Buitenkant (The Outside), a South African short film by William Nicholson, racked up over 100k views in 48 hours after being selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick this week.
In Buitenkant, a homeless woman breaks into an apartment, where her experience turns into a complex reflection on how humans are shaped by their circumstances, and how Cape Town’s legacy of spatial segregation continues to play itself out today.
In Cape Town, over 7 000 people are homeless, according to a 2014/2015 study, so Nicholson hopes Buitenkant will start conversations and build empathy.
Vimeo Staff Pick curator Jeffrey Bowers called Buitenkant “a touching story, captivatingly told,” while his fellow curator Meghan Oretsky singled out lead Rehane Abrahams for particular praise, adding, “I love the mystery at the beginning and the direction this goes in. It’s actually so sad and sweet at the same time. There’s much to think about here.”
Buitenkant premiered at last year’s shnit International Short film festival, a global event held in Bangkok, Bern, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Hong Kong, Moscow, San José, and Cape Town, where it won the Jury Prize for Best Made in South Africa Short Film.
Nicholson is the co-founder of Arcade Content, an award-winning division of Egg Films that produces content that falls outside the realm of traditional TV commercials. He spends most of his time producing brand films and music videos for the likes of Lebogang Rasethaba and Kyle Lewis, rather than directing himself. His past shorts include The Flea, which was produced through Focus Features’ Africa First programme, and Luhambo, which was a winner at the 2010 Journeys Awards presided over by Wong Kar Wai.
“The response has been overwhelming,” says Nicholson. “Everyone who makes a short film dreams of one day being featured as a Vimeo Staff Pick, so I’m just very grateful to everyone who helped make Buitenkant possible, especially Rehane; director of photography Pierre De Villiers, who was also executive producer; editor Mieke Vlaming; sound designer Chris Bornman; Priest Post Production; and make-up artist Kaley Meyer.“
What the film industry is saying:
“I enjoyed the simplicity of Nicholson’s storytelling in Buitenkant. The journey of the narrative unfolds beautifully; it was captivating and engaging… Abrahams’ performance as the homeless woman was wonderful to watch.” SAFTA-nominated actress Zethu Dlomo, shnit
“Buitenkant’s suspense pulls the viewer through the space, with a great performance from a person dealing with identity and division. The film ultimately leaves one wondering about this woman and her life on the ‘buitenkant,’ or what it could be like on the inside.” Award-winning director Sean Metelerkamp, shnit
“I love your work. She’s an amazing talent… Light touch .” Cannes Gold-winning director Sunu, via Facebook
“First time I watched it, it made me really question a lot of internal shit! So well put together and brilliantly executed with no soundtrack at all. Great work.” Three-time Young Director Award winner Dan Mace, via Facebook
“Fantastic!” John Trengrove, director of SA’s 2017 Oscar-entry, The Wound, via Facebook
“Well-deserved win.” Vimeo Staff Pick alumni Ari Kruger (SuzelleDIY, Tali’s Wedding Diary), via Facebook
“Yoh! Potent film. Well done. Rehane is incredible.” Award-winning director Bryan Little, via Facebook
“Wow, that’s beautiful.” Four-time SAFTA winner Felix Seuffert, via Facebook
“Amazing! Incredibly powerful and human film.” James Matthes, award-winning composer, via Facebook
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/buitenkantmovie/