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film director by night, Dana Jacob has quite a few feathers in her cap – including Art Director, Graphic Designer, Copywriter, Conceptual Artist and Creative Producer, and a long career as a Creative Director. But she fell in love with film after producing her first short film in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since.
Dana entered her first short film competition, the 48 Hour Film Festival 2011 with her short film, Devil Boys, which is about a small town in South Africa where other-worldly creatures are believed to be behind the disappearance of members of the community. The film also made it into a London Film Festival.
The film came in second place and won Best Director, Best Producer nominee, Best Cinematography nominee and Best Use of Line winner by actor Carl Beukes. It also made it into a London film festival.
Dana, who originally wanted to become an actress, developed a passion for film and soon became immersed in every aspect of it.
“[It’s] the writing process, art direction, cinematography, wardrobe, location scouting, editing – I fell in love with the entire process. I became obsessed with watching the ‘making of’ and ‘behind the scenes’ footage of movies and TV shows to dissect the intricacies and layers of this fascinating craft. I love getting lost in observing the creation and development of films and watching how directors I admire expertly produce their masterpieces,” says Dana.
Dana’s latest short film, Dance, was produced for the Discovery Channel's Don't Stop Wondering Award. The film came in the top 20 in the competition.
“I danced with an incredible company called Moving into Dance, which is a unique group of dancers whose style is a fusion of African movement and contemporary dance. I’ve always wanted to tell their story. So when the Don't Stop Wondering Award competition fell into my lap, I grabbed the opportunity to finally do it! Initially, the story was going to be a glimpse into their world and our unique African ways. But the story evolved and developed into something deeper as we filmed,” says Dana.
The short documentary-style film captures the essence of dance life and what it means to be a dancer. The timing couldn’t have been better as Moving into Dance was about to perform at the FNB Dance Umbrella Festival and a few other shows and to top it off, they were embarking on a tour to Paris.
In addition to professionally filmed footage, raw footage was taken by the dancers on their phones and voiceovers were used as opposed to the usual front-on monologue camera shots that are typical of documentaries, to create a more real, natural effect. This also ensured that there was more time for the beautiful dance visuals.
“I explored how choreographers dissect themes of the world around them and their process of applying these to their work. Adding more to the piece as we continued to film, the choreographers peeled back more layers to reveal their very personal experiences with human trafficking, homelessness and questioning their sense of belonging.”
The film is real and is able to emotionally draw the viewer in, which is difficult for short films to do due to the time constraints. Dana is another great South African doing awesome things and we are so happy to have her as part of the VELDSKOEN™ family! She most recently scripted for Hollywood actor Michael Jai White for the top-rated Mixed Martial Arts reality TV Show, Last Fighter Standing. You can check out more of her short films here.
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