UKZN staffer and renowned South African filmmaker Mr Michael Hatton graduated with a masters in arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).
With 20 years of experience in the film and television industry, Hatton is still passionate about film and based his study on new paradigms within South African cinema. ‘The choice to focus on film was an easy one,’ he said.
His research focused on the implications of a transnational film theory for stylistic analysis in South African film studies. ‘One of the key realisations is that audience members have agency in the perceived homogenisation of globalisation. Audiences can emotionally engage and transform themselves through the images of the mediascape,’ said Hatton.
The most challenging for him was time management, but with determination, Hatton prevailed, and felt a great sense of achievement.
A highlight for him was discovering the history of South African film as written by Thelma Gutsche. ‘It was eye-opening and entertaining. It’s an old book that I might never have come across if I wasn’t researching film.’
To his support system, Hatton said: ‘My mom has been wonderful but then again she has been there since I was at school, always encouraging and always helping. I owe her big time. Also my supervisors, Dr Nicola Jones and Professor Anton van der Hoven – thank you!’
Hatton plans to complete his PhD and continue teaching at UKZN, especially his popular Summer Film School.
His film career saw him winning The Gold Camera at the US International Film Festival for his production “Mother Tongue”, Avanti awards for directing and scripting, best director at Durban University of Technology, finalist at both the Loeries and Sithengi Film Festival and many other awards and scholarships.
Hatton ran Mercury Pictures in Johannesburg for eight years. Some of his clients included Daimler Chrysler, Standard Bank, Anglo-American, British American Tobacco, Steers, Investec, SABC, MNET and numerous others. He also spent two years in New York where he studied film at New York Film Academy. Outside of film his interests include antiques, sunsets, video games and Irish whiskey.