From The Same Soil

The film portrays the lives of two gay men and one transgender woman who left their home countries because of discrimination and persecution. Now in South Africa they applied for refugee status on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite the fact that in South Africa both national laws and international human rights laws protects lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals against any form of discrimination, Flavina, Mussa and Junior have encountered several challenges in their new communities. The film is an emotional personal journey that shows how stigmatization, persecution and violence have turned the protagonists into human rights activists.

  • N. Newman
    Simon & I
  • Scalabrini Centre - Sergio Carciotto
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 6, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Social Impact Media Award
    Social Impact Media Award
Distribution Information
  • SIMA
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Video on Demand, Pay Per View
Director Biography - N. Newman

Nicky Newman studied Journalism and Psychology (Honors) in the late 80s in South Africa. She set up a production company See Thru Media and began making broadcast and non-broadcast documentaries, mostly in the area of development, education and the arts for the last 25 years.

Nicky co-directed Simon & I with Bev Ditsie which was screened at many festivals (including HOT DOCS) and broadcast in many countries, including BBC’s Storyville. It also won (amongst other awards) Best Woman Director from the OXFAM Vue du Afrique festival in Montreal.

Nicky has been actively involved in the growth of the South African film and TV sector for the last 20 years and was the Vice President for the International Association of Women in Radio and Television for 4 years.

Nicky currently lectures documentary filmmaking and has recently launched a career in photography.

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Director Statement

As the world changes, many people fear these changes for a wide variety of reasons and they, and the institutions they are part of, do all they can to humiliate and punish people who are part of the difference they resist.

Nowhere can this be more clearly seen than with the issue of sexuality.

Many African countries have criminalized any sexuality other than heterosexuality, with hefty jail sentences. Not only do the people themselves face persecution, but NGOS working in the area as well as family members and friends who do not report on their loved ones and colleagues.

This film aims to personalize the three main characters and stimulate debate and hopefully a deeper understanding of this complex issue and how it effects so many people’s lives.