Qual­ity the by­word at film fes­ti­val

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment - Mo­halenyane Phakela

OR­GAN­IS­ERS of the an­nual Le­sotho Film Fes­ti­val (LFF) say the em­pha­sis of the fifth edi­tion would be on qual­ity rather than quan­tity.

Held un­der the theme, #TellingafricanS­to­ries, the fes­ti­val will be held from 17 to 21 Novem­ber 2015 with the screen­ings to be held at Kingsway Cinema at Vic­to­ria Ho­tel, Al­liance Française and the State Li­brary in Maseru.

LFF was formed in 2011 by non-profit mak­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, Se­sotho Me­dia and De­vel­op­ment (SM&D), driven by the mis­sion to give Ba­sotho youth a plat­form to de­velop and show­case their film-mak­ing skills. The fes­ti­val’s ten­ta­cles have since grown be­yond Le­sotho’s bor­ders with the fete at­tract­ing en­tries from the African con­ti­nent.

Ad­dress­ing a press briefing in Maseru on Tues­day, SM&D Act­ing Di­rec­tor, Mamolefe Pet­lane, said eight lo­cal and 10 for­eign films would be show­cased dur­ing the fes­ti­val, a marked de­cline from last year’s 25 lo­cal films and 24 from other African coun­tries.

“We had 28 lo­cal and 15 for­eign sub­mis­sions this year, but some did not meet the req­ui­site stan­dards such as good qual­ity pic­ture and sound, as well as a clear sto­ry­line. As a re­sult, the jury had to re­duce the num­ber of en­tries to 18 from the 43 we had,” she said.

“Our theme for this year, #Tellingafricans­to­ries, is quite broad and the films that made it onto the list told the tale of the daily lives of peo­ple on the con­ti­nent.”

Pet­lane urged up-and-com­ing Ba­sotho film­mak­ers to as­pire for in­ter­na­tional film fes­ti­vals such as the Ber­li­nale in Ger­many and the Dur­ban Film Fes­ti­val in South Africa.

“I also urge stake­hold­ers such as govern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor to pro­mote the nascent tal­ent in Ba­sotho youth by in­vest­ing in their projects be­cause it is through them that Le­sotho’s story can be told to other na­tions,” she said.

SM&D LFF Co­or­di­na­tor Se­nate Pitso pitched in say­ing the fes­ti­val would take a dif­fer­ent form than last year.

“We had seven cat­e­gories last year cater­ing for both am­a­teurs and pro­fes­sion­als,” she said.

“How­ever, this time around we only have six cat­e­gories namely; Le­sotho Short Film, Le­sotho Doc­u­men­tary, Le­sotho Stu­dent Film, Le­sotho Fea­ture Film, Spe­cial Award and Jury’s Spe­cial Men­tion award. It is from th­ese cat­e­gories that the win­ners will be cho­sen.”

Pitso also re­vealed that SM&D’S re­la­tion­ship with the film­mak­ers con­tin­ued be­yond the fes­ti­val since the or­ga­ni­za­tion also mar­kets the films through coun­try­wide screen­ings they hold through­out the year.

Among the lo­cal pro­duc­tions to be show­cased at the fes­ti­val is the re­cently-launched short film Mar­riage at the Bed­side of Death which deals with abor­tion and pre-mar­i­tal preg­nancy among young peo­ple. Com­ing of Age, which premiered at the Ber­li­nale Film Fes­ti­val in Fe­bru­ary this year, will be screened at Al­liance Française next Wed­nes­day.

The doc­u­men­tary fol­lows the lives of four teenagers, Lefa Let­sie, Se­nate Mosothoane as well as Retha­bile and Mosaku Le­selo, as they grow up and face life’s chal­lenges in the re­mote and moun­tain­ous Ha Sekake in Qacha’s Nek.

The fes­ti­val will also fea­ture its first an­i­mated film, Restora­tion of Peace, a 10-minute flick high­light­ing some of the chal­lenges fac­ing the coun­try such as political in­sta­bil­ity and the famo-re­lated killings.

Kingsway Cinema will, on Thurs­day, screen the doc­u­men­tary Chameleon which fol­lows Anas Are­meyaw Anas, an in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist from Ghana who ex­poses hu­man rights abuses and vi­o­la­tions as well as cor­rup­tion in Sub-sa­ha­ran Africa.

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