The Broke Ass Showcase: One Year In

There’s nothing quite like experiencing something live, there’s a certain element of connectedness, anxiety, excitement and danger that comes out of a shared live experience. One of my favourite Oscar Wilde quotes states that the stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life. Launched in 19 October 2018, The Broke Ass Showcase is an intimate for-youth-by-youth initiative that provides a space where performance artists and filmmakers with an online base get to showcase their work to a live audience of their peers and general public. Each line-up usually consists of an eclectic mix of web-series, short films and digital shorts as well as performances from active indie music acts and comedians.  The intention of which was to create a community where digital comes alive. A space for independent creatives to meet, showcase and get exposed to other dope creatives making a name within the independent scene. Within this article, we aim to give our first year retrospective whilst looking to what our future holds.

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As entertainers and filmmakers there’s a raw and inescapable feedback we receive when our work is on a live stage, from the raucous laughter you get when the punchlines hit to the deafening silence when your concept doesn’t land. No matter how overwhelming or muted the reception is, there’s an incredible loop of feedback we gain and that feedback loop is an essential part of the process in refining one’s craft and/or act. Since our launch we’ve been a live platform for over a dozen local web-series and short films; from award-winning pieces like Lace, and Chin Up! to premiere public screenings of web-series like Angry Amber, Blunt Force and Pride and Petty. Likewise our live stage has played host a variety of entertainers, from seasoned and award-winning entertainers like Tsitsi Chiumya, Dibi and Ebenhaezer Dibakwane to launching break-out performers from rising voices like Filah, Llucky and Witney. The feedback we have received, collectively and overwhelmingly so, shows the appreciation and for more spaces that spotlight independents. Every showcase has proved to be an art of discovery, and a testament to how deep the talent within our youth runs if given half a chance.

For the better half of the last two years, I have been an avid consumer of local digital and youth content through my Next Generation of Greats blog. The first year of The Broke Ass Showcase has provided a live stage to really celebrate what they in space has to offer. I’ve had the privilege of seeing The Broke Ass Showcase become a catalyst not only for content creation but for promoting collaboration amongst independent and pro-active creatives from different spheres. Within our second year, The Showcase aims to continue building that community not just locally but internationally as we begin hosting more international creatives. Our next showcase launches this movement on 6th December 2019 as we screen our first transatlantic piece, Behind The Silence; within our line-up that includes alternative and R&B darlings Tron Pyre, Naye Ayla and Love, Sechaba and amazing local web-series like Love: The Webseries and Thesha to name a few.

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All this hard work and progress would not have been nearly as possible without the support of our partners; the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct and Credipple in association with The National Film and Video Foundation. Join us on the 6th December 2019 at The Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein as we launch into our second year of championing the trailblazing youth voices shaping our digital landscape. Follow @brokeassindependents on Instagram and @brokeassindies on Twitter for more information. December tickets can be bought here: https://qkt.io/81P6zV

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