William Faure

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William C. Faure (b. Pretoria, 17/07/1949 – d. Johannesburg, 18/10/1994) was a producer and director. Also credited as Bill Faure.


William Caldwell Faure was born and raised in Pretoria, where he attended Pretoria Boys’ High School. After doing his military service he worked for SABC Radio as a production assistant and then joined the staff of the National Film Board of South Africa. In 1970 he enrolled at the London Film School, where Pieter-Dirk Uys was a contemporary. Upon completion of the course his final year thesis was published by Studio Vista as Images of Violence (1973). Upon his return to South Africa in February 1972, he joined the SABC as an editor (he was the editor of Manie van Rensburg’s Oom Willem en die Lord/1975), but as the organisation began to produce material for the belated launch of television in 1976, he soon became one of the foremost producers of documentaries for the English Service, as well as of stage spectaculars like the ballets Carmen and El Amor Brujo, both featuring Mercedes Molina and her company, and a television version of the play Salomé by Oscar Wilde.

In 1979 he produced the show at which the Artes Awards were presented and caused consternation when, afterwards, he announced his resignation from the SABC. Instead he went freelance and formed Combined Artists with Louis Moller. However, he did not break his ties with the SABC completely and continued to produce shows both for them and for the newly established MNet. Amongst these were the magazine programmes Prime Time (1984) for the former and Carte Blanche (1988) for the latter. He coordinated the gala opening night for the launch of TV2 and TV3 on 31 December 1981 and was responsible for the black rock opera The Master’s Plan (1983), which was re-broadcast multiple times and was entered for the Prix d’Italia. His most prestigious and most expensive production was undoubtedly the television series Shaka Zulu (1986), which was sold word-wide. His only feature film for the cinema was Plekkie in die Son (1979), with Jana Cilliers, Regardt van den Bergh and Eckard Rabe.

He also had a successful career not directly related to television. These included Miss South Africa and Miss World pageants, the Gala Promenade Concert for the 1980 Cape Town Festival at the Good Hope Centre, the staging of a symphony for voices entitled Follow the Sun by Dave Pollecutt for the opening of the Sandton Sun in February 1984, the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1986 South African Games and the 1986 Christmas extravaganza Wheel of Fortune at the Superbowl at Sun City. Not every project came to fruition. A projected film version of the stage musical Ipi Tombi was eventually completed by others and an anticipated film entitled Ricochet starring John Mills and Simon MacCorkindale was abandoned due to financial problems. Other programmes took ages to come to the screen, notably a two-part documentary called Parliament, which was said to have been started in 1975 and was eventually screened in 1983. It was generally felt that his most successful work was grandiose and extravagant, though with the exception of Shaka Zulu, none of it is currently available for reassessment.

In 1994 it was reported that he would be taking a backseat due to poor health and in July, while in the United States, he was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital with renal failure. Afterwards he returned to South Africa, but died in October of that year. Initially it was denied, but subsequently confirmed, that he succumbed to an AIDS-related illness. The musician/composer Duncan Faure (b. 1956) of Rabbitt is his younger brother and William is said to have produced the group’s first concert at the Colosseum.

Television Credits

1975 – Behind the Scenes at the Zoo (TV documentary) 1975 – The Show (TV documentary) 1975 – TV in Action (TV documentary) 1975 – The Gymnast (TV documentary) 1975 – Carmen (TV ballet) (with the Mercedes Molina Spanish Dance Theatre) 1976 – In Their Hands (TV documentary) 1976 – The Road to Statehood (TV documentary) 1976 – The Dingleys (TV series) 1977 – A War of Waiting (TV documentary) 1977 – El Amor Brujo (TV ballet) (with the Mercedes Molina Spanish Dance Theatre) 1978 – The Dancer (TV documentary) 1978 – Salomé (TV play) (with Jana Cilliers and Ian Steadman) 1981 – Tom Foolery (Staged play filmed for TV, with Michael McGovern, André Hattingh, Tim Plewman & Jonathan Rands) 1983 – The Master’s Plan (TV musical show & rock opera) 1983 – Parliament (TV documentary) 1983 – Touch of Excellence (TV documentary series – 1. The Swimmer, 2. The Actor (with Richard Haines & Sandra Duncan), 3. The Test Pilot 1983 – Razzle Dazzle (TV special) 1983 – The Bible in Soweto (TV documentary) 1984 – Emily Hobhouse: the Englishwoman (TV docu-drama) (with Kenneth Griffith & Hermien Dommisse) 1986 – Shaka Zulu (TV series) 1988 – South Africa in Search of Moderation: a Face Never Seen, a Voice Seldom Heard (documentary) 1988 – Evita’s Indaba (TV series) 1988 – Evita’s Last Decade (TV special) 1993 – Bon Voyage (TV documentary series as executive producer)


The Argus, 19 October 1994

Rand Daily Mail, 27 August 1976

Rand Daily Mail, 26 March 1979

Rand Daily Mail, 2 September 1983

Sunday Times, 10 December 1978

Sunday Times, 23 October 1994

Tribute written by Roy Christie published in The Star, 21 October 1994.

William C. (Bill) Faure, Wikipedia[1]


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