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Film Me In | An exploration of film, sound, and public interaction

Film Me In was an interactive multi-disciplinary project that blends film, live performance, improvisation, and audience engagement to encourage social cohesion. Through its first iteration in 2019 the project was performed at the Inxwala Slow Market, the SHNIT Short Film Festival, and the Infecting the City Festival Public Arts Festival which is run by the Institute for Creative Arts.

I conceived the project, and was supported in the implementation and coordination of the project by Sarah Summers.

Audience dubbing the films at the Golden Acre Mall in Cape Town, Picture by LeHydro Maphanga

A selection of South African short films were screened in highly populated public spaces without sound. A screen would be set up along with microphones and chairs. Incidental audiences walking through the space would be be invited to participate in narrating the films to a live audience in real time. The audience members could choose to dub the film live or simply use the short clips as a moving picture book. The narration of the content was facilitated by a team of multilingual theatre professionals.

Film Me In was piloted at the Inxwala Slow Market in 2019 where only South African three short films were screened with no professional facilitation from actors. After the initial performance we approached Improguise, a professional improv troupe in Cape Town, to facilitate the next two screenings.

Our most successful performance took place at the Golden Acre Mall as part of Infecting the City. The location offered a great intersection of the Cape Town community. The performance took place between 13:00 and 14:00. We put together a selection of five South African short films, all sourced from the SHNIT catalogue, which together made a run time of 20 minutes. The programme was put on loop and the process was repeated three times in the given hour. The project received a good level of participation. Participants included school children, people on their lunchbreaks, shoppers, and Infecting the City staff.

Pictures by LeHydro Maphanga


Project Manager - Faye Kabali-Kagwa Project Coordinator - Sarah Summers Cast - Improguise (Tandi Buchan, Megan Furniss, Brett Fish, Tiisetso Mohapi, Leon Clingman) and Roshina Ratnam, and Balindile Ngcobo)

Short Films

  • Baby Daddy (Dir. Sarah Summers)

  • The Great Gatsby: Redemption (Dir. Willem Grobler)

  • Picture Perfect Heist (Dir. Alan Shelley)

  • Life’s a Drag (Dir. Kate D’Hotman)

  • CamCopy (Dir. Rob Smith)

With thanks to Sean Drummond, and Lungiswa Joe.


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