Sisters of the Wilderness
Part wildlife documentary – the astonishing scenery, the immersive soundtrack – part pilgrimage, Slater’s film follows five young Zulu women on a journey of personal healing through the iMfolozi wilderness. Protected by a pair of rangers and overseen by a motherly guide, they learn about animal behaviour, their Zulu ancestry and the importance of conservation. At the same time, access to ancestral lands is called into question, and airtime is given to the open cast coal mining expanding along the park’s border and the massive toll of rhino poaching. Crucially, no solutions are offered; instead, the beautifully filmed wilderness is left to speak for itself.
What is more astonishing is that Slater did it all… she carried all her equipment, shot and recorded the film in a week, and the only lights used were headlamps in the dark.
- Labia 3
- Sat 2 June / 3.30pm
- V&A 4
- Wed 6 June / 8pm + Q&A TBC
- Thu 7 June / 6pm
- Sun 10 June / 7.45pm
Karin Slater Director
Karin Slater was awarded with the prestigious Trailblazer Award at MIPDOC Cannes 2008. An award given to five filmmakers around the world doing creative and innovative work in documentaries. She also received the Best South African Documentary Award at the 2008 Durban International Film Festival and the 2008 Apollo Film Festival for her film 50 Years! Of Love? In 2016 Kenya’s Water Women received an award in the social category at the New York Film and Television Awards.
At Vision du Reel 2017 South African Focus Karin Slater had three of her documentary works screening which reflect the different ways she works within the documentary industry. In one work she was Director & cinematographer ‘50 Years of Love?‘, Jeppe on a Friday cinematographer and in Atrophy and the fear of Fading, Head Mentor.
Her first recognition came in 1989 when she received the ‘Best Student Director Award’ while studying at Technikon Natal, South Africa. She went on learning her trade in the wilds of Africa raising and filming big cats for Londolozi Productions. In 2000 her film for National Geographic, ‘Animal Powers’ won four Avanti awards including Best Director.
‘Meaning of the Buffalo’ in 2004 premiered at Sundance Film Festival (where it was in the festivals ‘Top 10 Must See Films’). It also screened at Berlin Film Festival, Hot Docs, Museum of Modern Art, New York and was selected as a New York Times Critics Pick in 2004.
Other productions include ‘From Nkoko… with Love’ (2005 FESPACO, Encounters Film Festivals) about traditional paths to womanhood, ‘Scars’ (2005, DIFF, Copenhagen, London) a film about girl gang violence, Prenessa and the Dolphins (2006 DIFF) Laxmi’s Blessings (2008 Encounters Film Festival) Through Different Eyes (2010) A Table for Two (Encounters Film Festival /DIFF 2014) Climbing the Ladder (2016 Ford Foundation) and Brazil One in Three (2015 Al Jazeera).
She is a published photographer in ‘Footing with Sir Richards Ghost’ – Patricia Glynn, ‘Nine Lives’ – John Varty, ‘T’ingwe’ – Gillian Van Houten, ‘I Speak of Africa’ – Molly Buchanan to name a few.
Among her skills is teaching and consulting other filmmakers. She has taught Independent Documentary at Selkirk College, Canada for two years and was head mentor at Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking in Cape Town and Johannesburg for 7 years.