About the Film


Ruth CowanRuth B. Cowan, Creator and Executive Producer
Senior Research Fellow, The Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, The Graduate Center of The City University of New York - email: ruthcowan@aol.com

-- As a political scientist and human rights activist, she was drawn to South Africa by the New Democracy vision of a unified multi ethnic society, governed under a human rights-based constitutional democracy. In South Africa, she focused on the  rule of law. Among her articles on the subject is The Women’s Legal Centre during its first five years ( Acta Juridica., 2005)  which examines the use of the judiciary as the route for realizing constitutionally promised gender equality rights. Her examination of the record of South Africa's women judges, "Do Women on South Africa's Courts Make a Difference," is a chapter in Gender and Judging (edited by Shultiz and Shaw, Oxford Hart 2012).
She has had an extensive career in higher education as a faculty member and administrator and at the same time has been an advocate for human rights. She chaired  New York City’s Commission on the Status of Women; is the Founding President of Pro Mujer, an organization using micro-loans, training, health education and health services to empower women in five Latin American countries; and serves on the board of directors of the Global Partnership for Afghanistan and the Council of Women World Leaders, whose members are current and former women heads of state. She completed studies at Cornell University, the University of Illinois, New York University and Harvard University.


Jane Thandi Lipman, Director
Current Affairs Films, Johannesburg
email: Lipman@netactive.co.za

-- An award-winning director in Canada and the United States, her experience spans over twenty years during which she  worked at the BBC, at Channel 4, the CBC’s flagship national news and Current Affairs program in Toronto and independently in TV and film. In 1997 she ended her exile from South Africa, where she was born. She worked on the internationally acclaimed Steps for the Future series, which concerned HIV/AIDS in South Africa. She is currently directing a  documentary for CBC, which looks at South Africa, socially and politically, just before the June 2010 Soccer World Cup and, with partners in Rome, London, Toronto and Paris is working on a feature film. She remains committed to the aims of Courting Justice and to the empowerment of the women in the judiciary.

NeilNeil Brandt, Producer
email: neil@fireworxmedia.co.za
website: www.fireworkzmedia.co.za

Neil Brandt, a University of Cape Town post-graduate in psychology and law, is one of South Africa’s leading creative producers. Over and above numerous television projects, Neil has taken to market a number of well travelled award-winning documentary films, including Angola Saudades, The Mother’s House, Solly’s Story, History of South African Politics, Tsietsi My Hero, Courting Justice and Affectionately Known as Alex, which have won dozens of awards locally and internationally, including amongst them, Best Documentary Award at the SAFTA’s, Durban International Film Festival, Three Continents Human Rights Festival, Cape Town World Cinema Festival, Munich International Documentary Festival, Docusur Spain and more. He was the associate producer on the Emmy Award winning documentary, A Lion’s Trail, and competed for the Silver Wolf at IDFA. His most recent film with director Francois Verster, Sea Point Days, held its world Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September, and is travelling to IDFA, Dubai IFF and the Warsaw IFF in 2009.

His films have sold to broadcasters worldwide, including NHK Japan, Arte, Sundance Channel, Documentary Channel and Al Jazeera English. He is a founding member of Filmmakers Against Racism (FAR), and has served on a number of industry initiatives and is a member of the SASFED Intellectual Property sub-committee.

BridgetBridget Pickering, Producer
email: bridget@fireworxmedia.co.za
website: www.fireworkzmedia.co.za

A veteran film producer and director, she is credited with over 20 films covering the full range from documentaries to fictional feature films. Her career started at Universal Pictures in New York as a Casting Associate. The films on which she worked there included The Last of the Mohicans and Glengarry Glen Ross. In 1992 she formed an independent video and film production company in Namibia, producing documentaries around human rights and social issues. They included the widely screened Sophia’s Homecoming. Two years later, she worked as the South Africa producer of Hotel Rwanda, the Oscar-nominated feature film.

The documentaries and short films which she directed include Uno’s World, part of the Mama Africa series screened on PBS and released in 21 countries; and Dreams of a Good Life, a documentary which was screened on Arte, YLE-Finland and won awards at BANFF and at the Zanzibar film Festival . She recently produced two of SABC's top audience rated drama series Redemption and uGugu no Andile, the latter based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and set just before South Africa’s first democratic elections. She is currently preparing her next feature project, Taste of Rain, directed by Richard Pakleppa and is completing post production on a four-part drama on the life of the classical conductor who created the Soweto String Quartet.

Bridget has a particular interest in the re-imaging of Africa.

Loreley Yeowart, Head of Production, Fireworx Media
email: loreley@fireworxmedia.co.za

Loreley Yeowart, after six years of extensive travelling around the world, began her career in the film industry as a freelance make up artist and art department stylist on international feature films. Wanting to work on South African productions, she moved to Films2People, a television production and distribution company, where she became proficient in accounting and production. She successfully Line Produced many genres for all the South African broadcasters – documentary, magazine and drama. She moved to Luna Films in 2007, where, in addition to working on Courting Justice and a number of projects, she worked on the drama series uGugu no Andile and the documentary Sea Point Days. She recently completed Unsung Heroes – Mmino wa Mmilo, a drama series for SABC 2 and is currently employed at Fireworx Media as Head of Production. Fireworx Media, a merger between Voxpix and Luna Films, has 24 productions in various stages of development through to post production.


Dara Kell, Editor
email: dara@dearmandela.com
website: www.dearmandela.com

-- A South African filmmaker and editor, she received the Participant Media’s “Outstanding Filmmaker” award, representing South Africa. In addition to editing Courting Justice, she  edited The Reckoning, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and was broadcast on  P.O.V.; Jesus Camp, which was nominated for an Academy Award; and Mercurial Son: the Blues of Lurie Bell.  She was a field producer in South Africa for Amnesty International’s Human Rights, Human Needs, which tells of a doctor’s battle with the South African Department of Health to secure antiretroviral medication for child survivors of rape. Aimed at empowering communities to tell their stories, she facilitates filmmaking workshops for grassroots organizations in the United States and South Africa. She is currently directing Dear Mandela, a feature-length documentary about the forced removals in poor communities as a lead-up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup.


Philip Miller, Composer
email: philm@iafrica.com,
website: www.philipmiller.info 

-- One of South Africa’s eminent composers, he has worked with the country’s innovative filmmakers and artists. He has a long-standing collaboration with the internationally acclaimed artist, William Kentridge, whose works have been exhibited in museums all over the world, including MOMA in New York,, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Berlin, The La Fenice Opera House in Venice and the Tate Museum in London.

Among his outstanding works has been the music for the ground breaking local TV drama series, Yizo Yizo.  In 2007, he conceived and composed REwind, a Cantata for Voice, Tape & Testimony,  the award-winning choral work, based on the testimonies of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

REwind’s international debut was in New York. In 2008 it opened at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. The same year his sound installation Special Boy was selected for the Spier Contemporary Exhibition. In collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art in Massachusetts (MASMOCA), he is currently composing The Hottentot Venus, an opera on the life of Saartjie Baartman.

His CDs include REwind, a Cantata for Voice, Tape & Testimony; William Kentridges’ 9 Drawings for Projections; Black Box/Chambre Noire; The Thula Project; and Shona Malanga.

Courting Justice can be purchased as a DVD, downloaded or instantly viewed at amazon.com
(71 min film)

The film is also available in a shorter 54 minute version for purchase as a DVD from amazon.com

outside US & Canada, contact Annette Fatti
email: annette@netbridge.co.za
telephone South Africa: 021 712 9456, mobile South Africa 073 176 3079