The Trail

Filmmaker Bios

A headshot of François Verster François Verster

Verster has a wide background in writing, music, academia and film. His acclaimed debut as documentary director/producer, Pavement Aristocrats: The Bergies of Cape Town, achieved international success, and was described by the Variety 2000 International Film Guide as "magnificent." In 1998, Verster formed Undercurrent Film and Television, a Cape Town-based company that aims to produce quality documentaries for local as well as international markets. Its projects deal primarily with human issues, and take innovative (and usually character-led) approaches to social and historical concerns. Other films of his such as When the War is Over (2002) won awards around the world. The South African Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology described Verster as being "known for his outstanding documentary work in [the] country." He has published poems, short stories and reviews, as well as articles in magazines and various international academic journals. He teaches a part-time documentary course in Cape Town. A LION'S TRAIL is his seventh film.

A headshot of Dan Jawitz Dan Jawitz

Jawitz has been closely involved with many of the key developments in the southern African film and television industry over the past 15 years. He has wide experience in film and television production, distribution and sales, and he is currently the managing director of Vox Pix. Prior to forming Vox Pix, Jawitz was a partner in ICE Media Ltd., one of the leading production and distribution companies in Southern Africa, which he set up in 1997 with producer Joel Phiri.

A headshot of Mark J. Kaplan Mark J. Kaplan

Kaplan is executive producer of documentaries at Grey Matter Media and has been involved in video production and training work since 1979. He has been the recipient of numerous international awards for single documentaries and series. In 1980, he was appointed the first coordinator of the Community Video Resource Association at the University of Cape Town, the first community video project in South Africa. In August 1982, after two months of detention in solitary confinement, Kaplan was deported to Zimbabwe. From there he traveled, via Canada, to Boston, where he joined the masters program in film and video production at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and studied under Richard Leacock. In 1986, Kaplan co-founded Capricorn Video Unit in Harare, Zimbabwe, providing production and training facilities to the Southern African region. He founded Intermedia in 1989 as an independent production arm of Capricorn and, two years later, returned to South Africa, working on a freelance basis for five years before joining UBUNTU TV & Film Productions. Kaplan later joined Rapid Blue and founded Grey Matter Media.

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