C.P. de Leeuw Beyers

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C.P. Beyers de Leeuw (b. Pretoria, 02/12/1898 – d. **/**/****) was a photographer, filmmaker and administrator.


Cornelis Pieter de Leeuw Beyers was a teacher at the Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool in Pretoria whose passion for wildlife filmmaking led him to combine his hobby with his profession. He first visited what was then the Sabi Game Reserve in 1921, travelling from waterhole to waterhole on foot, with pack-donkeys carrying his provisions and equipment. His 1933 film on the Kruger National Park was one of the first to receive a Medal of Honour for Film Art (Erepenning vir Rolprentkuns) from the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Taal, Letterkunde en Kuns in October 1934 and was widely shown in both Pretoria at the City Hall and in Johannesburg at the Selborne Hall. Earlier that year he had visited the United States on a Carnegie grant to study the use of films in the classroom and upon his return he addressed a conference organised by the New Education Fellowship, his findings being widely reported.

In October 1936 he was appointed head of the newly established Film Division of the National Bureau of Educational and Social Research within the Department of Union Education and enthusiastically promoted the use of films for educational purposes. Subsequently some of his own films were purchased for distribution by VOBI (Volksbioskope Maatskappy Beperk), which took them around the country. Besides the film on the Kruger National Park (Inyamazane), which was said to have been twelve years in the making, other popular titles were Sihari (1935) and Izolo (1938). He wrote (and published) two books, “Kruger Park adventures” and “Lurking danger in the Kruger Park”. Though there was an insert listing his films with the first-mentioned publication, at times the titles seem more descriptive than factual and some of the films he is known to have made are not listed at all. The published list also refers to a film on the Kalahari Bushmen and to one depicting a Zulu wedding dance. The film Tooth & Claw, which survives in the archives of the University of Cape Town, may be a reissue of the original Kruger National Park documentary. In 1956 he was a member of the Inter-Departmental Committee of Enquiry Into the Production and Distribution of Films for Government Departments and State-Aided Bodies (FO)


Rand Daily Mail, 31 March 1934

Gutsche, Thelma - The history and social significance of motion pictures in South Africa, 1895-1940

Malherbe, E.G. - Never a dull moment

van Wijk, Stanley L. - Die film as opvoedkundige hulpmiddel

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