Victor van Aswegen

Victor van Aswegen is a Cape Town-based filmmaker with a background, successively, in law, economics, development, finance, private equity, consultancy, and business analytics.

As filmmaker and founder-owner of CineSouth Studios, he works principally as director and producer, running the creative process from first concept to final output. Applying the cinematographic tools of Moving Image Technologies, the digital film production and post-production facility he founded and owns, he does the cinematography, post-production and editing on his films himself.

His films to date have dealt with the nature of complex systems, the traumatic experience of people forcibly displaced by conflict and persecution, the parallel arcs of urbanisation and the human life cycle from childhood to parenthood, and an urban resilience stress event in the form of the 2017-2018 Cape Town water crisis.

As co-lead of the Cape Town Drought Response Learning Initiative over the two-year duration of the project from mid-2018 to mid-2020, he conceptualised and produced the project outputs constituting the body of work delivered by the initiative, which included nearly one hundred film outputs on various aspects of the Cape Town water crisis, all available on the project website. In addition to the cinematography, post-production and editing, he was responsible for identifying and articulating the key themes and learnings emerging from the material, and produced both film and text components of the 56 learning outputs delivered by the initiative.

The unifying perspective underpinning his work is a long view of the human enterprise: how recently it was – only six millennia ago, after a prehistory of two hundred – that we embarked on the experiment of urban settlement; how radically new and different urban civilisation is as a mode of existence on the planet; how this has been characterised by exponentiality; how we now find ourselves in the paradoxical position that the human presence seems both more robust and more precarious than ever before. His thematic preoccupations and the subjects he is interested in exploring through his films are: the dynamics driving our global civilisation, the multiple crises of the present moment, human nature, the future of humanity, and the conditions for the survival of the species.

Victor holds a law degree and two postgraduate degrees in economics from South African universities, including a cum laude Masters in mathematical microeconomics from Stellenbosch University, and an MPhil Economics and Politics of Development from the University of Cambridge, completed with a scholarship won upon being selected as the best student of economics in South Africa.