The Harvest Documentary by Yakima Waner has been a film festival sensation on the international stage, earning several awards in 2020.
Benoni, South Africa (03 March 2021) – Plastic City in Brakpan is an informal settlement run by foreign nationals and South Africans that have nowhere else to go and need to earn an income. The informal settlement is funded by recycling and managed by a community council.
Yakima Waner drove past Plastic City every day, and her curiosity got the better of her; she reached out to a friend and together, they found out that within the city, there was a fully functioning creche that was built up and stocked with recycled items. The creche was founded by a community member that wanted to help all the children living in Plastic City.
Yakima ventured into Plastic City even though many people advised against it, and she found a community doing everything they can to stay afloat.
As a documentary journalist, Yakima wanted to share the community’s story, so she started filming what she saw, and the Harvest Documentary was born.
THE HARVEST shares the true-life stories of children born in recycling camps as well as the amazing story of the school and the founders. It also discusses the unfortunate fact that the discrimination of children for who they are is still a prominent issue in South Africa and the world.
The film highlights how the school and The Harvest Project teach the children how important they are and that they are worthy and that they live each day in celebration and memory of the children who died for equality, an education and fighting for who they were throughout history across the world.
The creche featured in the documentary has gone on to thrive since Yakima found it. In collaboration with the Harvest Project, it has been renamed the Blessings Eco Preparatory School. We shared the story of how the organisations collaborated during the pandemic to support not only the children but their parents too!
Jessie Nkosi founded the school and was later joined by her sister Hlengiwe Nkosi and Thabile Khumalo who is helping to teach the children who are not able to get placements at schools for Grade 1.
The Harvest COVID-19 Relief Project, the Blessings Eco Preparatory School and the Edie & Colman Waner Feeding Scheme have been working throughout the pandemic to offer relief to this forgotten and abandoned community.
The Harvest Documentary was filmed in 2018, prior to the pandemic, but if you watch it, you can only imagine how the current state of the world has affected the community. Yakima has confirmed they are now filming a second documentary that will focus on the journey of their COVID relief programme. It will be called “Indlala”.
The documentary has been well-received by the international film festival industry and even earned several awards. The latest film festival to feature the documentary is the Voices Rising Film Festival 2021.
Here is a list of the awards and wins so far.
- The life is sessions Film Festival Laurel – United Kingdom 2020
- ECHO Brics Film Festival – Moscow Russia – Winner/ Best Feature Documentary 2020.
- Real-time International Film Festival – Semi Finalist 2020 – Nigeria.
- Straight Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival / selected laurel – England 2020.
- The Impact Doc Awards – USA – Award of Merit for Feature Documentary 2020.
- Golden Earth Film Award – online event- 2020.
- Picasso Einstein Buddha International Film Festival – Best Feature Documentary – 2020.
- Great Cinema Now – USA 2020- Laurel
- Stockholm City Film Festival – Laurel- Sweden 2020.
- Life Art Festival – USA – Finalist
- 2021 Voices Rising Film Festival – USA – selected laurel.
You can watch the trailer for the documentary below and access the full documentary here.