“I often wonder if there’s room for me or the kind of work I’m interested in. And to be honest I’m not sure. I just live in hope that there is.”
The first time I watched Zandi Tisani’s documentary film Highlands – with its beautiful and abstract reflections on water, Johannesburg’s history, and the human experience – I wasn’t prepared for the social media force I’d soon encounter. Landing on her Twitter feed I discovered a womxn who’s blunt AF, funny as hell, obsessed with popular culture, and engaged in social politics. Her work is both influenced by and, in certain cases, made possible because of social media, and she’s particularly interested in the areas where high art and pop culture intersect. Zandi’s directorial repertoire includes the fictional short story Heroes, a gorgeous film about style in Yeoville, and a web series in-progress called People You May Know that looks at 5 Jo’burg-based 20-somethings trying to figure it all out. She’s also done award-winning screenwriting work for the TV drama Umlilo and the comedy show Those Who Can’t.
In planning this piece for our Creative Womxn series we went to Zandi with an open slate rather than a fixed proposal, wanting to work with her to define the way her feature would take shape. It’s only fitting that she chose to incorporate her current fav social media platform, Snapchat.
Here’s a note from her before you watch the clip:
“I suppose it being Women’s Month and all, the right thing to do would be offer a neatly formed nugget of wisdom about what it means to be a creative womxn. I’m writing this from the back of an Uber leaving the final mix of a TV doccie that I made about a close friend, and I should have done this sooner, but we spent a lot of time working our way through several bottles of wine and listening to Blond on repeat. The weather in Cape Town is shitty, and no amount of Junior cheeseburgers can fill the widening hole my absence from Jo’burg has formed within me. Where was I going with this? I go home tomorrow. Back to my bed, to catch up on some reading, watch new episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and plot my next move.”
A documentary Zandi directed, starring Beijing Opera founder Yang Zhao, premieres on SABC 3 on Thursday 8 September at 9pm.
Find more #CreativeWomxn features, interviews and videos here.