Bertha House to promote local content

The Bertha House is calling all township film-makers to submit their short films.

Ask any budding film-maker about the challenges they face, and more than likely, the struggle to get films screened will rank somewhere near the top of the list.

A new non-profit cinema space in Khayelitsha, however, aims to change that through the Bertha Movie House located within the relatively new Isivivana Centre just opposite the Khayelitsha shopping centre.

The cinema has a strong focus on screening local and African films and hosting film festivals.

The organisation said all the screenings were free of charge and free transport home for all Khayelitsha-based audiences was provided afterward.

They said the idea was to give screen time to the work of local filmmakers so that they could see their work on the big screen and interact with audiences about their films.

Bertha Movie House cinema manager, Alta du Plooy, invited budding film-makers to submit their films for screening.

Ms Du Plooy said they have run regular film screenings since they officially opened in February.

She said their screening programmes are eight weeks long, showcasing one film a week. On Tuesdays they have film club and on this particular day they show films that are “a little bit weird and strange” and on Wednesdays they show documentary films.

She said this documentary segment is the most popular feature, particularly when the films are about social issues. And every Thursday night they show local feature films.

Ms Du Plooy said so far they have struggled to market the Bertha Movie House and so they would like to partner with other organisations to spread the word about the organisation. “We hope we can help emerging film-makers and give them a leg up in their careers. We are calling for film-makers to submit their short film to us. The reaction we got from the participants is something we could have never imagined. And the space is open for anyone and it allows a flow of opinions and ideas,” she said.