S.J. van Breda was born on the 2nd of November 1991 in Durban, South Africa. She graduated Vancouver Film School with specializations in Directing, Post-Production and Cinematography. Before arriving at VFS, she studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cape Town and worked in the aerospace research industry for two years.
She is currently in post-production for an experimental short entitled ‘Bound’, which she wrote, directed and produced. Her debut short film, Sentience, is currently on the festival circuit and is a semi-finalist at Los Angeles CineFest 2017. Sentience also won the Golden Ibex at KIFF 2017.
She is currently developing a short film and documentary which delves into the true story of transgender soccer coach Kaig Lightner and a feature length version of Sentience.
GREY is about difference. Though the script has a very strong, literal connection to the issues of racism and gender equality, the message behind GREY can apply to any situation where there are opposing worlds and ideas. As a short film of under 4 minutes, GREY will hope to show that our differences are merely social constructs, and we are more alike than we think.
There are many motifs in GREY, but the most important is the use of liquid. The liquid symbolises a transformation and a realisation. Both the WOMAN and the MAN have experiences with liquid of the opposite colour to their world. This liquid allows them to ‘see’ the other world for what it is and they both attempt to change their own world after this revelation. The use of eyes is also an important motif. This motif supports the message that the concept of difference is artificial and all that is needed for acceptance and tolerance is to change how one views the world. In both worlds, the changing of the eyes is brought about by the liquid.
Duality is a major motif in GREY. The use of black and white, and male and female shows that the concept of ‘otherness’ is a purely aesthetic value. In the grey void, the MAN and WOMAN have been stripped of their artifice and stand before one another as what they truly are. Here, the duality is blurred and contrasts against the definite divide that has been set up through production design and editing.
S.J.’s main goal in film is to affect an audience in such a way that they are different people when they exit the cinema, hardly recognizable from who they were before. She hopes to stay in Canada and continue to write and direct.