Anna-Marie Jansen Van Vuuren (Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria), Representing Suffrage and Female Agency within the South African Film industry: the Role and Influence of Director Katinka Heyns
Representing Suffrage and Female Agency within the South African Film industry: the Role and Influence of Director Katinka Heyns
Résumé de la communication:
In South Africa, a country with one of the oldest cinema industries in the world, the first woman-directed film, would only appear in 1962. Since 2011, more than thirty South African-produced features are released yearly at local cinemas. Usually less than three of these features are directed by women, some years none of the features have women directors. Yet, since the seventies, director Katinka Heyns made her mark with critical and commercial success within this male-dominated industry. Within this chapter, I discuss Heyns’s role as a South African director that represent stories of women through her visual images. Initially I shortly focus on the role of individuals who had an influential role on Heyns in the formative years of her career. Then I discuss the feminist gaze within some of her notable works, such as Fiela se Kind (Fiela’s Child, 1988), Die Storie van Klara Viljee (The story of Klara Viljee, 1991), Paljas (1988), Feast of the Uninvited (2008), and Die Wonderwerker (The miracle worker, 2012). The chapter not only focuses on how she represents women’s plight in her films, but also on the women crew that she collaborated with in creating these productions. Within the last section I discuss notable contemporary South African women film directors who profess to have been influenced by Heyns and her oeuvre, such as Meg Rickards (Tess 2017), Hanneke Schutte (Meerkat Maantuig, 2017) and René van Rooyen (Toorbos, 2019). Through their work, they are building a future for strong woman narratives in the South African film industry.
Dr Anna-Marie Jansen van Vuuren is a screenwriting lecturer within the Film programme at the Department of Visual Communication at the Tshwane University of Technology (South Africa). She is a former Post Doctorate Research Fellow, under mentorship of Keyan Tomaselli, at the University of Johannesburg.