WATCH: Local film nominated for SAFTA awards

Ready to roll - (back) Francois Wahl (director/producer), André Meyer (cinematographer and director of photography), Nicole Meyer (sound), Andile Zwane (camera assistant and translator); (front) Phila Mkhize (set assistant and translator), Dr Amy Salvesen and Samkelo Brian Ngema (set assistant and translator)

DOC-U-MENTALLY, a locally produced film documenting the gruesome 30-hour shifts of junior doctors at the Ngwelezana and Lower Umfolozi Regional War Memorial hospitals, has been nominated for three SAFTA awards.

Andre and Nicole Meyer from Richards Bay-based video production company, Meyer Productions, are in the running for the ‘best achievement in cinematography’ and ‘best achievement in editing’ awards, while Francois Wahl (producer/director) from Intersection Studios is a finalist for ‘best documentary feature’ at the South African Film and Television Awards ceremony to be held between 16 and 19 March at Sun City.

The film, which offers the public a glimpse of the gut-wrenching conditions and pressures faced by junior doctors, also won the Best SA Documentary category at the Jozi Film Festival last year.

Following the exciting announcement of their latest nominations, the Meyers said they are thrilled.

‘We were absolutely blown away when Francois contacted us with the news,’ said Nicole.

Francois Wahl interviews surgery doctor Saishrien Rasen

‘To be in the top three in three different categories out of hundreds of submissions by the big guns in the film industry, is a great honour.

‘We did not expect it to be such a hit, but we are proud that it did exactly what we set out to do – to shine a light on the harsh reality for intern doctors and to start conversations to bring about positive change in the sector.’

André added the project was no small feat, but worth every second of recording a total of five backbreaking 30-hour shifts.

‘The most challenging was staying awake and filming non-stop for 30 hours, and we just operated cameras – not operated on people.


‘We certainly gained a huge amount of respect for all doctors.

‘They do their best with limited resources, staff and exhausting hours on duty.

‘Just having been able to see all they do behind the scenes was an incredible experience.’

Going forward, the Meyers will continue making documentaries and short films.

‘We believe it is important to create work that dispels misconceptions and tell powerful and engaging stories that enlighten viewers.’

‘Kaput’ crew – taking a break after filming one of five 30-hour shifts


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Mia Moorcroft

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