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Festival markets Basotho talent

mpho letimaMohalenyane Phakela

MASERU — Sesotho Media and Development celebrated the success of their third annual film festival with a gala dinner and award ceremony held at Lehakoe Sports Arena last Friday.

As much as the Lesotho Film Festival is aimed at passing different teachings regarding burning social issues in the country as a whole, the event is also intended to uplift and embrace the talent in this country, said the patron, Mpho Letima.

“We are trying to ensure that important messages are passed in the form of films.

“SM&D called on different writers and directors to bring forth their productions and we are delighted to have screened seventeen locally made documentaries and dramas throughout the festival.

“SM&D is celebrating the ambition and determination that is within Lesotho. We are basically trying to sell Basotho talent to the rest of the world through this initiative.

“However, we still believe that there are more issues that need to be covered and this can only be achieved if we work together as a nation because this is beyond an individual or group’s dream, but involves everyone,” she said.

The films that were screened during the festival have themes revolving around problems like human abuse, HIV syndrome and embracing Basotho culture.

According to the Director of Culture from the Ministry of Tourism, SM&D has done its part in trying to preserve Lesotho’s heritage and culture.

“The film industry is one that embraces creativity which, in turn, creates jobs and eliminates poverty. Ministry of Tourism and Industry praises SM&D for its initiative.

“To date, we are the only country without a national museum. The ministry has recognised this and it is already a project in the pipeline.

“Very soon we will have our own museum where the young directors whose work we are celebrating today will exhibit their work.”

Speaking on behalf of the local producers and directors, Kalosi Ramakhula of Moshoeshoe the Mountain King said this is a stepping stone towards the industrialisation of films in Lesotho.

“SM&D has helping develop our skills and passion. It is not only about us showcasing our talent but also selling Lesotho’s culture to other countries.

“We are hoping that the country will recognise our efforts as they will also create jobs for our youth.

“Apart from that, we expect the audience to throw around criticism because that will not break us but will help us rectify the mistakes that we might have not seen in our films.”

The film crews were presented with gifts just before the awards were presented and they were from SM&D and Mamoth.

The attendants were entertained by Matsopa theatre group.

The winners of the day were Moshoeshoe the Mountain King — best professional documentary, The Mirror — best professional documentary drama, The Collector — most inspiring film, Darkest Hour — best amateur documentary, Ke oa Mang — best amateur documentary drama, Meraka — best student documentary while My Father’s Daughter won the best student documentary drama


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