Thursday, August 11, 2016

“Alison - a story of monsters, miracles and hope” has arrived at Nu Metro cinemas


A South African film about Alison's miraculous survival after an unimaginably brutal attack and rape in 1994. 
For the trailer, click here.

Showing at Nu Metro cinemas Canal Walk, V&A, Clearwater, Emperors, Pavilion, Hyde Park, Walmer Park, Menlyn Park, Woodlands, and Welkom from 12 August 2016.

This film has won awards, sold out at festivals and is averaging 4 out of 5 stars from the country’s toughest and most well respected critics:

Nadia Romanos from 5FM Radio's 'Weekend Breakfast Show': 5/5 stars.

Leon van Nierop, RSG Fliekrubriek: 8/10
Marianna Malan, Die Burger Netwerk24: 4 stars
"Die keuse om die geweld en die gebeure self te onderspeel en die positiewe in die kollig te plaas maak van die rolprent meer as net ’n onvergeetlike ondervinding. Dit voel asof jy jou eie klein deeltjie van Alison se moed en deursettingsvermoë saamvat huis toe. Dis ’n rolprent oor ’n buitengewone vrou wat op ’n baie dapper manier aangepak en verfilm is. Wonderwerke is gelukkig nog deel van die lewe."

Theresa Smith, The Argus / IOL: 4 stars
"Alison has turned what she went through into a story she can use to hopefully change how other people live their lives – her message is that everyone has the potential to be the hero they need to be. The documentary is frank and chilling. Yet, it is also surprisingly warm and inspirational. It is not about the attack, it is about Alison the person and how she went on with life, and how she tries to help other people do the same."

Katie Reynolds review, The Callsheet:
"Uga Lisa Carlini draws out Alison’s emotional struggle as if drawing poison from a snakebite. We see Alison confront the tangible objects of her torture from that night, and discard them as if cleaning out the ghosts from your cupboard and setting them alight. Visceral testimonies from her doctors and friends place the viewer inside that dark period and we feel the things that they felt, even in some small measure. Masterful casting and an emphasis on progression are what make this film so much more than a gory retelling. Its understatement is its power, thanks to the almost spiritual connection between Alison and Uga.
Alison, to me, has done the unthinkable. She refused to be defined by what two monsters did to her body in 1994, but instead shows us that, through seemingly insurmountable odds, you can find your true purpose. And for Alison, this certainly isn’t the end."

Martie Bester,  Bioskoop:
"Uga Carlini, die vervaardiger, regisseur en skrywer van Alison het haar droom verwesenlik deur Botha se verhaal te vertel. En sy behartig dit goed met ’n deernis wat deurentyd soos ’n hartklop eie aan die rolpent bly. Daar kan sonder twyfel gesê word dat in ’n wêreld waar helde en heldinne uitgebeeld word as bonatuurlike wesens wat oor bomenslike en soms buitensporige kragte beskik, wat eienaardige grimering dra, in belaglike uitrustings die gereg dien, aan geboue vasplak of aan spinnerakke swaai en net tot aksie oorgaan begelei deur ’n “senutergende” klankbaan, hier uiteindelik twee ware heldinne van vlees en bloed na vore tree en die mens bemoedig om te glo dat die goeie wel oor die slegte kan seëvier – en nie net in superhero flieks nie. Deurlopend is Carlini se regie simpatiek sonder om bejammerend te wees, eerlik maar met deernis gevul en vertel sy Alison se verhaal met waardigheid en respek."

Joy Watson, Elle Magazine:
"The predominant message of the film is one of hope. It weaves together a story of how bad things can happen to good people. But the beauty of Alison’s story is about how she turns this power on itself. She fights back. If she is to die lying in the sand, then she will do so trying to write their names. Against all odds, she survives. She transforms her life, emerges out of the pain and ensuing depression and finds her passion in making a difference in the lives of others."

More about- and follow the movie on:


For more about the #butterflyrevolution click here.

Director / Producer “Alison”:
Uga Carlini

President & Filmmaker 

Towerkop Creations
Specialising in female driven heroine stories

Sheila Afari Public Relations

Thursday, August 4, 2016

THE FIREBIRD takes wing in the States

Johannesburg-based MAAN Creative worked with stage producer Janni Younge on a theatre piece combining puppetry, dance and animation. After a sold-out Cape Town run at Artscape and the National Arts Festival, the production, commissioned by IMG Artists, is now on a US tour.

Watch a video about the animation of FIREBIRD:

In a burgeoning and competitive local animation landscape, Johannesburg-based studio MAAN Creative are carving out an intriguing niche as animators to the live theatre world.

Headed up by directors Michael Clark and Johan Scheepers, MAAN recently completed work on THE FIREBIRD, a visceral theatre experience combining puppetry, dance, and animation. Commissioned by LA’s IMG Artists, THE FIREBIRD is the brainchild of producer Janni Younge, formerly of the famous Handspring Puppet Company - renowned for their collaborations with artist William Kentridge, as well as their work on the West End blockbuster WAR HORSE.  

Having opened with a brief but highly successful run at Artscape in Cape Town, followed by sold-out performances at this year’s National Arts Festival, THE FIREBIRD has now embarked on its US tour.

The show has attracted shining reviews both locally and abroad: The Philadelphia Inquirer said of the performance at the Mann Centre: “It was a wonderful thing to feel risk in the air once again at the Mann - the essential element of art. And if the production errs, it does so by flirting with over-stimulation.”

Loosely inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s progressive 1910 ballet of the same name, THE FIREBIRD unfolds an abstract narrative drawing on South Africa’s recent history of freedom and conflict, while also evoking a deeper personal conflict between creativity and reason.  Themes of restraint and subjugation warring with freedom and self-expression are conveyed simultaneously by the dancers, the otherworldly animal puppets stalking the stage, and by MAAN’s animation sequences, projected on a huge white egg suspended over the action. The ambitious sensory smorgasbord climaxes with a great dragon looming over the stage, wings outspread, breathing fire. On the US leg of the tour, a live symphony orchestra performs Stravinsky’s score.

“This was a challenging, but very rewarding project which helped us realise we want to make this kind of work a focus for MAAN,” says Michael Clark, who was responsible for creating the over 70 original acrylic artworks that served as key frames for the animation. The sequences were then pieced together in Photoshop, TV Paint and After Effects.

“We enjoyed the artistic sensibility that the brief required of us,” says Clark. “We settled on a very painterly style, with a distinct tactile aesthetic. Rather than aiming for smooth animation, it was most important that our images were evocative and beautiful, and that they lived well with the hand-made aesthetic of the puppets.”

This is MAAN’s second collaboration with Younge, the first being OUROBOROUS, a production she staged as winner of The Standard Bank Young Artist for Drama in 2010.

The combination of animation and theatre is not a new one –  WAR HORSE used this conceit, among others – but Clark would like to see the potential of the medium released in new ways. “I think animation has yet to be fully explored or utilised as a medium on stage. It could add a new dimension to a ballet, a live music show, or a traditional play. It can be used to add information or context that is hard to get across through actors or set design, and because it’s completed beforehand, it provides an anchor point for the other variables of a live show.”

MAAN also does animation and motion graphics for advertising, channel branding, corporate AV’s and music videos. They are currently working on a short film for autism awareness entitled SAM THE HEDGEHOG. To get in touch, visit

Watch a video about the animation of FIREBIRD: