Ibrahim and Okmalumkoolkat via the British Council’s Connect ZA project. This lead to Chris Saunders directing short films for Sebenza and Spitting Cobra by Okzharp’s previous group LV and Okmalumkoolkat, both on Hyperdub. Ghost Diamond is the latest work in this audiovisual collaboration. 

The film was shot on location in and around Johannesburg. It was edited in Cape Town. The soundtrack is by Okzharp in collaboration with Manthe Ribane, Zaki Ibrahim and Petite Noir. Music was written and recorded in SA at various locations including a security bunker in the Cape flats, Red Bull studios, Cape Town and a cavernous ex-marshmallow factory in Maboneng, Joburg. The final mix to picture was done at The Crush in London by Okzharp with UK mixing engineer, Dil Harris. Some of the music will be released later this year.

Ghost Diamond will be showing at the following venues in Europe this early 2016:

14th Jan 7th Norient Music Film Festival (Bern, Switzerland) -
15th Jan 7th Norient Music Film Festival (St Gallen, Switzerland) -
16th Jan 7th Norient Music Film Festival (Lausanne, Switzerland) -
1st Feb CTM Festival (Berlin, Germany) -