Independent Lens, Global Voices
In the 1920s, Solomon Linda composed a hit melody in South Africa. Decades later, it hit the top of pop charts as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
The Sea Point Promenade was once once a bastion of apartheid exclusivity. Today it is a mix of race, gender, religion, status, and sexual orientation.
François Verster has a broad background in writing, music, academia, and film. His acclaimed debut as documentary director/producer, Pavement Aristocrats: The Bergies of Cape Town, achieved international success, and was described by the Variety 2000 International Film Guide as "magnificent."… In 1998, Verster formed Undercurrent Film and Television, a Cape Town-based company that aims to produce quality documentaries for local as well as international markets. Its projects deal primarily with human issues, and take innovative (and usually character-led) approaches to social and historical concerns. Other films of his such as When the War is Over (2002) won awards around the world. The South African Department of Arts, Culture, Science, and Technology described Verster as being "known for his outstanding documentary work in [the] country." He has published poems, short stories and reviews, as well as articles in magazines and various international academic journals. He teaches a part-time documentary course in Cape Town. A Lion's Trail is his seventh film.
Neil Brandt, a University of Cape Town graduate in psychology and law, has produced films that have won many awards locally and internationally. His documentaries have explored themes as diverse as the nature of peace in war-torn Angola, to what it takes to be a Constitutional Court Judge, to the consequences… of violence on the Cape Flats. They have screened on most major broadcasters worldwide. His company FireworXmedia is also active in feature and television production. He is a founding member of Filmmakers Against Racism.
On any given summer day, a colorful mix of locals gather at Sea Point Promenade and Municipal Pools in Cape Town, South Africa. Rich, poor, old, young, black, white, Christian, Jew, Muslim, homeless, rent boys, sports players, and petty criminals all meet in this extraordinary public space: one that offers the possibilities of happiness and belonging and gives voice to some of the contradictions of what it means to be South African.