From 22 - 24 September 2017, a team of students from the Wits Film and Television Division partook in the annual Johannesburg 48 Hour Film Project. This competition is a wild and sleepless weekend where participants are assigned a genre, prop, character and line of dialogue from which they are tasked to write, shoot and edit a short film over the course of the next 48 hours. The team, Purple Thunderliscious Productions, included team leader/ producer Felipe Kirsten (2015), director/actor Stuart Young (2014), director/editor Jeremy Saner (2016) and cinematographer Liam Van Rooyen (2014), all of whom are St Stithians alumni and former leaders of the Saints Movie Makers Club. Cameron Scott (2013) was also cast for a role in the film.
The alumni filmmakers, who are now all in their third year of participating (they entered as St Stithians students in 2013 and later won the competition's esteemed Audience Award in 2016), decided to up their entertainment and production value by shooting an action-adventure piece set in a world where milk is a rare delicacy. "The Milk Man" was met with a positive response by a full-house audience at its Ster Kinekor cinema screening in The Mall of Africa on 12 October.
The film went on to dominate award categories alongside several other top films at the Johannesburg Gala Evening on 15 October. Alongside a Runner-Up nomination for Best Use of Assigned Character (Dr. Mac Lee), the Wits team went on to win:
- Best Use of Assigned Prop (A glass of milk)
- Best Use of Assigned Dialogue ("Any suggestions?")
- Best Student Cinematography
- Best Overall Student Film
Accepting his award for Best Student Cinematography, Liam Van Rooyen was awarded a Canon 80D DSLR Camera by the sponsors themselves. The team was also offered a placement in a 4-day intensive editing workshop for one of the crew members.
The team is ecstatic about their most recent award wins and look forward to partaking in the competition once again in 2018, intent on scooping up the competition's top prize in the professional category - R10 000 in equipment rentals and an opportunity to represent the city of Johannesburg on an international stage with their winning film.