Who is Simon Hansen and why should you care that he's produced a short film? Well, in 2005 the South African producer and special effects artist had a hand in a little film called Alive In Joburg, which may jog a memory or two. No? Well, Joburg's director was Neil Blomkamp and this is the short that would go on to later be expanded into District 9. And right now Hansen is wrapping up post production on a little feature titled Spoon, a film that stars Rutger Hauer and that Hansen co-directed (and did the effects) with Sharlto Copley - anopther South African effects whiz who took his first headlining acting gig as the lead in the aforementioned District 9. So, these are the circles Hansen runs in.
And on we go now to Hansen's Sundance entry, a science fiction short titled Pumzi which Hansen co-produced and did the effects work on with Kenya's Wanuri Kahiu directing. Screening as part of the New African Cinema program this is one of a trio of films that will challenge any preconceptions you may have of African film. Here's the synopsis:
Thirty-five years after World War III, "The Water War," a woman from East Africa flees an enclosed community in hopes of once again restoring life outside its walls.