Hold Up the Sun / Ulibambe Lingashoni

Director: Lesley Lawson, Brian Tilley, Laurence Dworkin, Clarence Hamilton and Mokonenyana Molete
Country: South Africa
Year: 1992
Running Time: 104 min
Language: English

Described as an African Eyes on the Prize, Hold Up the Sun is a powerful and comprehensive film history of the African National Congress (ANC) and its decades-long struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. A lively and thoroughly moving account of some eighty years, this superb documentary is full of never-before seen archival footage, photographs, and music, all interwoven with present-day interviews with the movers and shakers in the fight for democracy in South Africa: Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Bishop Desmond Tutu, the late Oliver Tambo, et al. This film provides a rare opportunity to witness the moving, multi-hued fabric of history.

About the Director

Laurence Dworkin, Clarence Hamilton, Lesley Lawson, Mokonenyana Molete and Brian Tilley

Laurence-DworkinBiography: Laurence Dworkin entered the film industry as a freelance editor in 1977 and worked on a variety of documentaries and dramas. In 1978 he worked on independent documentaries for the emerging Trade Union Movement, which included The Sun Will Rise and FOSATU. In 1985 Dworkin co-founded Video News Service and the Afravision Video Collective, which documented struggles in South Africa in the eighties, with Brian Tilley and Mokenenyana Molete. Dworkin was also the series director of Hold up the Sun and directed the third episode.

clarenceBiography: Clarence Hamilton trained as a filmmaker at Ryerson Polytechnic (now University) where he studied towards a Bachelor in Applied Arts (Film), graduating in 1990. Since his return to South Africa in 1992, after an 18 year exile, he has worked extensively as a writer, director and executive producer in the film and television industry.

Among his credits as writer, director and executive producer are Molo Fish! Avoiding the Truth (1997), a thirteen-part television drama and the first South African-Canadian official co-production, and Molo Fish II – Into the Unknown, a ten-part sequel which aired in 2004. In 1992 he directed the fourth episode of Hold up the Sun [Ulibambe Lingashoni], a TV series documentary about the ANC.

Clarence also worked as head-writer on the first season of Takalani Sesame (2000), a South African adaptation of the US-originated children’s educational television series, Sesame Street. In 2002 he was co-creator along with Ngaire Blankeberg of Gazlam, a thirteen part HIV drama. In 2003 he worked as head-writer for season 3 of Soul Buddyz, an educational family drama series conceived by Soul City.


lawson_lBiography: Lesley Lawson (born in Durban in 1952) is a London-based writer, photographer and filmmaker, specialising in health and HIV. Her work includes media work for South African non-governmental organizations during the apartheid era; publications on women, HIV and general development topics; reportage; educational and broadcast documentaries; and communications for the UK government’s programme on health and HIV in South Africa.

Biography: Molete became involved in films in the early eighties. He first worked in the grips department on the feature film My Country, My Hat in 1980. Molete joined Afravision in 1986 and worked in various capacities on Afravision videos such as A Test of Strength, Compelling Freedom and Once a Pirate. He directed Episode 5 of Hold up the Sun.

briantilleyBiography: Brian Tilley came to film from theatre in 1981 to work on independent documentaries. In 1985 he was a founding member of the Video Collective VNS/Afravision, which made documentaries about social and political issues. He directed episode 2 of Hold up the Sun. Other notable films include A Test of Strength, Bitter Roots, and Mzwakhe Mbuli: The People’s Poet.

Brian Tilley has won several awards for both his documentary and fiction film work. Fruits of Defiance (1990), a film about the mass defiance campaign and the release of Nelson Mandela, won first prize in the Third World section of the Montreal Television Festival. His documentary work has covered a history of the ANC, the sex industry in Johannesburg and several episodes of Parklife Africa, a Discovery series set in the Kruger Park.

His feature work includes the drama series The Line aka In a Time of Violence (1994) which he wrote and directed. Broadcast all over the world, it won a merit award at the 4th festival of African Cinema in Milan in 1994 and two South African Artes Awards for screenplay and director. His short film Lucky Day (1998), which he wrote and directed, was selected for the Best of the Fest at the 1999 Edinburgh Film Festival and won best short film at the Southern African Film Festival.

– AFF, Inc.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Hold up the Sun [Ulibambe Lingashoni]: The ANC and Popular Power in the Making (1996);
Joburg Stories (1997 – Oliver Schmitz, Brian Tilley);
Lucky Day (2000 – Brian Tilley).

Parklife Africa (Date unknown – Brian Tilley);
A Test of Strength (Date unknown – Brian Tilley);
Bitter Roots (1986 – Brian Tilley);
Compelling Freedom [Zilima Ziya Etsheni] (1987 – Laurence Dworkin, Mokonenyana Molete, Brian Tilley);
Certain Unknown Persons (1988 – Laurence Dworkin);
Fruits of Defiance (1990 – Oliver Schmitz, Brian Tilley);
Hlanganini: A Short History of COSATU (1991 – Oliver Schmitz, Brian Tilley);
Hold up the Sun [Ulibambe Lingashoni]: The ANC and Popular Power in the Making (1992);
Mzwakhe Mbuli: The People’s Poet (1993 – Brian Tilley);
In a Time of Violence (1994 – Brian Tilley);
In a Time of Violence (1994 – Brian Tilley);
Isimbi Ayigobi: A History of the National Union of Metalworkers of S.A. (1994 – Mokonenyana Molete);
God Bless Africa (1995/6 – Lesley Lawson);
Mashayabhuqe, AIDS Hits Everyone (1996 – Lesley Lawson);
Talking about Sex, HIV and AIDS (1997 – Lesley Lawson);
Joburg Stories (1997 – Oliver Schmitz, Brian Tilley);
Lucky Day (1998 – Brian Tilley);
History Uncut (2004 – Laurence Dworkin, Brian Tilley).