Going on a magical celluloid
ride with South Africa’s Chris
Saunders and Okzharp

Ghost Diamond is a new short film from Nataal contributing photographer Chris Saunders and musician Okzharp. It stars actress and performer Manthe Ribane as Ghost Kat, a girl who moves through a new African metropolis making precious discoveries and mysterious acquaintances. Her rhythmic choreography responds to the landscape and emotive soundtrack by Okzharp, Zaki Ibrahim, Petite Noir and Ribaine herself.

“A ghost diamond is something of great value, it goes unnoticed but still exists. It is spiritual and also tangible if understood,” explains Saunders. “It can have numerous meanings to different people in the same way music can have different meanings to different ears. Some will zen out and meditate to the sounds in this film, some will dance and others will read into the literal facts littered throughout the story.”


"A ghost diamond is something of
great value, it goes unnoticed but
still exists. It is spiritual and also
tangible if understood"


He and Okzharp met in 2012 and worked on two music videos for the Cape Town-born, London-based producer’s former band LV before progressing to this adventurous project.  The production was two years in the making and shot in Saunders’ native Johannesburg with a crew including designer Jamal Nxedlana of CUSS and Missshape and graphic artist Optigram. “We created a journey inspired by classic Japanese mythology and its uncanny connections to Zulu traditions. This played into the narrative, which is spoken by rapper and fashion designer Bhubessi (Khaya Sibiya),” Saunders adds. “The idea was to make something that makes you feel different each time you enter a new track, or episode. Additional effects by Optigram makes for a digital mash up of many elements - very much in keeping with the way the music was made between disciplines and across continents.”  

They’ve just debuted Ghost Diamond at Norient Music Film Festival in Switzerland and continued to London’s Rye Wax for a live show bringing the film to life through VJing and dance. Next stop is CTM in Berlin on 1 February and some of the music will be released later in the year on Hyperdub.

Watch the trailer here:


Photography  Chris Saunders