What can you do with R500? You can produce a short film about trail running on Table Mountain and win a film competition… Two young filmmakers from Cape Town did just that and hope that their winning short, Mowbray to Mowbray Ridge, will inspire others to explore our fantastic natural heritage. By Arnold Ras
A young man runs through the streets of a Cape Town suburb. Garish neon signs advertise takeaways, traffic clogs the street, pigeons and seagulls squabble over scraps. But as the runner crosses a bridge to connect to Table Mountain National Park, the grime and noise of the city fall away. The splendour of the mountain is revealed: a veritable wonderland on the city’s doorstep.
The short film, Mowbray to Mowbray Ridge, celebrates the beauty and accessibility of Table Mountain. In September, it won the Cape Union Mart Adventure Film Challenge. The competition is organised annually to showcase South African outdoor culture, and the winning film is screened ahead of the local leg of the BANFF film festival.
Watch the video below:
For filmmakers Ziyaad Solomon and Fareed Behardien it was about sharing how special time on the mountain is. Wild caught up with Ziyaad to find out more about why Table Mountain can be a beacon of hope for those trapped in life’s hustle and bustle. As Mowbray to Mowbray Ridge emphasizes: all roads lead to the mountain.
Your film’s central theme is to get off your couch and head out. Why?
It’s something myself and Fareed both relate to quite well. We are both on a journey from couch potato to active potato. Since working with Fareed, I have found a love for the mountains and trail running. I also hope that by sharing Fareed’s story and showing others how easy it is to get active and get outdoors, that people are inspired to go out there and start living their lives to the fullest.
Why trail running and Table Mountain?
After seeing a picture of Fareed on Mowbray Ridge overlooking Cape Town, we knew we could tell a great story about the essence of outdoor adventure. Table Mountain’s amazing trails are right on our doorstep. The great thing about trail running is that you don’t need much – shoes, water and maybe a general idea of where you are going!
The beauty there is undeniable. Each time we go, things are different.
Adventure films are generally expensive to produce. What was your budget?
We had no budget! As a young independent filmmaker, I had to ask a few favours and rent equipment with my own money. I don’t think we spent more than R500 to make this film. We filmed over two days: one day getting all the handheld shots, and a second day doing all the drone shots. After winning the competition, we re-shot some of the handheld shots with a stabiliser.
Some of the challenges?
Working with no budget and no crew. We had to do everything ourselves and work with what we had. This pushed us to do more with the little we had or could afford.
Filming during Ramadan was also challenging, but everything happens for a reason and I believe the timing was just another test… To see how strong and how determined we were to complete this project no matter what the conditions were.
Your short film is both inspiring and poignant. What did you want to achieve?
I wanted to tell Fareed’s story as honestly as possible, so when people saw it, it was something they could relate to, learn from and truly feel inspired.