Invest in film industry, govt urged
THE producer of the world recognised film The Lost Cause has pleaded for investment in the local film industry to enable film producers and other players in the sector to tell Lesotho’s rich stories and thus sell the country to the rest of the world.
Upcoming filmmaker, Lebohang Motlomelo, recently told Xpress People that having his zero budget film recognised overseas proves that Lesotho’s film industry has the potential to become a world-beater.
The Lost Cause garnered further international recognition when it was screened at the 8th Silicon Valley African Film Festival from 29 September to 1 October 2017 in Silicon Valley in the United States of America (USA).
It had already been screened at the Dieciminuti Film Festival (DFF) in Italy from 24 to 28 January this year, at the UK Screen One International Film Festival on 24 March and the Screen Test Student Film Festival in Chicago, USA on 22 April 2017.
It was voted the Best Student Film at the Lesotho Film Festival 2016 in November last year.
The film tells a story of lost love within a nation. It follows a young boy (Mosiuoa) who is left alone in the world filled with hatred when his brother (Ramonne) leaves for the liberation army camp four years after their father’s capture by the army.
The Silicon Valley African Film Festival was the first overseas screening which Motlomelo managed to attend after Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Software24Seven and GEM Institute collaborated to sponsor his transport costs.
Motlomelo – a Broadcasting and Journalism graduate from Limkokwing University in Maseru, said that although his film did not win, he was able to tell Lesotho’s story.
“The Lost Cause was nominated for an award in the Short Narrative Category and even though it did not scoop the award, it was fortunate enough to be part of the building blocks in the growth of film industry in Lesotho,” Motlomelo said.
“As a director, I received a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly. I was also interviewed by two of the media practitioners, the Jason Dunford social media blog and African Technology Foundation and I shared my story with the people of the United States of America and the world at large.”
He said that taking his film to global markets indicated personal growth, adding it was “amusing and shocking at the same time for a zero budget film to stand toe to toe with some of the world’s top films.
Motlomelo also said he realised there was a huge demand for Lesotho stories hence the need to support local film-makers to better sell Lesotho to other nations.
“The festival provided enough space for networking with fellow Africans, and Americans towards creating opportunities and connecting communities for growth, business and human relationships. Among others, the Africa Video on Demand delegates gave a presentation on how they will to collaborate with African filmmakers in their film distribution portal.
“During the festival, I met people who are eager to know about the tiny Mountain Kingdom and its mysteries, the stories of Basotho, their traditions and culture.
“In Lesotho, the film industry is still in its infancy therefore there is a guaranteed chance of growth should there be support from government, the corporate sector and public in general.
“The success of African cinema lies with African filmmakers but filmmakers cannot sustain the industry on their own. There is a dire need for support and investment for the industry to succeed,” he said.