smoothed by the anvil of experience


Something is brewing in the cauldron of home grown filmmaking in Africa right now and it has the potential to be huge.

Technology has made cameras smaller, computers faster and cheaper. The internet has opened up doors we never knew existed. South Africa is full of creative energy and groups of people doing stuff, we have a good DTI rebate and a solid National Film and Television Foundation. Intuition tells me that there is a new way of making and distribution African films that is nascent for now but potentially revolutionary.

I ask myself where to from here and how can I make this work? Any ideas? Lets talk…


James Tayler worked in television as editor and director prior to turning his focus to features and their production. In order to up-skill he registered for his Master of Fine Arts degree in the Motion Picture Medium at the South African Film and Drama School (AFDA) in 2008. With the support of a NFVF bursary he completed his MFA in 2010, with the focus of his research being independent film production and distribution in Africa.

He also won Best Cinematography, Best Edit and Best Director for his entry into MNET EDIT competition with the docu-reality short Metro X.

James Tayler creates video art and last year his work was selected for inclusion for the City One Minutes project at the World Expo in Shanghai, he exhibited collaboratively at the Cape Africa Platform and contributed to The City Breath Project which has toured internationally. As participating artist he has invited to Algeria for the Pan African Arts festival and Tunisia and Dance! Afrique Dance Festival.

Currently Tayler is completing the dance film “Afropolitan” with performance artist and filmmaker Julia Raynham, selected for the Durban International FilMart in 2010. The film invites the audience on a journey through four African cities as seen through the eyes of four contemporary dancers.

He continues his works in Uganda with the Collective Yes!That’s Us, having produced the feature films ‘Divizionz’ (2008) and Yogera (2010) and it’s companion research documentary “Silent City” (2010).
Their latest offering ‘The Boda Boda Thieves’ was first presented in concept at the Three Continents Film Festival’s ‘Produire au Sud’ in France last year.

The producer also draws on the skills and resources of the ‘Yes! That’s Us’ collective which is a pan-African association of like minded industry creatives who offer each other mutual assistance. The project will thus enjoy considerable support in the form of equipment, expertise and other resources.

As a ‘Yes! That’s Us’ film the project will involve creative exchange between collaborators from Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa.