A Different Country

Project Type
  • Documentary
  • Series
Running Time 4 x 48 minutes
Release Date January 2014
Produced by:

Fort Greene Filmworks & Left Hand Films

Distributed by:

Sabido Productions

Production Team:

Directors, Producers, Writers: Shareen Anderson and Lisa Henry
Cinematographers: Shareen Anderson, David Hands, Tim Chevalier, Garrett Richardson, Mike Zidel, Theo Shaw, Jamie Kennerly, and Joseph Gulyas
Senior Editor: Taku Kaskela
Original Concept: Lisa Henry
Offline Editors: Arti Gopal, Tim Sternberg, Marin Sander-Holzman, and William Kalmer
Assistant Editor: Marina Du Toit
Music Supervisor: Taku Kaskela
Online Editor: Warwick Allan
Colorist: Michele Wilson
Final Audio Mix: Janno Müller and John Chaka
Content Production Division Group Head: Zanele Mthembu
Executive Producer: Sam Rogers
Production Manager: Leane Gerberast

A Different Country is a character-driven documentary series that follows five teenagers from South Africa as they embark on a year exchange program at a public boarding school in England.

The teenagers are drawn from the Dominican Convent School, a small, private, affordable school in downtown Johannesburg. In a country with an education system in crisis, the school is providing much needed skills for those who would otherwise not receive a quality education. It also provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for five of its ninth grade students that are chosen to spend a year at the elite Stowe School in England – Richard Branson’s alma mater.

The five teenagers that are chosen to attend Stowe come from different socio-economic backgrounds; Thabile is an orphan; Dibaba, a refugee from the DRC; Lungelo lives in an informal settlement with no electricity and sanitation; Thabo is from a single parent household in Soweto, and Molemo, from an emerging middle class family. All have worked hard to succeed at Dominican Convent School, all have aspirations for a better life.

We follow them as they settle into their new lives in a different country, make new friends, and overcome homesickness. During the year, they reveal their fears, hopes, and dreams, and what they hope to achieve when they return to South Africa.

We also follow the story of Michelle, who was shortlisted for the year exchange program at Stowe, but narrowly missed making the selection. Devastated that she was not picked for the program, an opportunity to travel to the UK with the Dominican Convent School comes her way and her dream to visit England and meet Richard Branson at last becomes a reality.

Produced for Sabido Productions in association with the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa.

Related Links:

Left Hand Films
Sabido Productions
Dominican Convent School
Stowe School

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