When I Was Water: 20-years-in-the-making Doc' at London Festival
Juan Romero | On 18, Jun 2015
The documentary “When I Was Water,” produced, directed and shot by regular DISCOP Africa participant David Forbes will be featured at London’s Black Filmmaker International Film Festival (bfmiff 2015) in Tottenham at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre between Friday 3 July and Sunday 5 July.
When I Was Water is a documentary about the conflicts between modernity and tradition, the city and village, seen from the perspective of a young girl called Marry-Ann, who grows into a woman over a period of 20 years. The mfmiff screening will be the European Premiere of the film.
Forbes says he was surprised to get the invite out of the blue after several prestigious festivals had turned the film down. “It’s clear that someone watched the film and was very touched by it. The festival itself is the brainchild of filmmaker and Festival Director Menelik Shabazz , with the stated aim of ‘bringing the unseen to light’”, says Forbes.
“It’s not every day you get a film that took 20 years to make, but it’s also not the sexy or politically correct kind of film that big festivals usually go for.”
“We got the idea while making another doc in mid-‘90s, to make a sort of Seven Up film but with one central character and follow them year by year rather than just every seven years. We never knew how the film would turn out, because we were following real life events in a classic doc manner.”
Forbes is busy negotiating a deal with the SABC for another of his films, the award-winning The Cradock Four, five years after he completed it in 2010 and won Best SA Documentary at Durban International Film Festival later the same month. The film was also nominated for the Amnesty International (Durban) Human Rights Award, but for some reason was never screened on public free-to-air television in South Africa. The Cradock Four was nominated for Best Documentary Script this year at the 2015 Muse Awards.