Arabella’s blog post

A little blog-post from Arabella Packford, who recently interned with Substance Films for a week:

I was a little unsure at first as to why I had chosen to do a weeks work experience on my three-week holiday.  However as soon as Yvette welcomed me at the door with her relaxed and cool attitude I felt at ease and knew this would be much more fun than just work.  I walked into this spacious, airy office with great art all over the walls and a typewriter sitting in the corner and was given a desk that were to be mine for the week. This is where my insight to Substance films began.

Firstly I was challenged with making sense of a script and drawing a storyboard for it. I could be tempted to show this storyboard but I am slightly too embarrassed for it is difficult to even work out my stick men are stick men! I am a photographer, definitely not an artist! I don’t think I did too bad a job on the script however and Yvette seemed to be pleased with it!

Next I was asked to join her on a shoot for her documentary SIXSkin. We went to the most beautiful house for this. She has been a great tour guide as well as someone to work for! We travelled through the ‘robots’ as I was reminded South Africans call traffic lights, and went onto another shoot where I was asked to take my cameras and do some stills whilst they filmed. Yvette and cameraman Grant were very relaxed yet professional in their way of working, chatting as if friends with their subjects. Once Yvette managed to pull herself away from the Siamese cats, we drove home!

Next couple of days I researched all into Africa and the mothers2mothers program on aids. This was fascinating to research as I knew nothing of their existence before, now I shall keep up to date with their progress as they are making incredible improvements across Africa.

It has been amazing to experience the different areas in which Substance Films work. They are busy and work on projects simultaneously, yet Yvette manages to get everything completed with such ease. It has been good fun, I have learnt a lot and met some great people. Now it is the end of my holiday and although returning back to England, I don’t think it will be for long!

2013 Year of the Snake!


We are struggling to find a way to word how we feel about closing up shop and saying farewell to the year that was. It could be that it is not possible to do justice to the growth, exciting projects, friendships and memories that embody 2012, or it could be that we’re hot, tired, and really, really want to go watch the final episode of Homeland.
Whichever is the cause of our lack of inspiration this Tuesday afternoon at 4:28pm, two things are clear – we’d do it all again if we could, and we will, because 2013 is just 13 days and one apocalypse away.
When we reopen on the 9th of January, Yvette will be on a surfing holiday we will be ready to take it all on again, to continue to grow, to nurture the awesome friendships and groundbreaking projects, and the create even more awesome memories together, and with all of you.


Til next year
Y, J, M, G, M, M & E

Muizenbosch II

Our Muizenbosch promo video is up!

Check it!

Muizenbosch II

Date: Saturday, 01 December 2012.

Where: Muizeberg Public Pool Field (near putt putt).

Time: 7pm – 9pm.

Entry: R30pp (under 13 free)

Refreshments on sale. Strictly no alcohol.


Muizenbosch in Association with Substance Films, are teaming up to bring you MUIZENBOSCH II, a Muizenberg film festival showcasing new and interesting media projects produced in Cape Town. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Muizenberg Community Safety Initiative. Fun, family entertainment in your favourite neighbourhood!

Share this video on facebook and you can win a ticket to Up The Creek 2013!

Substance Films Announces… Muizenbosch II


Cape Town, South Africa – Substance Films, the independent film makers have undertaken to curate the second installment of a new local film showcase event that it is hoped will become a regular, community-orientated film event for the Muizenberg area. Following on the success of the first Muizenbosch event which took place in October at the Muizenberg Bowling Club, the next event will take place on Saturday 1 December 2012 from 7pm until 9pm on the grass fields next to the Putt-Putt course in Muizenberg.
The venue is wind-protected and there is a playground next door for the kids. Beach vendors will also be on site catering hot dogs, ice-cream, cool drinks and of course, popcorn. Organisers request that patrons not bring any alcohol onto the festival grounds but picnic baskets are welcome.

The Beach Buddies (another popular Muizenberg empowerment initiative) will be on patrol to keep things safe and tidy and a bonus is that there is loads of safe, free parking in the area.

Entrance is R30 per person (children under 13 get in free).

Part of the proceeds will go to the Muizenberg Community Safety Initiative (MCSI).

The theme of the second event is “In Love With Local ” and the selection of films on offer will reflect a broad spectrum of independent films, all related to, or created by, Capetonians and importantly, Muizenberg locals.

The event also aims to function as a creative community gathering where the exchange of ideas and and communication between like-minded creatives and film buffs can happen in an informal, outdoor and relaxed setting.

Muizenbosch is a David Jones of Empire Café initiative.

Substance Films’ Director Yvette Lambrecht has been inspired by just how forthcoming local filmmakers have been in contributing their short films, documentaries, animations and music videos. It is her wish that Muizenbosch will spark other organisations to initiate independent film events, thereby giving filmmakers more outlets for their work to be viewed. “There are so many hurdles to getting our independent works screened by our national broadcaster,” says Yvette, “that filmmakers and documentarians have got to work together to come up with creative, new solutions to getting our films to our audiences.”

Beyond the movies, Muizenbosch also aims to promote Muizenberg’s ‘village’ atmosphere. “I hope to see more of these types of events taking place locally, wherever creative communities exist,” comments Yvette.

Filmmakers are urged to get in touch with Yvette if they have short films, animations, experimental films or music videos that they want screened at Muizenbosch. Everything will be considered, as long as it is PG-rated.

Updates and line-ups can be viewed at

The details:
Date: Saturday, 01 December 2012.
Where: Muizenberg Public Pool field.
Time: 7pm – 9pm.
Entry: R30p/p (children under 13 free).
Refreshments will be on sale. Strictly no alcohol allowed

For more information about Substance Films, Muizenbosch² Film Festival, images or interviews with Yvette Lambrecht please contact Jon Monsoon;


Note to Editors:

About Substance Films

Substance Films is an independent video production company operating out of Muizenberg, Cape Town. Founded in 2008, Substance Films is owned and managed by noted documentary director Yvette Lambrecht and a small team of creatives passionate about creating meaningful communication.

What started out as a small film company, specialising in material that dealt with pertinent social issues, has grown into a media production company with capabilities that extend beyond the traditional audio-visual realm.

Whether it’s a hard-hitting documentary, a promotional clip for a corporate, a training video, TV show or a media creation project for NGOs and CSI, Substance Films is ideally placed to offer great production value to new and existing clients, collaborators and broadcasters. Yvette and her team believe that the stories bought to life by Substance Films are so important and pertinent to the widest audience that they often cannot only be told once or in one format. Believing in the long shelf life of communication materials, Substance Films strives to create ongoing collaborations and opportunities for the projects they create – it’s not over when the master is made. As long as media has infinite possibilities, Substance Films will keep on exploring them.

Birthright begins shooting!

Birthright Documentary

We’re excited to announce that development funding has been granted for our documentary project titled. Birthright is a feature length film that follows a documentary team’s journey through South Africa, Swaziland and Kenya, documenting the efforts of HIV positive mothers as they fight to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. What begins as an exploratory exercise in documentary film-making soon becomes a challenging test of character, as the team uncovers gripping personal stories of HIV positive women living in extraordinary circumstances. Through their experiences, all members of the documentary face themselves and each other, and attempt to process stories of great tragedy and unfaltering hope. Through their interactions with HIV positive women, we begin to understand the obstacles that keep children in Africa from realising the ultimate birthright – the right to be born without HIV.

We’re working hard to secure the rest of the funding, so that we can make this unique documentary a reality. We’ve been submersed in this project for almost a year, so its a great feeling for it to finally be flowering into something incredible.

The real world… from the mouth of an intern

 In the month of interning with Substance Films, I’ve learned that (*spoiler alert) King Joffrey in Game of Thrones gets killed; the third season of True Blood gets back to being awesome; Empire coffee is addictive; I can still do a headstand; making lists of the contents of storage containers is an invaluable skill; and Khayelitsha isn’t all that scary if you’re standing next to a colourful wall.

Other than the series talk and humour, I’ve been able to apply my skills to a few projects going on here. The big project being the video for PCI, which gave me some experience in the field as we shot interviews in the Prevention in Action’s Violence Free Zones in Khayelitsha; this project also reminded me just how time consuming transcribing can be. Outside of this project I put my research skills to use for a documentary project on the Kalk Bay Fishermen; got excited about all the upcoming film fests SA has to offer; and found out about all the hard working NGOs making a difference in our communities.

So, rest assured, years worth of writing jargon filled academic papers, and qualifying with a humanities degree is worth it. With a company like Substance Films you’re in safe hands with making that (often dreaded) transition back into the real world.

–Nicole Ferreira