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Local film debuts at German festival


Sheriff Mothopeng in his documentary
Sheriff Mothopeng in his documentary

Mohalenyane Phakela

MY Name is Sheriff, a film by Sesotho Media and Development (SM&D), will be screened today at the Afrikamera Film Festival in Berlin, Germany.

The 35-minute documentary advocating acceptance of transgender people was shot and directed by Teboho Edkins, the son of SM&D founder and chairman, Don Edkins.

Through this film and personal narration, the main protagonist Sheriff Mothopeng talks to the audience about gender identity and the frustration of being born in the “wrong” sex.  ‘His’ spectators react with surprise and curiosity but also offer remarkable warmth, love and acceptance that ultimately encourage him to make his choice.

Afrikamera showcases films on African sexual orientation and cultures while providing a platform for dialogue between African filmmakers and the Berlin audience. It also facilitates exchange among filmmakers, producers and distributors.

This is Edkins’ second film in Germany after The Coming of Age which was screened in 2014. He and Sheriff are currently in Germany for the screening.

SM&D Director, Mamolefe Petlane said the documentary was a continuation of their yet to be launched film, The Man in Me.

“Our Film Retholetseng was in three parts which included Man in Me as a part where Sheriff Mothopeng was openly talking about being transgender,” Ms Petlane said.

“In this latest film, she visits different communities around the country to tell them about her life and how they (transgendered) are part of the society.

“The film will also be launched here in Maseru and the cast will be present to participate in the question and answer session that always follows our screenings. From there it will be shown in different parts of the country during our community outreach,” she said.

She said they were happy to have their second film screened on an international platform and this could open doors for more local film practitioners. She said locals just needed to learn about the requirements of international festivals so they would submit suitable material.


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