Simon Wood, documentary film maker, has been directing content across Africa for the past 12 years. He is the owner of SaltPeter Productions, based in Cape Town the company has been producing content for local and international clients since 2009.
Simon’s latest film ‘The Silent Form’ recently won four awards at the 2017 SAFTAS (South African Film and Television Awards). This capped a successful year for the film which had its world premiere in Toronto at Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary film festival. ‘The Silent Form’ is a collaboration between Wood and one of South Africa’s most successful artists, the sculptor Dylan Lewis.
Remarkably this was the second year running that Wood has had a film selected for Hot Docs following his 2015 film ‘Orbis’ which still features on the international festival circuit, most recently being selected for the South African Focus at Visions du Réel 2017. ‘Orbis’ is a hypnotic journey through one of South Africa’s largest townships, Umlazi, its inhabitants’ existence shaped by their proximity to the port of Durban, the biggest port in Africa.
His previous documentary ‘Forerunners’ was selected for IDFA, the worlds most prestigious documentary festival. The film is a soulful examination of 4 members of South Africa’s new black middle class. The film received the Dikalo Special Jury Prize in Cannes at the Festival du Film du Pan Africain. The jury cited the film ‘for its writing quality, film mastery as well as its mature and modern outlook of a category of people that are searching for perspective’. The film won further awards at the United Nations Film Festival in San Francisco and in March 2013 won a South African Film and Television Award in Johannesburg. ‘Forerunners’ was screened in over 65 countries.
His current projects in production include: ‘Child Free’ which explores societal prejudice against women who choose not to have children. The film follows a successful business woman Sizakele Marutlulle as she conducts a grassroots campaign which aims to wrench apart patriarchal associations of womanhood with motherhood. ‘Untamed’ a collaboration with poet Ian McCallum, explores the evolution of the human psyche. McCallum draws from his experiences as a former Springbok, medical doctor, psychologist and wilderness guide.
In 2016 Wood signed a deal to make a documentary on the Zephany Nurse story which he will co direct with Emmy award winning director Francois Verster.