Two new Directors join Picture Tree – Meet Sibu Khuzwayo
Sibu Khuzwayo and Marcus Moshapalo have both recently joined the family at Picture Tree as they embark on a new chapter as commercial directors. But get this, they’ve only met briefly and hardly know each other. Now although we’re all about social distancing, this just wouldn’t do. In this, the ‘Meet Sibu Khuzwayo’ edition, we tasked Marcus to ask Sibu 4 of his most burning questions, you know, director to director. And while they got to know each other a little bit better, we got to play fly on their Zoom call wall. Once you’ve gotten to know all about Sibu, make sure you click through to the ‘Meet Marcus Moshapalo’ edition.
Coming from long-form directing, Sibu is a narrative filmmaker with a beautiful visual eye. He has a deep love for the continent and wants to tell authentically African stories rooted in realism. Meeting him for the first time, he seems so gentle, humble and reserved, we’re hooked!
Watch the trailer for Sibu’s short film, The Letter Reader, which has won numerous local and international awards including ‘Best Short Film’ at the South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAS).
‘The Letter Reader’ (Trailer)
Marcus Ask Away!
Marcus: Even though your work is so different to mine, it has inspired me and when I realised you were also joining Picture Tree I was even more sure that I was making the right move. So, to ask you some questions is an honour.
Sibu: Thank you. The feeling is mutual.
1. Marcus: How did you go about pursuing directing?
Sibu: It was around high school that I realised that the director had the most important role, to shape the story, and that’s what I wanted to do, be a storyteller. Unfortunately, my family couldn’t afford to send me to film school, so I ended up going to a media school, but while I was studying I was obsessively researching films, watching movies, buying original DVDs so I could listen to the director’s commentaries and reading up a lot on the internet. And so I created my own film school. I then started working in the industry as an editor for TV shows, and on the weekends I would borrow cameras where I could so I could shoot stuff for myself. In no time I had a showreel that I could show people to prove I had what it took to be a director. Pretty soon someone took a chance on me and gave me my first gig directing a reality TV show and I haven’t stopped since then.
2. Marcus: As a storyteller, where do you draw your inspiration from or what gets your juices flowing?
Sibu: People, music and art. I strive to always be present and attentive because you never know where your biggest idea will come from. Back in the day, I taught myself how to play guitar and I used to play in a jazz band. Music has always inspired me
3. Marcus: As a director, what is your creative process like?
Sibu: As odd as it may sound, in terms of my creative process, I always start with a prayer.
Marcus: Haha, no not odd at all.
Sibu: The reason I pray is because I believe that there is no such thing as a new idea, it’s all been done. For me, it’s just a matter of being awake to the right idea at the right time. Victor Hugo said: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Everything already exists so I pray to be conscious and awake to those ideas.
Marcus: And having those ideas enter you and become the vessel for them.
Sibu: Exactly, it’s praying to become the vessel for those ideas that need to be told or executed at that exact time.
4. Marcus: This is pretty generic but I’d like to get a sense of the person you are and the aesthetic that you like – what is your favourite piece of film, and why?
Sibu: Two films actually. A Japanese film called Shoplifters and then the recent film, Parasite. These two films for me are similar because they focus on what we might call ‘insignificant people’ or people that you don’t usually pay attention to. And these films really zoom into the lives of these people and make their stories significant and that is what I believe we as storytellers or directors do. We take the ordinary or mundane and we zoom in on it to make it extraordinary or significant.
We could watch these two talk shop for the whole day but unfortunately, we don’t have Zoom Premium and we’re only allowed a 45-minute session with these talents #TheLockdownStruggle so make sure you click on the link below to see what questions Sibu asked Marcus in the ‘Meet Marcus Moshapalo’ edition or just drop Picture Tree a mail at email@example.com and get working with these talents right away!
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