Act Cape Town is a South African film Acting academy based in Loop Street, which was founded in 2005. The film school trains and nurtures acting talent, from short courses to training programmes over three years across acting disciplines suited to film, television and theatre. Act Cape Town director, Candice Poole, has built an accredited and reputable educational institution over the years, which culminates in an annual graduation ceremony. Functioning as an awards ceremony and an opportunity to showcase scenes and short films created during the year, it's an important milestone for fellow actors to come together in celebration. Invited among a host of renowned industry professionals and coaches, Spling was able to witness the ceremony first hand.
Act Cape Town prides itself on employing some of South Africa's brightest and most experienced acting talents. Grant Swanby and Nicola Hanekom, are just two of the industry acting coaches developing the next generation of acting talent and taking a multidisciplinary approach to showcasing their work. The institution is geared towards a practical outcome for students, giving them the tools to get a foothold in the industry, offering experience in terms of professional know-how (auditioning, accent work, technique and improvisation) and generating great material for their first show reel.
A red carpet, champagne, strawberries and plenty of flash photography, the event drew parents, students, staff and friends to the Labia Theatre. Conducting the ceremony from within the Labia's main cinema, Act Cape Town's presence was felt through banners, screens and a branded lectern light box. While there were one or two technical glitches, the evening wasn't impeded, moving at a clipped pace. Certificates were awarded to students from 1st to 3rd year with great applause for each of the personalities accepting their certificate of completion.
Being screened at Cape Town's most iconic independent cinema, it must have been quite a rush or shock for students, who saw their faces on the big screen. Moving from scenes for the first year students who took screenplay excerpts from films like Get Out, Madea's Family Reunion and Revolutionary Road, it was enjoyable to see young talents being shaped and molded. The second-year students had to produce a short film, which enabled them to have more creative control, writing characters who aligned with some of their acting heroes and experimenting with a longer format. Then, the highlight of the evening was the third year film directed and written by Grant Swanby, which featured all of the third year students in a well-crafted dramatic thriller about a dysfunctional family.
Act Cape Town is a niche acting school that is equipping young actors, many of whom show great promise, and could very well be the faces of the future. With alumni such as Christia Visser, Carishma Basday and Jessica Sutton, it's easy to see how their focused training is paying off. It's wonderful to see blossoming acting talent, especially at a grassroots level and it shouldn't be long before Act Cape Town reaches a whole new wave of promising young actors in pursuit of their dreams.
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