Set in past and present South Africa, "Milisuthando" is a poetic coming-of-age personal essay documentary on love and what it means to become human in the context of race, explored through the memories of Milisuthando – who grew up during apartheid but didn't know it was happening until it was over.

8 years in the making, Milisuthando is a portrait of me and South Africa growing up together in the aftermath of apartheid. Driven by my narrative voice and a compelling cast of my family, friends, foes and some historical figures, the story braids together the three different worlds of my childhood — The now defunct Republic of Transkei, East London in the 1990s new South Africa and my adult life in Johannesburg. Spanning 30 years in a non-linear manner, the film is a  meditation on difficult questions about power, fear, intimacy and love as it relates to race. Through a roving feminine lens, we find ourselves in happened-upon environments that take the viewer into the interiors of the new South Africa and its relationship with its past.









Creative Team


Milisuthando Bongela

Writer and Director

Milisuthando Bongela (b.1985, South Africa) is an award-winning writer, editor, cultural worker and artist. Her career began in the fashion industry but the last 15 years has seen her traverse the worlds of music, art, media and film - continually turning towards indigenous knowledge. For 3 years she was Arts Editor for the Mail & Guardian's Friday section and was host and co-producer of the podcast Umoya: On African Spirituality with Athambile Masola. After 8 years, she has recently completed her first film, a personal essay documentary titled MILISUTHANDO which will have its world premier at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. She is an inaugural fellow of the 2020 Adobe Women at Sundance Fellowship.

Milisuthando lives in Johannesburg.


Marion Isaacs

Producer

Marion Isaacs (b.1981, South Africa) is a producer, curator, editor and writer-researcher with a love of storytelling, which she’s explored through her work in documentary film and museum curation. Her varied career has afforded her a sustained focus on questions of identity, race and gender, and the often eccentric dimensions of South African life in a radically global context. Her film repertoire includes Mandela and Me (2012), They Sacrificed for Our Freedom (EP, 2014), and her first feature documentary, The President Needs More Time (dir. Oliver Hermanus). Her second feature, Milisuthando (dir. Milisuthando Bongela), will premiere at Sundance 2023. Her museum work includes the Matola Interpretive Centre (Moz), the OR Tambo Narrative Centre (SA) and film work for Freedom Park (SA). She holds a Masters in African Studies (Oxford, UK) and she’s an alumna of the 2019 Sundance Institute Producers Summit and the 2022 Realness Creative Producers Indaba.

Marion lives in Johannesburg.


Hankyeol Lee

Editor and Cinematographer

Hankyeol Lee (b.1993, South Korea) is a filmmaker and photographer who is fascinated by topics of language and fractured identity. Her work as a director, cinematographer and editor is founded on the bedrock of collaboration and skillshare, which is a strong element of her approach to filmmaking. Her filmography includes BROR, a short documentary she directed about two 80-year old brothers living together in the idyllic town of Porkkala, Finland. She was the cinematographer and editor of I WANT TO SEE FOR MYSELF a short documentary about the legacy of Tennis hero, Arthur Ashe and the tennis centre he erected in Soweto, South Africa. She is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand, and has also lectured cinematography at the Wits School of Film and TV.

Hankyeol lives in Johannesburg.

Co-Producers


Viviana Gómez Echeverry

Co-Producer

Viviana Gómez Echeverry is a director, producer and cinematographer. She studied Social Communication at the Javeriana University in Colombia and in Spain, she specialised in cinematography and later acquired a master’s degree in Scriptwriting. She is an alumni of
Chicken & Egg Pictures, Talents Buenos Aires, Tribeca Film Institute and the Colombian Film Fund.  Viviana wrote, directed and produced the documentary BETWEEN FIRE AND WATER, which had its world premiere at IDFA and thereafter, selected for Hot Docs. She co-directed Andreas Dalsgaard’s documentary LIFE IS SACRED, in which she was also the cinematographer and which was produced by Final Cut for Real and premiered at CPH:DOX. KEYLA, her first feature, was selected for the Warsaw Film Festival. Viviana is a founding partner and CEO of Viso Producciones and produced the feature film RED THREE, which premiered at the Black Nights Film Festival Tallinn in Estonia and the documentary series LIKE LOVING CATS.


Sonia Barrera Gutiérrez

Co-Producer

Sonia Barrera Gutiérrez is a Colombian film and TV producer having studied Film, Photography and Social Communication. She is executive producer of LA JAURÍA, winner of the Grand Prix of La Semaine de la Critique of Festival de Cannes 2022. She is also the general producer of the feature films THE RED TREE, selected in Black Nights Film Festival Tallinn, Estonia; the Cartagena International Film festival and the Seattle International Film Festival, among others. She produced the documentary BETWEEN FIRE AND WATER, which premiered at IDFA in 2020, the documentary series LIKE LOVING CATS and the feature THROUGH THE SCREEN, a film that commemorates 100 years of Colombian Cinema. As a field producer, she has worked on the feature films THE WIND JOURNEYS (Cannes Film Festival 2009), KEYLA (Official selection at the Warsaw Film Festival 2017), KAIRÓS and NEONATAL (Official Selection at the Lima Film Festival and the Chicago Latino Film Festival).  She won the India Catalina prize for the production of the Colombian TV series ASÍ SOMOS in 2018.

Executive Producers


Jess Devaney

Executive Producer

Jess Devaney is a Brooklyn-based producer and Founder & President of Multitude Films. Her latest films include LOWNDES COUNTY AND THE ROAD TO BLACK POWER, presented by Participant (Peacock); Emmy-nominated PRAY AWAY, executive produced by Ryan Murphy and Blumhouse (Netflix); Oscar-shortlisted CALL CENTER BLUES (Topic Studios); and APART, the Emmy-winning episode of the series THROUGH OUR EYES (HBO Max). She also produced Sundance Award-winning and IDA-nominated ALWAYS IN SEASON (Independent Lens) and THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED (POV), dubbed “a real-world conspiracy thriller” by Variety. Additional credits include Critics' Choice Documentary Award-nominated SPEED SISTERS (Netflix) and Peabody-nominated ROLL RED ROLL (POV, Netflix), among others. Her films have been programmed at top festivals including Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, BlackStar, and Telluride. Jess founded QueerDoc and was a Sundance Institute Documentary Edit and Story Lab fellow, Women at Sundance fellow, and Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab advisor. She received DOC NYC and Topic Studios' inaugural 40 Under 40 Award, Cinereach Producers Award, and Doc10’s inaugural Vanguard Award.

Anya Rous

Executive Producer

Anya Rous is a Brooklyn-based Producer and Vice President of Multitude Films. She advises on impact strategy for films produced by Multitude and leads a movement orientation within the company’s producing model where films are drivers of culture change. Her latest films include Netflix Original PRAY AWAY (Telluride, Tribeca 2020) in partnership with Ryan Murphy and Blumhouse; as well as APART, the Emmy-winning episode of the HBO Max series THROUGH OUR EYES, in partnership with Sesame Workshop. She co-executive produced the Oscar-shortlisted CALL CENTER BLUES (SXSW 2020, TOPIC) and CALL HER GANDA (Tribeca 2018, POV) and co-produced Sundance Award-winning and IDA-nominated ALWAYS IN SEASON (Independent Lens 2020) and Livingston Award-winning THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED (Tribeca 2018, POV), which was dubbed “a real-world conspiracy thriller” by Variety.

Anya brings a combined 10 years of experience in funding strategy and impact campaigns for stories that further movements for racial, economic, and gender justice. Anya was a 2019–2020 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow, a 2019 Impact Partners Documentary Producing Fellow, a 2020–2021 DOC NYC 40 Under 40 filmmaker, and a 2021 Gotham/Cannes Producers Network Fellow.


Charlotte Cook

Executive Producer

Charlotte Cook is a curator, writer, producer and the Co-creator and Executive Producer of Field of Vision. Prior to Field of Vision, she was the Director of Programming at Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival. In London, Charlotte was the Head of Film Programming at The Frontline Club. She has also worked with BBC Storyville, the Channel 4 BritDoc Foundation’s Puma Creative Catalyst Fund and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where she curated the strand Conflict | Reportage. In addition to her work at Field of Vision, Charlotte is currently a programmer at CPH:DOX.

Brenda Robinson

Executive Producer

Brenda Robinson is an entertainment attorney and producer with extensive experience in the film, television and music industries. Brenda was most recently a financier on the Academy Award-winning documentary ICARUS as well as WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR and STEP. She is an executive producer on numerous projects including the BAFTA-nominated PASSING, directed by Rebecca Hall and produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi and Forest Whitaker; the Emmy-nominated UNITED SKATES, alongside executive producer John Legend; THE GREAT AMERICAN LIE by director Jennifer Siebel Newsom; JUMP SHOT: THE KENNY SAILORS STORY, alongside executive producer Steph Curry; MARIAN ANDERSON: THE WHOLE WORLD IN HER HANDS directed by Rita Coburn for PBS’ AMERICAN MASTERS series; and the upcoming THE EMPIRE OF EBONY, directed by Lisa Cortes and produced by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams. As a dedicated philanthropist in the arts and entertainment community and advocate on behalf of creative artists, Brenda currently serves as the Board Chair of Film Independent, is on the board of The Representation Project founded by California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and is an advisor to The Redford Center co-founded by Robert Redford and his son James Redford. Brenda is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).






Screenings
/ Where to watch
 





In Person Screenings


21 January 2023
12:00PM MST

Sundance Film Festival 2023
Prospector Square Theatre, Park City
Public In Person Premiere


22 January 2023
11:55AM MST

Sundance Film Festival 2023
Broadway Centre Cinema 6, Salt Lake City
Public In Person Repeat


24 January 2023
11:15AM MST

Sundance Film Festival 2023
Egyptian Theatre, Park City
Public In Person Repeat


26 January 2023
03:25PM MST

Sundance Film Festival 2023
Redstone Cinema 1, Park City
Public In Person Repeat


27 January 2023
02:45PM MST

Sundance Film Festival 2023
Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort
Public In Person Repeat
Online Screenings


24 January 2023
08:00AM MST



Sundance Film Festival 2023
(Available Online Until Jan 29 11:55PM MST)


For more screening information, please visit the official Sundance Film Festival website.










Our Funders


The Dobkin Family Foundation
Tiisetso Molobi
African Kidz NPC
Jeffrey Roth and Joanna Katz
Otto and Marianne Wolman Foundation
Firehouse Fund



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