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Benjamin Thomas Cowley – CEO of Gravel Road Entertainment Group & Founder of Gravel Road African Film Legacy Initiative

Benjamin Cowley

Photos by: Patrick Ryan

Shot on location at the Waterfront Film Studios, Cape Town

Ben started in TV more than 14 years ago where he was involved in both live and pre-recorded programs at Namibia’s one and only national broadcaster: NBC.  Without giving away his real age…. He was VERY young and earned a salary of R50 per month for his sins.

Fast-forward several years, he found himself in the fantastical world of TV Commercials hoping this industry to be full of excitement, glitz and glamour. Needless to say, this pre-conceived notion couldn’t be further from the truth! Becoming a slave of the ad world for many years, he at least got to play with really expensive toys and very soon learned that there’s no problem in the advertising world that the client’s money can’t solve.

His passion has always been in story telling and creative filmmaking, so it was a no-brainer that when the slightest opportunity to jump ship came ….he took the plunge.

The Legacy Initiative (Retro Afrika Bioscope) is Ben’s baby and it’s his responsibility to nurture it and allow it to grow to its full potential. He works closely with the original filmmakers, film owners and national film, video and sound archives in sourcing/locating all the old films and getting them to Cape Town to restore them and ultimately get them onto a platform where the public can view them.

Ben is balding and proudly accepts it!

Benjamin Cowley, Katlego Maboe and Tonie vd Merwe on the Expresso Show on SABC

Benjamin Cowley, Katlego Maboe and Tonie vd Merwe on the Expresso Show on SABC

CEO of Gravel Road Entertainment Group at the press launch of the Mayibuye Film Festival in Johannesburg

CEO of Gravel Road Entertainment Group at the press launch of the Mayibuye Film Festival in Johannesburg

 

Lennox Mncedisi Gxasheka – Data Lab

Lennox Mncedisi Gxasheka

Photos by: Patrick Ryan

Shot on location at Waterfront Film Studios, Cape Town

Lennox has been intrigued by film from a young age. When he became a working professional, he jumped at the opportunity to work in the duplication of movies onto video format at the “Six Street Post Production” facility in Johannesburg, now known as “The Refinery“.

His training included all aspects; working on tape decks and ultimately producing the master copies for various television stations.

When the industry made the transition to digital, Lennox began training on the Final Cut program in order to work in the data lab facility. Using these abilities has been working on the restoration process whereby master copies can now be duplicated onto DVD’s.

Lennox Mncedisi Gxasheka

Jonathon Joubert – Picture Restoration

Jonathon Joubert

Photos by: Patrick Ryan

Shot on location at Waterfront Film Studios, Cape Town

Jono started his career in post production as an editor working on Final Cut and Avid, before becoming involved as a data lab operator doing digital deliveries, tape play-outs and mastering for feature films.

With a passion and love for film, along with a technical mind-set, film restoration became an obvious choice for Jono. He happily spends countless hours at a time painstakingly painting each and every frame of film. The aim is to bring it as close to its original and perfect form as possible.

This attention to detail might not always be noticed by audiences, but the opportunity to restore a piece of South Africa’s history- and the knowledge that it has been done right- is what brings him satisfaction.

Jonathon Joubert

 

Kyle Stroebel – Colourist

Kyle Stroebel

Photos by: Patrick Ryan

Shot on location at Waterfront Film Studios, Cape Town

Forged in the fiery cauldrons of a film school far, far away….. Kyle served under some of the greatest mentors Table Mountain’s shadow has ever witnessed. Over the years he has finely tuned his eyes with the help of these Masters’ gifts (and a staple diet of chicken nuggets and protein shakes), into a force to be reckoned with.

Accustomed to darkness, with only the light of his monitors to keep him company, his pale complexion is a testament to his acute attention to detail, colour gradients and ravishingly pale good looks. After emerging from the cut-throat realm of commercials into the light of long-form post-production work, Kyle has numerous international feature film notches on his belt. Many have been screened at the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals.

Having mastered his craft on the digital platform, he has a refined touch for film restoration and has partnered with his Telecine in a somewhat twisted matrimony.

Rest assured that upon emerging from Kyle’s editing suite you’re guaranteed of leaving with a pretty picture, both on-screen and off.

Kyle Stroebel

 

Isiboshwa

Isiboshwa South African Films

This 70 minute adventure film was shot in 1989. Produced by Steve Hand and Directed by Tonie vd Merwe, it stars Sizwe Dlamini, Popo Gumede and Hector Mathanda. Catch it on SABC1 this Sunday at 8:30pm as part of the Mayibuye Film Festival!

TAGLINE

While on a camping trip, three teenage brothers go from being the hunted to the hunters in an effort to snare and catch a dangerous thief.

SYNOPSIS

The summer holidays finally arrive, and the three teenage brothers head out into the wilderness for a camping trip together. Their days are spent fishing, swimming and relaxing by their small tent on the banks of the river.

But unbeknownst to the boys, they are being watched. When things start going missing from their camp, and other strange events begin to occur, the three brothers begin to worry, unsure and unaware of who or what is stalking them.

Eventually they manage to discover what is really happening, and together they set out on a path fraught with danger, action and drama in order to bring the culprit to justice.

 DIGITALLY REMASTERED BY:

Gravel Road Entertainment

Philip Olckers – Audio Restoration

Philip Olckers

Photos by: Patrick Ryan

Shot on location at Waterfront Film Studios, Cape Town

Philip is an award winning audio engineer and sound designer, specializing in the final mix of sound tracks for feature films. This includes all aspects of post-production sound recording and mixing. He is also an accomplished score composer, having focused this aspect of his skill set on short films to date. Philip has worked on numerous international feature films, including “Fast and Furious 6” and “The Last Stand”. He was an assisting Sound Engineer and Foley Mixer for “Die Wonderwerker” which was nominated for a SAFTA for “Best Sound” (South African Film and Television Awards). He has assisted and worked alongside Barry Donnelly on a number of SA’s biggest feature films, and has final mixed a number of TV series and local feature films.  Philip currently works out of the Waterfront Studios, where his knowledge of sound restoration & mixing is being applied to the Retro Afrika Bioscope project.

Philip Olckers