Picture Tree’s Fausto Becatti is the director behind Spoek Mathambo brand new video for Diesel+EDUN’s Studio Africa project. Titled Awufuni – or You Should Have Called (My Heart) – the clip is a colour-saturated, high-energy tribute to modern women that also exposes the vibrancy, creativity, and rich culture of South Africa.

I wanted to celebrate exciting modern women – the strength of it, the fun of it, the flavour of it (Mathambo)

Featured on the musician, rapper and producer’s recent mixtape, Escape from ‘85, Awufuni is Mathambo’s take on the song of the same name by an old school South African girl group from the 60s, Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje (‘Women of the now’).

‘A group of five girls form a futuristic gang, in a surreal way,’ says Becatti of the core creative concept of the video.

‘There’s a main storyline where Spoek is on a date with this girl and she leads him into this scrapyard. He eventually tries to escape but she chases him and the girls then tie him up and perform this ritualistic dance around him.’

In creating the storyboard, Becatti added his vision to Spoek’s inspiration for the video. The two had been looking for an opportunity to work together since meeting earlier in 2013. ‘When the Diesel+EDUN’s Studio Africa project came along, Spoek and I knew the perfect opportunity had presented itself,’ comments Becatti.

Creating Awufuni was a multinational effort that was spearheaded by VICE Magazine on behalf of Diesel+EDUN. Edun, a clothing label founded by Bono’s wife, Ali Hewson, has worked with Diesel on a two-season clothing collection with the most recent one being a 35-piece denim focused collection entirely manufactured in Africa with CCI cotton from Uganda.

The video’s cross-continental creative collaboration stretched from Italy (Diesel) to London (Vice), New York (Edun), Sweden (where Mathambo lives) and Johannesburg, where Becatti and Picture Tree are located.

Shot in a scrapyard in the south of Johannnesburg, Awufuni showcases some amazing South Africa talent, including four professional dancers – Robyn Brophy, Melissa Flerangile, Sne Mbatha and Tebogo Ribane. Street casting in Soweto also unearthed a major new talent in schoolgirl, Amanda Magi who plays the main girl gang member and ‘cat lady’.

Mathambo on Magi’s performance in the video:

‘She has something about her – an electricity. I’m excited for her to get her chance to do what she does best’

The Becatti-helmed Awufuni is part of the second season of Diesel and Edun’s Studio Africa. The Autumn/Winter 2013 initiative sees Studio Africa champion three African musicians – Spoek, Faarrow and Olugbuenga.

Behind-the-scenes video:

On a technical note.

The DOP on Awufuni was David Pienaar and the video was shot mostly on Steadicam (Chris Vermaak) to minimize time between set-ups. The use of the Steadicam also allowed for quick dynamic movements, and equally quick changes as the camera is rolling. ‘Because there were so many set-ups to be nailed in a 12-hour period, this seemed the most logical choice,’ comments Becatti. The shoot day was on the second shortest day of the year in terms of daylight hours, and so it was exceptionally challenging to pull of, and the time constraints were very tight.’ The video was shot on RED Epic, using Cooke S4 mini’s, the Allura Zoom lens, and for the super wide shots, the Nikkor 8mm Fish-eye. The choice was made to shoot in 1:2.39 aspect ratio for its cinematic qualities, given the narrative aspect.

Crew members included:

Director Fausto Becatti
Art Director Adi Koen
Make-up Amy Anstey
Wardrobe Samantha Constable
Producer Scott Njumbuxa
Executive Producer Gary King
Title Design Caryn Oberholzer
Sound Design Freqncy (Nathi Luthango & Motsi Tekateka
Edit & Grade Warwick Allan @ Mushroom Media

Spoek and Fausto

Relevant Links:



Interview with Spoek Mathambo from one small seed on Vimeo