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.

Accreditation for IDFA 2014 is now open! Join us to celebrate the documentary genre at the 27th edition of IDFA! The deadline for accreditation is October 10.
IDFA Bertha Fund selects 19 new projects July 8, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the May selection round of 2014. Nineteen documentary projects from countries like Nicaragua, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan and South-Sudan will be supported by the fund.
New collaboration with Docu Rough Cut Boutique July 8, 2014 | IDFA is proud to announce a new collaboration with the Sarajevo Film Festival and Balkan Documentary Center's Docu Rough Cut Boutique, where every year five projects from the Balkan and Caucasus region receive tailor-made coaching with an eye to moving forward the projects in their final stage.
Summer School's Out July 6, 2014 | The seventh edition of the IDFAcademy Summer School has closed its doors. For six days, young and upcoming talents from 15 different countries worked tirelessly on their projects, supported by eight renowned tutors, among whom was editor Ollie Huddleston: “If you think too much about what other people think, you can get really lost.”
Digital and interactive storytelling at IDFA 2014 July 4, 2014 | Since 2008, IDFA explores the future of non-fiction storytelling with its DocLab program and the Forum for crossmedia projects. This year, in collaboration with De Brakke Grond, we will present the biggest interactive storytelling program yet. We look forward to consider your interactive, transmedia and virtual reality projects.

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IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 11 hour ago
Festival submission deadline is approaching! We would love to consider your documentaries. Please submit before Aug 1 http://t.co/Ags25ceYZV
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IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 8 days ago
Idfa award for most promising doc project presented at @durbanfilmmart is The Sound of Masks by Kofi Zwans & Sara Gouveia from South Africa!
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