Powerful films engaging the great themes of the age
Cape Town-based CineSouth Studios undertakes and delivers feature-length and larger-scale multiyear film projects.
Director Victor van Aswegen’s films engage the big-picture topics – at a time when these include
some of the most consequential questions ever to confront humanity.
The journey of Sculpting This Earth to film festivals around the world successfully launched with sold-out world premiere screenings end August.
Honoured by the success of Displaced on the global film festival circuit, with laurels from more than 50 festivals on five continents to date.
Doing in-depth research for upcoming feature documentary project Day Zero.
The present moment
As Europe faces its most severe refugee crisis since the second world war, with millions of Ukrainians, mostly women and children,
fleeing their country to escape the devastating effects of the barbaric unprovoked assault on them by a murderous
nuclear-armed neighbour state, CineSouth’s 2020 film Displaced resonates with undiminished, tragic relevance.
Once again we stand incredulous at the decisions of the powerful plumbing the depths of depravity,
aghast at the failure of leaders of other states to speak out, sickened by our capacity for
violence, fearful of the risk of escalation, ashamed to be human.
But it is in the darkest of times, driven to despair at human nature and the prospects for our species,
that we are reminded most forcefully of the value of empathy, of civilisation, of being humane.
A reflection on the inner life and the harrowing, traumatic experience of the forcibly displaced,
refracted through art, Displaced speaks to one aspect of the perilous present moment.
Subject matter that matters
CineSouth pursues large, complex, intractable issues in its films – the subjects that define the era, the challenges that will shape the human future. How, to what extent, indeed whether at all these questions are resolved, will be all-determining. Addressing itself to the items at the very top of the global agenda, the studio’s films, made for a worldwide audience keen to engage with these critical subjects, feed into vital global conversations.
The topics in CineSouth’s slate of projects to date include: the nature of complex systems; the lessons learnt when a modern urban water supply system was plunged into crisis by an unprecedentedly severe drought; the trauma of forced displacement; our relationship to the natural world; artmaking and the construction of meaning. Migration, nature, water, climate, the vulnerabilities of our global civilisation – these are some of the great themes of the age.
Future CineSouth film projects, planned and in development, encompass but also look beyond the many immediate crises of the day, to the long-term future of the human enterprise, the risk of the extinction of the species, and the mitigation of these existential risks. The century is uniquely perilous. The stakes could not be higher. The subject matter is inexhaustible.
Sculpting This Earth
The first documentary feature film about land art from the southern hemisphere. Over four consecutive seasons, artist
Strijdom van der Merwe makes land art in spectacular settings in the vast open spaces of the southern African interior. Ephemeral artworks in nature.
A reflection on the human existence on the planet and our relationship to the natural world.
Before Cape Town’s water crisis in 2017-2018 came the crises of São Paulo in 2014, Barcelona in 2008,
Australia’s large cities in the 2000s. Failure to learn from past mistakes is to self-condemn to repeating those mistakes in future.
With clarity and dispassion, Day Zero sets out the lessons from Cape Town.
Childhood to parenthood. Faraway village to sprawling metropolis.
Seven days from first light to nightfall. Seven spectacularly scenic coastal settings around Cape Town. Ordinary daily
human life captured with a stationary camera and locked-off shots in the style of the Lumières.
A retrospective of the oeuvre of artist Emma Willemse.
Home. The loss of a home. Displacement. A deeply felt engagement, refracted through art, with the traumatic
experience of people forcibly displaced by conflict, violence and persecution.
The Cape Town Drought Response Learning Initiative
Key learnings distilled from the 2017-2018 Cape Town water crisis.
Three series of 56 film-based learning outputs, each with accompanying text. Drawn from the rich resource of
39 in-depth filmed interviews with senior societal actors and leading experts recorded for this purpose.
Máquina do Mundo
The nature of complex systems. The moment when chaos becomes society. Or vice versa.
The tension between the finely honed networks and organisations of contemporary society and the ever present,
pervasive sense of the possibility of catastrophe. In conversation with artist Katja Gentric.
Victor van Aswegen
CineSouth Studios founder-owner. Works principally as director and producer. Conceptualises, develops and executes all CineSouth
projects, and does the cinematography and editing on his films himself. Brings to the content of the films and to the task of their funding, production and project management the experience of his background in, successively, law, economics, development, finance, private equity, consultancy, and business analytics.