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.

May 2024

Honoured by the success of Displaced on the global film festival circuit, with laurels from 61 festivals in 20 countries on five continents.
Sculpting This Earth setting out on its festival run around the world with successive screenings in South Africa, Germany and Canada to date. Shooting started on Speak Me A Speech, filming brilliant performances of Shakespeare soliloquies in South Africa's many languages – cinematic, powerful, moving.

The present moment

As Europe faces its most severe refugee crisis since the second world war, with more than 8 million Ukrainians, mostly women and children,
having fled their country to escape the devastating effects of the barbaric unprovoked assault on them by a murderous
nuclear-armed neighbour state, and 5 million more estimated to have been displaced inside Ukraine,
CineSouth’s 2020 film Displaced resonates with undiminished, tragic relevance.

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.

Themes

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.

Speak Me A Speech

Language, literature and humanity. A film in 11 languages. Iconic Shakespeare monologues performed 
in South Africa’s many languages, revealing the enduring power and relevance of the insights into humanity of one of the giants of world literature. 
Speak Me A Speech contains the world, encompassing the fundamentals of the human experience.

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.

Displaced

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.

Coast

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.

Filmmaker

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.