The evocative short documentary Scenes From A Dry City became the first South African film to be selected for competition at the International Documentary Film Festival late last year. The documentary also walked away with the top prize for “Best Mini-Doc” during its US premiere at the Big Sky Documentary Festival.
Following this accolade, the documentary has also become eligible for an Academy Award consideration for the “Best Short Documentary” in 2020.
Scenes From A Dry City takes a look at Cape Town from different societal perspectives, with scenes depicting illegal car-washers and ones in which Christians pray for rain in a mass service.
“There had been a slate of journalistic films about the impact of the water crisis in Cape Town… We wanted to make a film that attempted instead, perhaps in a very tenuous way, to inhabit the perspective of water itself, its ultimate indifference to what is happening in the city, and thereby to try assess some of the deeper existential dimensions involved in the debate,” filmmakers and directors of the documentary, Francois Verster and Simon Wood, told ScreenAfrica.
Wood is currently working on a National Geographic-awarded project titled Container.
Francois Verster has been lauded for non-fiction films that have all won awards across the globe, including, When the War is Over, The Mothers’ House, Sea Point Days, The Dream of Shahrazad, and A Lion’s Trail. This film was nominated for an Emmy award in 2006.