The film is an Undercurrent Film & Television / Fireworx Media production, coproduced by Middlewest Films Mandra Films and the Hakaya Regional Storytelling Network (funded by the European Union), and is also being made in association with or with funding from:
- The IDFA Bertha Fund
- The Sundance Documentary Fund
- The South African National Film & Video Foundation
- CBA Worldview Fund
- Spier Films
- Volya Films
Undercurrent Film & Television was formed by Francois Verster in 1998 on his return after working in the film industry in New York in London. It is a small Cape Town-based unit that produces high-quality creative documentary films on both South African and international subjects for local as well as international markets, either by itself or in coproduction with other partners. Its projects tend to take intimate character-led approaches to social and historical issues, and tend to combine observational and impressionistic styles of filming and editing. Most of its bigger projects have won many international awards, including a 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Artistic and Cultural Programming for A LION’S TRAIL.
The company has strong production ties with various local and international production companies and individuals. Most projects have had an international coproduction element involved. Regular interaction with members of the international documentary community at workshops, markets, festivals and on private trips has been an essential feature of the company’s activity over the last number of years. It is also involved with various documentary training and empowerment initiatives in South Africa. The company is committed to opening new and socially progressive perspectives on social issues in South Africa, and to furthering understanding of divided realities through the means of film.
Projects completed under the Undercurrent banner include SEA POINT DAYS (2008), MUSICAL INVESTMENTS (2008), THE MOTHERS’ HOUSE (2006), TEN GREAT SOUTH AFRICANS: CHRIS BARNARD (2005), WHEN THE WAR IS OVER (2002), A LION’S TRAIL (2002), GUILTY (2001), THE GRANITE WAR (2000), THE MAN WHO WOULD KILL KITCHENER (1999) and more.
Fireworx Media was formed in 2008, bringing together experienced Southern African producers Bridget Pickering, Dan Jawitz and Neil Brandt. The company produces original content for multiple platforms and genres and has a reputation for high quality, entertaining productions that bring an imaginative and vital perspective of the African continent to the world. Its products look for the complexity, imagination and humour in ordinary lives.
The company has filmed across the African continent, from South Africa to Sierra Leone, from Angola to Kenya, and has extensive experience in distribution, sales and marketing. Its projects have been commissioned or co-produced with a range of international broadcasters including ZDF, ARTE, BBC, PBS and SABC. Funders include the Sundance Fund, Hubert Bals Fund, the Jan Vrijman Fund, ITVS, Africalia, Fonds Sud, the National Film and Video Foundation and the Open Society Foundation. These include PROTECTION (2010), UNSUNG HEROES (2010), SEA POINT DAYS (2009), U-GUGU NO ANDILE (2008), AFFECTIONATELY KNOWN AS ALEX (2008), COURTING JUSTICE (2007), THE MOTHERS’ HOUSE (2006), TSIETSI MY HERO (2006), GLIMPSE (2005), ANGOLA: SAUDADES FROM THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU (2003) and many more.
Fireworx Media is a certified Level 4 BEE company.