Khalo Matabane has directed numerous documentaries, drama series, campaigns, commercials, taught about cinema and politics at schools and completed his first dramatic feature film ‘State of Violence’ in 2010 and was shown to critical acclaim in Toronto and Berlin. Set in Johannesburg, it is the story of a man who wife gets killed in what seems like a random act of violence. He goes on a journey searching for the killers only to find out that he is the son of a man he killed in the 1980’s during the struggle in the township.
Currently, Khalo is producing a new body of work. He is working on his new feature film called A Letter to Nelson Mandela. The film seeks to find out if Mandela’s philosophies of forgiveness, reconciliation and freedom resonate currently in a world that is plagued with injustice and social inequalities. He will interview a world body of thinkers, activistis and artist.
He is also in development with his new feature film, The Number, based on Jonny Stienberg book with the same title.
When we were Black – mini-series, a coming of age story set in Soweto Township in 1976, about a 17-year-old boy who wants to fall in love against the backdrop of the student uprisings. Director/ Producer. Special screenings at INPUT 2007 in Switzerland, Durban International Film Festival and in Competition at Cinema Tout Ecran in Switzerland. Won 7 awards including best TV drama series and director at the South African Film and TV awards.
Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon - ultra low budget experimental film which mixes fiction and drama - the film explores the plight of refugees in South Africa and the effects of war and displacement on people from Africa and the rest of the world. Shot over three weeks in the inner city of Johannesburg, the film was financed through contributions from individuals. Official Selection Toronto Film Festival, Winner of the Ecumenical Prize at the Forum – Berlin International Film Festival. Winner of the Lionel Ngakane Prize at Sithengi (Cape Town) and Best South African Film – Durban Film Festival, Miami Film Festival, and New York African film Festival, Flaherty Film Seminar 2007 (NYC), and London Human
Rights Film Festival. Screening on Sundance Channel (USA) and SABC (South Africa)
Story of a Beautiful Country – Feature length documentary. The film uses the road movie format in order to explore the emotional and political landscape of post-apartheid South Africa. Traveling the country in a minibus, Matabane meets a variety of characters whose stories serve as a means of examining issues of race and identity providing a fascinating and thought provoking examination of modern South Africa. The South African – Canadian co production. The film was released in 2004 and has received critical acclaim around the world. Screened at Hotdocs (Canada), Visions du Reel (Switzerland), IDFA (Netherlands) and on a special program at the Museum of the Modern Art (NYC).
Love in the Time of Sickness (2002) – Half hour documentary. Forming part of the Steps for the Future documentary series, this film explores the complexities and difficulties of forming relationships in a time when AIDS forms such an undeniable part of the South African experience. The film was screened on BBC, SABC and TV2 in Denmark.
Young Lions (2000) – Hour long documentary. The film tells the story of three friends who were in the struggle together in the ‘80s. One of them is suspected of having being a police informant and the film examines the effects of this revelation on their relationship. Financed by the SABC, Ikon (TV station in Holland), YLE2 (Finland) and Jan Vrijman Fund (Holland).
The Waiters (1998)–Two part half hour documentary series. The waiters are the families of people who disappeared in exile. With the end of the struggle, the families still await news of their loved ones. Funded by the SABC.
Two Decades Still (1996) – In June 1976 the struggle against Apartheid was revitalized by the uprising of school children in Soweto. Twenty years later, the film looks at the lives of some of those children, their memories of the period and the way in which their lives have taken shape since then. Funded by the SABC.
Khalo joined BFM in late 2009 as the creative director and shareholder.