As we continue to celebrate and push for more diversity in front of the camera, across the globe there continues to be a rising number of women behind the camera calling the shots.
Bridget Pickering, the Namibia born and South Africa-based producer of “Hotel Rwanda,” “Taste Of Rain” the top audience rated television drama series “Redemption Usindiso,” and “Dreamworld,” a successful series based on Shakespeare’s “Mid Summers Nights Dream,” is a rising powerhouse in African cinema, and has her eyes set on a global audience.
“I have always been disturbed by how Africa is portrayed in media and film,” says the Syracuse University graduate.
African creatives like Bridget are unpacking and redefining the way they see themselves as Africans. Through Fireworxmedia, Bridget is currently developing two television drama series and two feature films, “Chemo Club” and “Saturn.” But the current talk of South African television is “End Game,” a 13 episode political dramatic series currently pulling 3.7 to 4 million viewers weekly, on SABC TV.
Created by Thandi Brewer and produced by Pickering, ”End Game” explores a South African family through the prism of politics. It is a series which looks at a modern marriage and family and at a new generation of young people who are part of the social media revolution, fighting against the political institutions that hold power. It takes a look at society in a way which is modern, complex, but also through personal and intimate relationships.
“Like any filmmaker, I am interested in expressing and showing the truth of my society and my world,“ says Pickering. “The world has become a smaller place where we are all connected and influenced by pretty much the same things. There are specific cultural differences, but our fears, desires are the same and we are making television that reflects this local experience but global connectivity.”
“End Game” reflects the challenges and conflicts that people face all over the world. “It just happens to be set in South Africa,” says Bridget, who began her film career as a casting associate at Bonnie Timmerman at Universal Pictures on such films as “The Last Of the Mohicans’ and Glengarry Glen Ross”.
“End Game,” lead by female character Khosi, the bored wife of the Minister of Environment played by Bubu Mazibuko, who is framed for a high profile murder, and Jet Hlastwago played by Hloma Dandala, is a thought provoking suspense filled drama not short on scandals and the shenanigans that often surrounds the universally corrupted field of politics, and which considers the role of social media in bringing about political and social change.
“Social media, the internet has taken away the gaps and distances that used to exist between societies. We have become part of this changing world and global audience, and our films reflect those influences,” Bridget says.
Watch a preview of “End Game” below: