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Brimming With Life

'Brimming With Life', was filmed over 5 years in the vast Townships of Cape Town and Soweto, where under Apartheid, "Non-White" South Africans were once excluded.

This independent documentary traces the everyday lives of these resilient, resourceful and spirited families, often held together by the women of their communities, as they try to forge a creative and better life in post Apartheid South Africa.

From shacks, old shipping containers to the first Township-run coffee house, they are opening all kinds of vibrant businesses.

But, in a young and unequal democracy, where a lack of adequate housing and opportunity are still such a great divide, the question is asked, "How do we allow each other to shine?"

To Try to do something about it, for the first time, twenty artists and community workers from the Townships are working alongside the remarkable crew of the Cape Town Carnival. They are on a mission, to try to build a more inclusive nation, for their once-excluded communities and the people of Cape Town.

  • Anthony Heffernan
    An Obsession With Hamlet
  • Anthony Heffernan
    An Obsession With Hamlet
  • Anthony Heffernan
    An Obsession With Hamlet, Mr B Says No
  • Sasiporn Hunwong (Prim)
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Social Documentary on Life in the Townships of South Africa
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 36 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 7, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Canadian Cinematography Awards, Best Documentary

    April 29, 2021
    Best Documentary
  • Cannes International Film Festival, Best Feature Documentary
    May 31, 2022
    Best Documentary Feature
  • Paris Film Awards, Best Documentary Feature
    February 5, 2022
    Best Documentary Feature
  • Boston Independent Film Awards, Best Editor
    United States
    August 2, 2022
    Best Editor
Distribution Information
  • Anthony Heffernan, Adamache films
Director Biography - Anthony Heffernan

Anthony Heffernan grew up in Australia and has worked in film, radio and television.
This new documentary, "Brimming With Life", was filmed over five years. It follows the lives of the residents of The Townships of South Africa and the Cape Town Carnival's effort to bring people together.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Brimming With Life
Often a people's struggle for freedom is only the beginning of their journey

When Nelson Mandela ushered in a new democracy in South Africa, he opened the door to a new participation in the life of the nation, where the lives of all its people mattered.

Although Apartheid has gone, for many in the Townships - who were so long excluded from the cities - its legacy still remains.

While many still live with no running water, electricity or security, limited job opportunities and lower life expectancy, they are trying to build a better life for their communities.

Filmed over 5 years, Part 1 shares an insight into the rarely visited, daily lives of the vibrant, resourceful and resilient residents of the vast Townships, on the edge of Cape Town & Johannesburg.

Often held together by the women of these communities - against the odds, with good humour and ingenuity - they are opening all kinds of businesses wherever they can- from converted shipping containers and shacks to their own companies.

But how can the shadow left by Apartheid be overcome?

The Cape Town Carnival is taking a chance. In Part 2, The remarkable crew of the Cape Town Carnival Float Building Department, for the first time, is mentoring 20 artists and community workers from the Townships.

As the Carnival deadline approaches - together they are on a mission to help unite their long separated Township communities - with the people of Cape Town.
Brimming With Life, can be viewed both as:
. A Feature length film
- or -
. In 2 Episodes