Veteran Hollywood Director/Actor Bill Duke, recent recipient of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Life Time Achievement Award, appointed Johannesburg based filmmaker Themba Sibeko’s White Heron Pictures to produce and co-direct segments of his much anticipated documentary entitled “Light Girls”. A follow up to the 2013 critically acclaimed and NAACP award winning documentary “Dark Girls” broadcast on the Oprah Winfrey Network-OWN.
White Heron Pictures created and produced the highly rated, five part mini-series “Vuka Mawulele for Mzansi Magic/MNET and co-produced the theatrically released Anglo/Boer War Court Room Drama “Traitors” (“Verraaiers”) with Spier Films, Film Factory and Bos Bok Ses Films, both in 2013. “Bill Duke felt strongly that there needed to be a South African perspective on what it means to be light skinned and coloured in South Africa 20 years into our new democracy, states Sibeko. “It gives the film a broader perspective on the subject matter of light skinned black women and the societal and cultural perceptions; stereotypes and myths” states Sibeko.
Interviews were conducted in Johannesburg over several days in March. Sibeko states, “Light Girls will hopefully spur further debate on colourism, the recent resurgence of skin lightening products being used by African women, celebrities, and the impact it has on race and identity. Sibeko says,“ The film also touches on how media has played a role in influencing perceptions of what is deemed beautiful and what is not in today’s society. The documentary will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) later this year. Themba is currently in development on his next creation, a crime thriller entitled “Thatha Isithombe”(Take a Picture), the pilot will be filmed June 2014 . Themba’s company is also producing the legal thriller currently entitled “Devil In The Details” with award winning commercial Director Dean Blumberg. Principle Photography commences in September.