Tell us about yourself – who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sivu Giba from East London, Eastern Cape. I am a passionate Documentary Filmmaker and Co-Founder of SivuBuhle Media, a Multimedia and Documentary Film Production Company based in the Eastern Cape.
What are you currently up to? Are there any exciting projects ongoing?
I am currently producing and directing a documentary film called uHadi (an Indigenous Musical Bow instrument), which looks into Xhosa Traditional Music using ancient indigenous instruments in the present.
The exciting part about this documentary is that it has also turned into a participatory project whereby we will also be hosting virtual indigenous events with the characters we are filming as a way to also bring rural artists into the digital space whereby the older generation can still perform online and make a living. And also where we could assist them to be on social media and also have an online shop to sell their music by recording their songs for them.
What’s your best project/work to date?
Our best work at SivuBuhle Media so far is a documentary called Son of the Soil Xhoma Aob – a Khoisan indigenous story about forced removals in Hout Bay in Cape Town. I was the assistant director and my partner was commissioned by Steps for The Future and CareTakers to direct and film the documentary. The best project we have done so far is by creating a youth initiative called Mabonakude Film Screenings – bringing documentary films to high-school students in disadvantaged communities for participatory film engagements.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by positive stories, people who do good for others and also young people inspire me as I see so much life and excitement in them and the opportunity to gain new experiences in life.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I love to hike, bird watching, swimming, listening to music and watching documentaries and reading books.
Finally, what tips or advice could you give to other documentary creatives, just starting out or to the most experienced creatives needing a bit of encouragement?
I would say to new entry level documentarians that they should always remain positive, always research before rushing to make a film, research styles of documentary filmmaking and the more experienced ones, research funding institutes and what they want – apply, even if you get rejections you will eventually understand what they want.
I would say to encourage the more experienced documentary film productions that now is the time to spend some time doing good by sharing your skills to those ones that don’t know anything about film and try to be productive as best as possible.