Simon & I

Beverley Palesa Ditsie, Nicky Newman, South Africa, 2002, video, 54'
Synopsis

Bev Ditsie was 17 when she first met Simon Nkoli, founder of the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW). Like her, he belonged to two minority groups: black and homosexual. Simon became her mentor and role model. ‘I finally found a home’, she now says. In the ego-document SIMON & I, which she made in collaboration with Nicky Newman, Bev uses a diary style to describe their personal and idealistic bond as fighters for gay rights. In a voice-over she tells about her lonely childhood in Soweto and brings back memories illustrated by archive footage. The film deals with personal growth and political struggle, the great breakthrough being the sexual non-discrimination article that South Africa as first country in the world included in its new constitution. This does not alter the fact that Zimbabwean president Mugabe still openly labels homosexuality a crime. The ups and downs in the friendship between Bev and Simon make up the other narrative line, the low point being the moment when Bev breaks up with GLOW because Simon’s attention primarily goes out to the fight against AIDS, thus overlooking women’s rights issues. Bev went her own way and in 1995 she was the first lesbian woman to address a UN conference. Shortly before Simon’s death by AIDS in November 1998, the two activists reconciled. The film was made possible by the support of the Jan Vrijman Fund.

Watch the IDFA trailer October 29, 2014 | IDFA has unveiled its 2014 poster campaign and trailer, which both highlight the diversity of scope and nationality of the festival program.
IDFA Bertha Fund Harvest 2014 October 28, 2014 | IDFA has selected a total of 10 documentaries made with financial assistance from the IDFA Bertha Fund this year. Each year, the IBF provides support in two selection rounds to documentary projects from developing countries.
IDFA Forum Selection 2014 October 14, 2014 | The complete list of projects selected for IDFA Forum 2014 has been announced.
Wanted: Youth Jury! September 30, 2014 | Every year, a selection of films from the IDFA program compete for the IDFA DOC U Award, given out by a youth jury. Do you want to have a say about the winner, and are you between 15 and 18 years old? Then apply now!
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

Twitter

IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 1 day ago
Can your film make change happen? Only three days left to submit your project to #goodpitch Europe! http://t.co/8p2A749mM5
Open
IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 14 days ago Open
VPRO Oxfam Novib de Volkskrant BankGiro Loterij Fonds 21