docLOVE March: The Colonel’s Stray Dogs

docLOVE March: The Colonel’s Stray Dogs

docLOVE March: The Colonel’s Stray Dogs

Please join docLOVE for a special screening of The Colonel’s Stray Dogs directed by DFA member Khalid Shamis and produced by Steven Markovitz and Khalid Shamis.

The Bioscope Independent Cinema, Milpark, Johannesburg | 1 March at 6pm | RSVP via Bioscope website

Amazwi Museum, Makhanda | 2 March at 2pm | RSVP at

Bertha House, Mowbray, Cape Town | 8 March at 6pm | RSVP via

Centre for Civil Society, University of KZN | 30 March at 2pm | Seating is free and unreserved

Isivivana Cinema, Khayelitsha | 14 April at 6pm |  Seating is free and unreserved

For over 40 years Ashur Shamis was a member of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood and Colonel Gadaffi’s enemy number one in exile with a $1m bounty on his head. His dream of a ‘free’ Libya almost cost him his life and his family. When the 2011 revolution rid the country of their dictator, Ashur finally returned home to a hero’s welcome but soon found a land vastly different to the one he left. As Libya slipped into civil war he was rejected by the new country and found himself exiled once again. His dream of Libya now distorted, Ashur’s son uncovers a dangerous past and questions the choices his father made to inherit the mess Gadaffi left.


Director’s Note
This is a story of a father and freedom fighter, absent from his family while dedicating his life to Libya. The Colonel’s Stray Dogs observes a father and son uncovering years of underground military operations, international collusion with intelligence agencies, a family hidden in exile in a South London suburb, a freed country in civil war and a second exile. Seeking an understanding of modern Libya, my father’s homeland, Baba cautiously reveals to me his role as a ‘stray dog’ in its ‘liberation’ from Gadaffi. The general and specific spaces of exile and a lifetime under a dictator are experienced through memory, archive, observation and recollection. The film balances a story that explores the deeply political and deeply personal.


Director biography
Half Libyan half South African, former Londoner. Khalid Shamis manages to both direct and edit documentaries. His work entails guiding first time filmmakers and consulting on long form projects in post production, directing directors, imbibing worlds alien to his, containing and creating another’s vision, manifesting the dreams of the subjects in the films and being taken by the voice of the material itself. He runs his production company, tubafilms, from Cape Town. Khalid completed his feature documentary, ‘Imam and I’ in 2011.


Producer biography
Steven Markovitz has been producing and distributing feature films and documentaries for 25 years. He has produced in more than 20 African countries with over 120 directors. His films have sold worldwide and been selected by major festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, Venice, IDFA and Toronto. Notable awards include Toronto Festival Audience Award for Beats of the Antonov, Teddy Jury Award for Stories of our Lives, an Oscar nomination for Inja, Best Director for World Cinema Documentary at Sundance for Winnie, and the GLAAD Outstanding Film Award for Rafiki. Other award- winning films include Viva Riva!, Congo in Four Acts, Behind the Rainbow, Silas, aKasha, High Fantasy, Proteus and Project 10. He is currently in post-production on films set in Zanzibar, Ghana and South Africa.

Steven has served on selection panels and juries in Holland, USA, Germany, Nigeria, South
Africa and Namibia. He is a founding board member of the Independent Producers Organisation of South Africa, co-founder of Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, founding board member of Documentary Africa (DocA) and co-founder of Electric South. He is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences


The docLOVE programme is powered by the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP3) administered by the NFVF.