Ken Sara

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Ken Sara (b. Cape town, 08/01/1904 - d. Cape Town, 21/09/1970) was a cameraman.


George Kenneth Sara was born in Cape Town to Katie and George Sara, where his father was an outfitter. He was educated at Graeme College in Grahamstown and joined African Film Productions on 1 April 1920, just after the company had moved to their new studios at Killarney. At 16, his first job was to wash down the walls every day to keep them dust free, after which he was promoted to the dark room. When he married Elizabeth Joan Bromley in 1929 he was in Durban, operating the Avenue Cinema in Greyville, but soon afterwards the couple must have moved to Cape Town, because this is where, the following year, their son was born. Over the years he became an experienced cameraman, working primarily for African Mirror and its newsreel successors, but also contributing footage to various documentaries. Being based in Cape Town, he covered happenings in the Western Cape and, like Lynn Acutt in Durban, was regularly called upon to record notable maritime events, especially during World War II. In 1944 he filmed Cape Town’s Liberty Cavalcade, in May 1946 he travelled to Tristan da Cunha and two years later he filmed the annexation of the Prince Edward Islands and Marion Island, all for African Mirror. He also covered the royal tour of South Africa in 1947, the footage of which was used by British Movietone. Documentaries he worked on included Back to the Land (1945), Harbours of History (1945), Meet the Malans / Aangename Kennis (Kurt Baum/1952) and Tickets Please! / Kaartjies Asseblief! (Emil Nofal/1955). After 47 years behind the camera he retired in 1969 and when he died the following year an issue of South African Mirror included a tribute to his work. (FO)


On 1st January 1957, The Philadelphia Enquirer in the United States reported: “Mrs. Ken Sara was preparing a turkey for dinner when she discovered four small pebbles in the gizzard. Now she has been told they are gold nuggets. Where did the turkey come from? Nobody knows. Mrs. Sara bought the bird from a large department store that orders turkeys from all over South Africa”.


Cape Argus, 9 May 1964

Rand Daily Mail, 22 September 1970

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