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Project Consultant Bio

In Cape Town’s informal settlements, the government never built a sewage system, hence the absence of flush toilets. Each inhabitant must therefore devise an individualised solution to dispose of their excrement. Excretapolitics is an impressionistic documentary composed of portraits of the residents facing & witnessing this infrastructural injustice.

Genre: Documentary

Languages: Xhosa, English, Afrikaans, Sesotho

Duration: 112 min

Year: 2024

Director  Yoel Meranda

Producers  Xavier Rocher (La Fabrica Nocturna Cinéma, France)

Yoel Meranda (Kamara, Turkey)

Co-Producers  Bongiwe Selane (Blingola Media, South Africa)

Kristina Konrad (Welt Film, Germany)

Cast List (in order of appearance): Nokonwaba Mbotshwa, Louisa Theron, Stjhaba Kolanchu (Sizwe), Anezwa Fetile, Nosipho Klaas, Shadrack Shooter Dano, Singilizwe Booi, Zukiswa Qezo, Mike P Phindile, Sisipho Filane, Lilitha Filane

Inspired by Masixole Feni’s photographs

Project Consultant  Masixole Feni

Assistant Director  Nahum Thulani Deke

Editors  Tsholofelo Monare, Yoel Meranda

Translators  Biko Ngcobo, Enathi Mqokeli

Graphic Design  Sonwabo Valashiya

Sound Editing & Mix  Emmanuel Soland

Color Grading  Olivier Dassonville

Financed by CNC, CNAP, Tënk, Procirep-Angoa in France                  

Yeni Film Fonu in Turkey






Stills, Poster, Crew Photos & excrerpt here:

Director Bio

Yoel Meranda was born in Istanbul in 1981. Four of his experimental videos were screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. His videos have also screened at international festivals such as Edinburgh, Thessaloniki, Douarnenez and Lucca. His video installations were presented at New York White Box Gallery, Basilica Cistern, Goethe-Institut Istanbul, and Pera Museum. He produced Albüm which won the Visionary Award at the Critics’ Week at Cannes 2016 and Best Feature Film at Sarajevo. Also produced the documentary The Pageant which premiered in international competition at Visions du Réel 2020 and distributed by Grasshopper Films in North America. Yoel was selected for the Moulin d’Andé writing residency in 2018 for his first feature fiction film project, a contemporary adaptation of Balzac.

(For more info on the director)

Director's Short Filmography

highway screening, experimental video, silent, 2 min, 2010
2011 Edinburgh International Film Festival

moonalphabet, experimental video, silent, 2 min, 2010
2010 Thessaloniki International Film Festival

straitscaping, experimental video, silent, 1 min, 2010
2010 Toronto International Film Festival

rauscht, experimental video, silent, 1 min, 2010
2010 Toronto International Film Festival

ascents in february, experimental video, sound, 3 min, 2010
2010 Toronto International Film Festival

not be or..., experimental video, silent, 2 min, 2009
2010 Toronto International Film Festival

Director's Filmography as Producer

The Pageant, dir. Eytan İpeker, Documentary, 2020

Screened at Visions du Réel, Sarajevo Film Festival 2020, distributed in North America by Grasshopper Films

Albüm, dir. Mehmet Can Mertoğlu, Fiction, 2016

Visionary Award at Cannes Film Festival's Semaine de la Critique section, Best Feature Film at Sarajevo Film Festival, World Sales: The Match Factorytch

Director's Note

I come from Turkey, a country where infrastructural injustices abound. But when I first heard about the lack of sanitary toilets in the informal settlements of South Africa and the vast scale of the problem — which affects hundreds of thousands of people just around Cape Town — I had to stop and think. Until then, I had never considered the inequality of access to sanitary toilets as a human right violation. Nor had I ever heard of toilets being used as a protest technique, as in the Poo Protests. The subject intrigued me as a filmmaker. I thus begin reading up on the political history of South Africa and neo-colonialism. However, a few fundamental questions persisted through time: Should this movie be made? Would the residents of the informal settlements want this film made? And of course, as I'm not from the informal settlements or even South Africa: should I take part in making this film? Questions that any number of words on a page would never be able to address.


So in December 2017, after having contacted the assistant director Nahum Thulani Deke and photojournalist Masixole Feni (who had been documenting the matter for GroundUp), I decided to fly to Cape Town and meet with the residents of the informal settlements to ask them what they thought about all this. Their answers, each with their own powerful personality, is what constitutes Excretapolitics. It was their passion for expressing themselves in front of the camera that made the film. During the editing with Tsholofelo Monare and producer Bongiwe Selane, we tried to open the greatest possible space for their voices. In our view, what Nokonwaba, Louisa, Sizwe, Anezwa, Nosipho, Shooter, Singilizwe, Zukiswa, Mike, Sisipho and Lilitha had to tell us has a great urgency — and not only concerning South Africa.

Producer Bio

Bongiwe Selane is an award-winning producer who has produced across several mediums, including commissioned serial content, multiple short films, three feature films and a documentary series. Her credits and accolades include Culture Shock, the 2013 SAFTA winner for best doccie-reality show and Best South African Short Film at The Durban International Film Festival in 2015 for uNomalanga and The Witch. She was the first recipient of the NFVF’s Female Only Filmmakers Project, which saw her produce 26 short narrative films by women filmmakers. Happiness is a Four-Letter Word is her debut feature film, released in February 2016 and is the best performing local film of 2016 in South Africa. Happiness Ever After is the sequel to Happiness is a Four-Letter Word and is currently streaming on Netflix.

Bongiwe co-produced the award-winning film This is not a Burial, it’s a Resurrection by writer/director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese which won the Visionary Award at Sundance in 2020. Bongiwe’s third feature film titled Do Your Worst directed by Samantha Nell was released in 2023 and is currently streaming on Netflix. Bongiwe is an alumnus of the Durban Film Mart, the Rotterdam Producers Lab, La Fabrique Cinema de L’Institute Francais (Cannes), Produire au Sud Workshop in Nantes France, and the prestigious Venice Biennale Cinema College. In 2018, she was awarded a full scholarship by Creative Media Europe to participate in the year-long EAVE Producers Workshop (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs) and is currently the African Ambassador for EAVE.

Producer Bongiwe Selane's Note

When Yoel first spoke to me about this project, I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted to get involved and that the story of the residents of Khayelitsha had to be told. I was drawn to the project because it spoke to how my country had somehow failed to deliver on the promise made at the end of Apartheid by our founding fathers, to ensure dignity to the black majority of South Africa.

The story that resonated with me is that of 6-year-old Michael Komape from Chebeng village in Limpopo Province, who in 2014 fell into a pit toilet at his school and died, this shocking story making news headlines around the country, and highlighting the lack of basic service delivery to marginalised communities. And in the Western Cape Province, Siphesihle Mbango from Khayelitsha was just six years old when her friend, Asenathi disappeared and was never seen again when she left her classroom to go outside to releave herself in the bushes. They live in one of the world’s biggest slums and must rely on inadequate temporary toilets like porta potties or chemical toilets to relieve themselves, while others have no access at all and have to use the fields or bushes. Using a toilet in informal settlements like Khayelitsha has become one of the most dangerous activities for residents, particularly women and children. So much so that protest for basic services to the black communities has become a daily accordance and many have been injured and killed while protesting for their rights to water and sanitation.

In the film, Yoel frees up space for dialogue with the characters, allowing them to tell their story in the most honest way and to share their truth. Furthermore, he manages to give them dignity – that inherent worth and value that is a birth-right to every human being but has been denied to the residents of this community. At its core “Excretapolitics” highlights the plight of the marginalized in South Africa, where leaders are driven by greed for massive profit and rely on offering undignified, inferior and temporary solutions instead of long-term solutions to its people.

Editor Bio

Tsholofelo Same Monare is a mother & award winning filmmaker & traditional healer. Her career as a creative director, film editor & podcast journalist has been a tool for storytelling, sacred activism, bringing healing to others and preservation of indigenous knowledge systems. Same uses her expertise in media to birth creative changes during the most tumultuous shifts in humanity today. She supports creatives, businesses & communities to creatively birth greater levels of justice, equality and integrity in the work space through heart-centred leadership. Garden of My Ancestors, her short film as director and editor, was selected by the Guardian newspaper as one of the “10 African films to watch out for” in 2012. The film screened at festivals such as Durban, Encounters, Nouveaux Cinémas Documentaires, Montreal International Black Film Festival, Luxor African Film Festival, Silent River Film Festival, Cape Town Black Filmmakers Film Festival, and the Female Power exhibition at Arnhem, Netherlands. Dk, Where Everything is Okay, a documentary she co-directed and produced, also was screened at the Female Power exhibition. Tsohofelo edited the BBC documentary Scars, which won the Best Sound in a Documentary Award at the DSTV Talent Incubator. She was the cinematographer for the documentary Soul Train, which received the Gold Panda Award for Best Photography in a Documentary at the Sichuan Television Festival. Tsholofelo has worked on the editing of a number of shorts in the NFVF Female Only Filmmakers Project produced by Bongiwe Selane. She is an alumna of the Berlinale’s Durban Talent Campus program.

Assistant Director Bio

Nahum Thulani Deke was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He produced the documentary The Creators (2012), which screened at San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Margaret Mead Film Festival, and won Special Jury Mention at the Montreal International Black Film Festival. Apart from working as editor at Bay TV, he performs political hip-hop.

Project Consultant Bio

Masixole Feni was born in Cape Town. His photography series titled A Drain on Our Dignity, which follows two sanitation workers as they maintain and clean portable communal toilets, was exhibited at Wits Art Museum and received the Ernest Cole Award. The series is also published by Jacana Media. Masixole is currently a staff photographer at GroundUp news agency.


Yoel Meranda (Kamara)

Bongiwe Selane (Blingola Media)

Director's Short Filmography
Director's Filmography as Producer
Director's Note
Producer Bio
Editor Bio
Assistant Director Bio
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