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Article by the Cape Argus

Updated: Jul 11, 2022

Sean Cameron Michael acting in A Moment
Hollywood-based actor Sean Cameron Michael stars as the lead character in the short film A Moment.

Cape Town director’s first short film gains acceptance at LA Film Awards

By Keshia Africa Jun 6, 2021

A SHORT film about the last moments before death by a local director, has been accepted as an entry for the Los Angeles Film Awards.

Cape Town-based director Robert dos Santos's first short film A Moment will be considered for accolades at the California-based film competition.

The local director said that it feels “pretty rock and roll” to be accepted by the LA Film Awards and that it makes him happy to just be considered for an award.

The short film A Moment narrows down on the moment that happens just before you die when your life flashes before your eyes. Having spent the last two years as a commercial and music director, Dos Santos explains that he was excited to make his debut as a film director.

“Not having gone to film school meant that music videos and commercials became my teacher for this industry. Those two have been the trampoline that I could jump on and help me bounce towards the film,” said Dos Santos.

Dos Santos said that he enjoyed creating his first short film and being able to share a story with the world.

“I loved getting to work with people that are incredibly talented and experienced. I wanted to make something very good of my first film and make sure that we kept it to the highest quality,” he said.

Director Robert Dos Santos enjoyed creating his first short film. Picture: Migal Van As

Dos Santos shared that he believes South African filmmakers must get their work past our borders.

Director Robert dos Santos
Director Robert dos Santos

“We need to be looking internationally, we need to be playing internationally. Los Angeles is the home of film and cinema. The fact that we can make content in South Africa that can compete on an international level is important,” he said.

He added: “The film is of very high quality, I want people to know that we can create high-quality content in Africa. Even here, we can still punch way above our weight. I want people in LA and people around the world to see that.”

Dos Santos, now 33, only went into directing at the age of 30. Three years ago, he quit his job as an attorney to pursue a career in film. He described the transition as challenging, considering how different the two careers were.

“When I left, I did not take off my court robes to sit in the director’s seat and tell people what to do. I have had to work my way up. Although I have been in film for a while, I only recently started directing,” he said.

“I did not give that up to mess around. I take what I do very seriously and I want to make life-changing films,” the director added.

Since the film’s release in May, it was chosen to form part of the Hollywood International Golden Age Festival later this month. This festival is affiliated with IMDb and prioritises films based solely on artistic quality.

Dos Santos said that his desire to change the world for the better was why he became an attorney and in that, realised that it was not the method in which he could make a change. This led him to film.

“My motivation is that I want people to watch what I create and be inspired to do something great.”

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