Steve Smith- short film by Jemma Kahn – on at the virtual edition of The National Arts Festival, South Africa- until July 31, 2020.

Direct booking link:

Duration: five minutes

Tickets: R25

Scroll down for production info

I cracked up watching Jemma Kahn’s five minute film, Steve Smith which is a quirky and mockumentary. Kahn- reconstructs – or should we say –deconstructs – the snivelling apology made by Australian cricket captain, Steve Smith in 2018 at a press conference in Sydney. He read from a scripted statement and messed up as he whimpered his way through his statement, with his apology regarding tampering with a ball, during a match that was not going well for the team.

The press conference was four minutes of theatre with Smith playing to the media, pleading for forgiveness. In the film, we see De Klerk Oelofse shape shifting into slithery, snivelling Steve Smith. There is a flash of Albert Pretorius. The film is jittery and slippery – lip synch on TikTok. It is a scream.

The release supplied by the festival, notes that “Kahn has always enjoyed a lo-fi aesthetic and her filmmaking continues in this tradition.” She edited the film which she shot “on an iPhone 4 with Prestik as a tripod.” Steve Smith embodies elements of a self-tape monologue – albeit referencing a real-live screw up.  The film was an utter surprise to me as I had no idea what was coming away and then whoa – five minutes of jerky Steve Smith – through the lens of Kahn- through the medium of De Klerk Oelofse. It is wonky and alluring. From a google search, it sounds like Steve Smith is back in the game of sport and doing just fine. All is forgotten. No worries. I love it that Kahn has made art out of the press conference which was pure theatre and framed it as an engrossing five minutes of fun and a moment of reflection into the absurdity of Smith’s performance or should we say De Klerk Oelofse. They morph into each other. Watch and you will see what I mean.

Steve Smith: A film by Jemma Kahn

  • Starring: De Klerk Oelofse
  • Featuring: Albert Pretorius
  • Art and lighting: Jemma Kahn and Rocco Pool
  • Genre: Film
  • Format: Video
  • Duration: 5 minutes

Image credit: Supplied.