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Creative Cow forum host: Derek Serra

COW Leaders : Derek Serra
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Derek Serra
Derek Serra
Central Castings
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town,  South Africa

Derek Antonio Serra graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1985 with a BA Degree in Languages. After teaching and traveling, he founded Central Castings in 1991 and has established it as one of the leading casting agencies in South Africa over the past 13 years. Derek has supplied thousands of background artists on over twenty international feature films shot in Cape Town during this period, including From Dusk ‘Til Dawn II, Ernest in the Army and Country of My Skull -- sometimes also being credited as the extras casting director on productions.

In 1996 Derek established Controversi Films, a production company that focused on documentary production. He produced and directed: Streetlife: Virgins (1997), Cape of Rape (1998), Streetlife: Paradise (1999), Cultureclash (2001), Love Fools (2003) and Innocence Lost (2004).

In addition, he produced several shorts and documentaries including the groundbreaking documentary series "Women Speak Out!" which was directed by three first-time Black female filmmakers. He was also a co-producer on South Africa’s first digital feature film "God is African," directed by Akin Omotoso, which gained theatrical release. He has produced the promo for the Sithengi Southern African Film Market for two consecutive years, with a crew of 14 filmmakers.

With the formation of the New Filmmaker’s Forum (NFF) in 1998, Derek began offering training and development opportunities to emerging filmmakers. The Indie Film Forum continued this trend, and culminated in the formation in 2003 of the countrywide cooperative of independent filmmakers, the Independent Digital Feature Film Movement (INDV). With a support base of more than 70 filmmakers drawn from a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience, INDV has a strong training and development component. Free workshops were offered at Sithengi 2003, and in 2004 INDV will offer two workshops to 20 emerging HDI filmmakers in Cape Town and Oudtshoorn sponsored by the Cape Film Commissions Transformation Fund.

Through INDV, Derek Serra intends producing digital feature films for the wider South African audience, shooting on the various digital formats currently available. Distribution will be matched to each individual project, ranging from township screenings in shebeens through to mainstream theatrical distribution and video/dvd sales.

INDV called for script submissions in 2003, but has struggled to find suitable scripts for development. This prompted Derek to write his first script Muti, an action adventure set against an African backdrop. With 13 years in the film industry, Derek Antonio Serra finds himself ideally placed to embark on the next phase of his career path – directing his first feature film.

In his studio and in the field, he uses a Canopus DV-Rex RT edit suite – P4 3Ghz 1gb RAM Matrox G550, Adobe Premiere, Sony FX1E, Century Optics wide+ultra wide lens, Beachtek DX4A, JVC DV500E with Canon 17x lens, Sennheiser mics, Shure radio mic, Samson radio mic, Sachtler tripod, Manfrrotto tripod and an HDV StableRig (of his own design).

Derek Serra Profile
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