Wednesday, November 14, 2012



Jason Staggie joins The Morning Cruise to discuss

 'Hard Livings'


Director's Statement

I've always respected directors that attempt to make personal films...Hard Livings is a personal film. It's a personal film with far reaching tentacles.

I was 12 years old when I witnessed my uncle, Rashaad Staggie's death on T.V. I was 14 when my father was sentenced to twenty three years in prison. Needless to say, my life has been affected by gangsterism. I've seen its destruction at a very, very personal level.

I've always wanted to make films - I wrote my first full feature screenplay when I was 15. I was the first person in my family to graduate from university. I dabbled with the idea of studying law but instead I settled on Psychology and Film Studies, figuring that the Psychology aspect would enable me to create better characters in my future films.

I left South Africa after graduation...In  the end I was awarded a scholarship to go to Prague Film School in the Czech Republic.

As the years have progressed and my experiences have grown, I have been able to look at the whole gangster situation in Cape Town very objectively. Whenever I returned home it seemed like the problem just escalated as gang war after gang war took place. This upset me enormously because my family has paid dearly for their transgressions. I asked myself, why should future generations do the same?

At its core this documentary deals with South African issues, but it can easily be set in any poverty stricken or gang infested city in the world. Although to be fair, it would be difficult to find such a compelling story and such vibrant, charismatic characters such as my twin uncles


Gangs are a worldwide problem that many claim will never cease. As an extreme optimist I will do my share by making this film. I have seen enough death and I have seen enough struggle, thus I'm fully committed to make sure that this film's mission does indeed reach fruition. Jason Staggie - Director




Wednesday, November 07, 2012


5 Levels Up:

A Cape Town-based band that plays a mixture of R&B, jazz, dance music, ballads and soft rock.

Meet The Band:

M9 - Vocals

M9 is no stranger to the spotlight. She started her singing career in her high school choir and was often selected to do solo parts. Since then her passion for singing grew stronger and she joined team 5 Levels Up as their leading lady. She captivates audiences with her sultry voice and stage presence.

Mark Samules - Drums

Mark started drumming at a young age playing in his father's gospel band. He has years of experience playing as a session drummer for various bands. Mark has a serious affinity for making noise so being a drummer suits him just fine.

Paul Papenfus - Guitar

Paul is a keen songwriter with an interest in unusual chord structures, uneven time signatures and lyrics about people, life and its mysteries. His influences include mainstream acts such as Tears for Fears, Queen, Queensryche, Midnight Oil, Tool, Muse and Dream Theater but also lesser-known projects like Spock's Beard, Symphony X, The Dregs, Kamelot, Circus Maximus, Pain of Salvation, Bizali and Show of Hands.

Wesley Dwyer - Synths

Wes is the dark horse on synths. He comes from a musical family where music is a part of their daily lives. He was trained in classic piano at school.

Sergio Trout - Piano

Upon graduating from Cape Music Institute Sergio entered the local music scene playing gigs with established and rising acts. He had a growing desire to enhance his craft and enrolled at City Varsity in 2011 for a course in sound engineering. It was at this stage that his hunger for performing resurfaced and joined 5 Levels Up.

Rudi Abrahams - Bass

Rudi started his musical career playing bass in a church youth band. Since then he moved on to play in the senior church band. After a few years he decided to broaden his horizons and joined a hip hop band called STEREOTYPES. After years of performing with them he joined the 5Levels Up crew and never looked back.

Carl Adams - Sax

Since making his home in Cape Town, Carl has performed live with several gifted musicians, including great artists like Jimmy Dludlu, Camillo Lombard, Jonathan Rubain, Cameron Ward, Don Veno Prins and many others.

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