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Cinema screening and workshop for people with disabilities in Mofolo

The audience gazed with hope and were excited during the Q&A session they had after watching the documentaries.

The Gauteng Film Commission together with GODEZ services held a cinema screening and workshop for people living with disabilities at the local community centre for them to learn about the opportunities they have in the film industry.

The workshop was held at the Self-Help Association of Paraplegics (SHAP) in Mofolo Central on May 16 in hopes of giving out skills that the people at the centre don’t normally get.

It served as an opportunity for the audience to meet filmmakers and to also learn about careers in film and television.

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The executive producer at Let There Be Light Media Productions and filmmaker called Jerome Mpho Moremi was the facilitator and coordinator of the workshop.

The audience listening to Jerome at the workshop at the SHAP centre.

The workshop meant a lot for the people and mostly for the speakers because of the centre and its history.

The centre was started by Friday Mandla Mavuso and other paraplegics in 1981 to address the difficulties people living with disabilities face in South Africa, especially in Soweto.

Moremi took to the stage to teach the basics of the film industry and what qualifications one needs to venture into the industry.

He explained that in film one can also be behind the scenes and not always be the actor or actress. He also played two documentaries he made of people living with disabilities doing more than expected.

The two documentaries that were played by Moremi were about a professional swimmer and actor with no limbs, Sibusiso Mogale and a blind soccer coach of the Silver Spears Ladies Football Club, Dumisani Ntombela.

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The audience gazed with hope and were excited during the Q&A session they had after watching the documentaries.

This also sparked a new idea for Moremi to do a documentary on one of the audience members.

The audience member yet to be documented by Moremi is Khanyisile Nkosi from Orlando East.

“Today I’ve learnt that being disabled does not mean it’s the end of the world. You can pick up yourself and do many things without letting other people look down on you, show them what you’re capable of,” said Nkosi.

“I’m excited about the documentary we are about to make with Jerome and I wish this gets to happen again for generations to come.”

Moremi expressed his joy about the number of people who attended and how they engaged at the workshop. He also promised to come back and do more of these screenings and eventually trainings.

“I’m happy and I can’t believe the number of people who attended, the way they were participating in the workshop was another pleasing thing for me,” said Moremi.

“The love they showed towards this event was shocking to me, they showed how hungry they are for such workshops. They even asked us to come back again to do another screening workshop and training.”

Moremi went on to acknowledge the amount of talent amongst people living with disabilities.

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“We need to come back in order to give back to the disabled community because most of them want these opportunities but to be quite honest they are very scarce for them.

“This now means the Gauteng Film Commission has a lot of work to do,” Moremi added.

In appreciation to the Gauteng Film Commission, the manager of the centre, Gugu Mtshali said, “I am very happy with today’s event because I often feel like we are nobodies here at the SHAP Centre; we don’t usually get such opportunities.

“This just gets to uplift the people here and is a way to also start showcasing the talent we have.”

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