Hyman Kirstein

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Hyman Kirstein (1913 - 1981) was a film producer, director, editor and cameraman.

Sometimes referred to as Hymie Kirstein.


Born in London on 25 October, 1913.

He died in Johannesburg on 21 September, 1981

A long-time employee of African Film Productions, London-born Hyman Kirstein was the son of Jack Kirstein and Cecilia Rosenthal. He started working as a laboratory assistant at Killarney Film Studios in 1928. In the mid-1930s he became a cameraman, then turned to editing and in 1939 was responsible for the first sound issue of the African Mirror newsreel. He often worked with Joseph Albrecht, notably on many war-time propaganda shorts.

In 1946 he was sent to study new techniques at the Rank Studio and in the early 1950s he directed three features - Zonk! (1950), Hier's Ons Weer! (1950) and Alles Sal Regkom! (1951).

In 1959, with the coming of CinemaScope, he went to Hollywood to acquaint himself with the potential of the anamorphic lens, but became best known as producer or executive producer, frequently working with David Millin. He also worked on a number of films for overseas directors as the South African production associate. In 1956 he became General Manager of Killarney Film Studios and retired at the end of May 1977. In 1978 he received an honorary medal for his contribution to the art of film from the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns.

He died in Johannesburg on 21 September, 1981 after a long illness.


1936 - On tour in South Africa: land of sunshine and romance (Camera with G.F. Noble) (Director: Joseph Albrecht),

1936 - Tight lines / The song of the reel (Camera with G.F. Noble) (Director: Joseph Albrecht),

1938 - Die bou van 'n nasie / Building a Nation (Editor) (Directors: Joseph Albrecht & Andries A. Pienaar),

1940 - Sinews of war / Oorlogspiere (Editor) (Director: Joseph Albrecht),

1940 - Ayihlome (Editor with Emil Nofal),

194* - Reported Missing / Vermis (Editor) (Director: Joseph Albrecht),

194* - Wheels of life / Wiele van die lewe (Director), 194* - Manne van die see (Editor with G.H. Ehrlich), 194* - Over to you (Editor), 1944 - In diens van die mensdom (Editor), 1945 - Back to the land (Editor), 1946 - Deep victory (Editor), 1946 - After sixty years / Na sestig jaar (Editor) (Director: Joseph Albrecht), 1947 - H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth (Compiler & Producer), 1949 - Kom saam vanaand! (Producer) (Director: Pierre de Wet), 1950 - Zonk! (Director), 1950 - Hier's ons weer! (Director & Editor), 1951 - Alles sal regkom! (Director), 195- - Zebediela: monument to a pioneer / Zebediela: monument vir 'n baanbreker (Director), 1964 - Seven against the sun (Producer) (Director: David Millin), 1965 - Ride the high wind / African gold (Producer) (Director: David Millin), 1966 - The second sin (Producer) (Director: David Millin), 1967 - The Cape Town affair / Escape route Cape Town (Executive Producer) (Director: Robert D. Webb), 1967 - The jackals (Executive Producer) (Director: Robert D. Webb), 1968 - Majuba: heuwel van duiwe / Majuba: hill of doves (Executive Producer) (Director: David Millin), 1969 - Stadig oor die klippe (Executive Producer) (Director: Richard Daneel), 1969 - Satan's harvest (Executive Producer) (Director: Douglas K. Stone), 1970 - Taxi! (Executive Producer) (Director: Joe Stewardson), 1970 - Pressure burst (Executive Producer) (Director: George Canes), 1971 - The men from the ministry (Executive Producer) (Director: Tom Meehan), 1974 - Gold (Production Associate: South Africa) (Director: Peter Hunt), 1975 - The diamond mercenaries / Killer force (Production Supervisor) (Director: Val Guest), 1976 - One away (Production Coordinator) (Director: Sidney Hayers), 1976.


André le Roux and Lilla Fourie. 1982. Filmverlede. Geskiedenis van die Afrikaanse speelfilm. Pretoria: Universiteit van Suid-Afrika.




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