Leaving Mandela Park

Leaving Mandela Park is a kaleidoscopic documentary about the dreams of children living in the townships of Cape Town, South Africa. It tells the story of five youngsters with a special drive to escape, however briefly, the drabness of everyday reality.

Gauva left his hometown as a little boy because he didn’t see a future. Someone discovered his singing talents and now he performs on the streets and sells his CD’s to the spectators. Cynthia lives in a neighbourhood where gangs shoot at each other, but has her saxophone as a means of escape. Pinky studies hard to realise her dream – a stone house -, dancing to lighten her life. Music and dance turn out to be the means of survival for these children.

These dreams do not stand on their own. They are a metaphor for the hopeful future of a country trying to drag itself up from a mire of poverty and violence. Leaving Mandela Park shows the incredible resilience and vitality of these children.



Saskia Vredeveld

Na de film academie begonnen met regisseren van comedy sketches, muziek programma’s, videoclips, reportages, voorlichting films, kinder series, cultuur- en jongeren programma’s. Documentaires gemaakt voor VPRO, NPS, IKON, Humanistische Omroep, Vara, EO, BNN, SBS6, NMO en diverse productie huizen. Scenario’s geschreven voor singel plays, televisie en speelfilms. Van 2000-2003 mede-eigenaar en coproducent van Springbok Film. In 2004 begonnen met Peacefield films. Gewerkt als jurylid voor het Gouden Kalf, alternerend adviseur Nederlands Fonds voor de Film, gastdocent documentaire en camera werk voor diverse regisseurs.


In co-production with IKON and Off World. With the support from the Netherlands Film Fund, CoBO fund and VAF.

Cinematography: Melle van Essen.Camera assistent: Sander Roeleveld
Editing: Riekje Ziengs.Sound: Frenk van der SterreComposer: Hans HelewautProduction: Mara Mouwen, Willemijn Cerutti