Chats film-maker’s career is rolling…
SIX days of filming in seven locations in KwaZulu-Natal, including the bustling suburb of Chatsworth, has paid off for Robin Gengan, writer and producer of the short film Gracie. The 52-year-old Chatsworth resident’s film will be screened at the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival, which will be held from October 13 to 17 at the V & A Waterfront.
Speaking to POST, Gengan said two hard-working years in script concept and development had finally paid off.
“The Cape Town International Film Market and Festival is one of South Africa’s major film festivals. Knowing Gracie has been officially selected for this festival is truly humbling,” he said.
The film is narrated by an older Gracie, voiced by Sibongideni Shezi, who reflects on her childhood in Durban.
Young actress Naledi Makhatini plays Gracie.
“It is about two sisters and a child, but with a twist. The core message is that there can only be one love in the world, but it takes effort and action not just promises and speeches.”
The father of two said he drew inspiration from Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird.
“We used an unconventional film-making narrative structure. Instead of the conventional three-act linear structure of Hollywood, we introduced an episodic structure with flashbacks between three different time periods. In this way, we can see the innocent world of little Gracie as we hear her thoughts of the adult Gracie in the same visual shot.”
Filming took place at Montford Primary, in Chatsworth, uShaka Beach, the Durban CBD, and at a private hospital in Pietermaritzburg.
Gengan said this was the perfect time for local film-makers to be a part of the industry.
“I have been told Chinese film stakeholders will be launching a special partnership between Africa and China… at the festival, so South African directors should keep their ears to the ground.”
Gengan is working on a Bollywood-style feature film, Online, with the KZN Film Commission.
“We also have a TV film, River Zana, contracted for development by the SABC and the project Vuwani is awaiting response from the NFVF (The National Film and Video Foundation) for script development funding.”
Gengan has only been in the film industry for three years.
“I worked as the regional support services director at World Vision International, Southern African region, before focusing on my passion for film-making. I am thinking of moving to directing as I love the creative dimension of film-making.”
Gracie will be screened on October 15 and 17 at 10am.