Filmmaker Batandwa Alperstein stands up and shines in global campaign for TRACE

Combining his skills in strategy, writing, directing and producing, Batandwa Alperstein has created a global campaign for Africa’s number one music channel, TRACE. With a filmmaking and creative background rooted in the urban youth space and known for his ability to capture pop culture in Africa, Batandwa (known on the interwebs as @takezito) is behind TRACE’s new brand campaign ‘Stand Up ‘N Shine’.

The campaign is flighting in over 40 countries and in 4 languages around the world and is a celebration of self-love. The project aims to position TRACE as an empowerment platform for the youth, but it also represents the essence of the kind of nurturing and uplifting work Batandwa seeks to create.

We are living in a time when the world is reimagining, rethinking and breaking down all sorts of paradigms. Because of COVID-19, health and well-being has been put on a higher pedestal and this is trickling down through everything, including film sets. The idea of transformative, empowering filmmaking is really important to me; a kind of filmmaking and storytelling that is caring, thoughtful and nurturing. I see my role as a director as someone tasked to create the right energy for collaborators to blossom so that we can tell the best story possible, together.’- Batandwa Alperstein.

TRACE ‘Stand Up ‘N Shine’

‘Stand Up ‘N Shine’ is a manifesto-piece expressing TRACE’s own mission to empower Afro-urban youth around the world. The diverse cast of creatives, led by artist/singer/songwriter Filah come together to create a refreshing piece that is contrary to the narrative in advertising that proposes that you need to be something that you’re not; that you need to be a ‘faster, slicker or richer’ version of what you are. It’s about celebrating who you are as opposed to aspiring to some future version of yourself.

We weren’t the only ones that noticed this campaign. It was awarded a Craft Mention in the July 2021 IDIDTHAT Craft Awards by Mpho Twala, Director and Owner of The Rudeboy Collective.

TRACE ‘Stand Up N Shine’
The Visual Content Gang | Batandwa Alperstein (Takezito)

Awarded by Mpho Twala
‘Besides this spot looking great, I like what it represents. I don’t have an idea what the budget is/was but with what they had, they managed to pull off a fantastic looking film. Good to see the younger creatives producing work based on an intention that’s bigger than just making ads. It’s the reason Batandwa Alperstein, makes me feel like the future of this ad game is in good hands.’
– IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Mpho Twala, Partner and Director at The Rudeboy Collective

On bringing ‘Stand Up ‘N Shine’ together, Batandwa said: ‘It was my job as a director to create a positive energy on set where the characters could be themselves fully. The final positive uplifting energy of the campaign onscreen is very reflective of what it was like on set.’

Batandwa has a knack for bringing together teams and creating synergy towards a common goal. On this project, he also played the role of creative director on the stills component and collaborated with the rising photographer, John Baloy.

Stills by John Baloy

Batandwa is also passionate about creating opportunities and nurturing environments for young, mostly black creatives. ‘I am heavily invested in the transformative power of film. As a director and creative, I am interested in the ability of film to inspire, empower and heal – myself and, hopefully, if we do our job well, the audience too. I am interested in the potential of the film industry to create jobs and opportunities and even to shape the economy by shifting culture and shaping identity.’ Batandwa ensured that the production comprised of an almost entirely black crew under the age of 35; something he aims to achieve on all his sets, but which was specifically important for this particular campaign message.

‘Stand Up ‘N Shine’ – Behind the scenes

This project sets a new tone for Batandwa’s journey as a storyteller and filmmaker as it brings together his multiple skill sets of writing, strategising, producing and directing into one place. Want Batandwa’s Swiss Army Knife-like skills on your campaign or a director that puts positive energy and heart at the centre of his storytelling?

Why not (s)talk some more

Contact Batandwa

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Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

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