Lights, Camera, Diaspora! Feature Film Lighting Workshop Photo Gallery
16th September 2017
Press Release: Lights, Camera, Diaspora! Feature Film Lighting Workshop with Christian Epps
16th September 2017

BEE Novation Weekend Highlights: My Growth Fund and Christian Epps’s Film Lighting Workshop

BEE Novation Weekend Highlights: My Growth Fund and Christian Epps’s Film Lighting Workshop

This weekend, BEE Novation played a part in imparting business skills, and, in another context, in receiving them. Thanks to your support, we’re growing from strength to strength.

Thanks to all the support we’ve received from our partners and associates, BEE Novation has been accepted into Vusi Thembekwayo’s #MyGrowthFund’s #Top40 Business Accelerator Programme. Thembekwayo is a globally-renowned public speaker and the youngest CEO of a JSE-listed company, and the Programme will nurture 40 high-growth potential SMMEs through funding, skills and enterprise development.

We could not have reached this milestone without your continued support through the years, and hope this opportunity can further inspire us to continue contributing meaningfully towards sustainable, inclusive economic growth and transformation. Here’s a glimpse into some of the media coverage as well as pictures from the opening gala evening. Isn’t our MD Lee du Preez just looking positively chuffed? Here, also, is our press release on this.

BEE Novation MD with fellow MGF Participants

BizNiz Africa covered BEE Novation’s Participation in the MGF Top 40 Programme


As for the skills development part of our weekend, we and Enactus UKZN partnered with a number of stakeholders to sponsor a film lighting workshop with Hollywood lighting director Christian Epps’s Lights, Camera, Diaspora! Those stakeholders included one of our clients, PioLED Lighting, and the KZN Film Commission. Apparently, Screen Africa picked up on it. 

“The grassroots’ movie industry struggles to access appropriate movie lighting and develop experience procuring and using lights when they do have finances — leading to costly mistakes like extended production times, the misuse of equipment and missed opportunities,” remarked Guy Rouillard, the owner of PioLED Lighting. “BEE Novation guided our thinking to meet lighting end-users where they are using transformational levers like enterprise development. That’s why we’re sponsoring this workshop.”

Why Film?

People relate to their environments through history in general and their stories in particular. Movie-making helps them own their circumstances by depicting them from different creative angles. Until they re-tell their stories in their own empowered words and ways, the beneficiaries of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment will miss many opportunities in their environments and lives.

Movie-making changes that by creating jobs as entrepreneurial ventures, but also by its inherent artistic creativity. This will help beneficiaries become more than just “beneficiaries” but co-storytellers, co-creators. Psychologically, this reconciles them with the humanity that apartheid tried to strip them of. Representation in film and film-making is essential.

Christian Epps

Hailed as a “Hollywood production guru” for over 30 years’ work in broadcast television, dance, live theatre, motion pictures and special events for the likes of Oprah, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston and Boyz II Men, P. Diddy, Biggy Smalls, Queen Latifah, Me’Shell N’degeocello, TLC and many other great names. He has served as the gaffer on ‘SELMA’, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, and ‘Belly’, which was directed by the seminal music video director Hype Williams.

Epps has conducted these kinds of lighting workshops in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and other locations in Africa through his non-profit organization, Lights, Camera, Diaspora! He’s no stranger to KZN either, having hosted choreography lighting workshops at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in 2015.

The Workshop

Workshop attendants got glimpse into dramatic lighting insights that have been used by film directors such as Spike Lee, Hype Williams, Ava DuVernay, David Lowery and Ice Cube as well as corporate brands like Nike, IBM, Sprite, McDonald’s, Buena Vista Television, GE Capitol, Paramount Studios, Home Depot, ESPN, Buick, Kaiser Permanente, Amtrak and Panasonic.

U.S-based lights’ supplier Litepanels sponsored equipment. The Pietermaritzburg leg of the workshop ran on Saturday from 10:00 until 16:00 at UKZN’s Golf Road Campus (the Old Audio-Visual Building). The day before that, Epps ran a similar workshop in Durban.

Here is a more detailed image gallery from the workshop.





Siya Khumalo
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Siya Khumalo
Siya Khumalo
After being reprimanded at a genteel dinner party for “talking about religion, politics and sex in polite company,” Siya Khumalo decided to do nothing else with his life. He charts out the socio-economic ramifications of how we move through these three areas by writing political commentary and making vlogs (“video blogs”). Some of his posts get half a million global reads in less than a week; other pieces get featured on Daily Maverick, Rand Daily Mail and other publications, attracting interviews on eNCA, PowerFM and similar media channels. He seemed an experimental fit for BEE Novation, and he has a book about to hit a shelf near you. His views on how day-to-day business and political events affect the transformation and BEE landscapes will be available on the BEE Novation website.