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Locals enjoy film festival

Khahliso Khama

 MASERU — Scores of local film enthusiasts on Thursday and Friday enjoyed a series of short films screened during the Gold Lion Film Festival in Maseru.

The festival — an initiative of well-known Swaziland-based writer, producer and director James Hall — showcases the best of the world’s short film and video dramas, animation, documentaries, musicals and comedies.

Hall told Xpress People he had brought the festival to Lesotho to encourage locals to take filmmaking seriously.

“We are here to showcase short films made by filmmakers from around the world and encourage filmmakers in Lesotho to start producing their own films despite the few resources they claim to have,” he said.

“This festival is also an eye opener to the aspiring filmmakers.

“It makes them realise the possibilities of making films without a budget and generating ideas from their everyday activities.

“With this festival, we hope to change the mindset of our young people who think filmmaking requires large sums of money.

“A real filmmaker makes a good film out of nothing.

“We are making these young people realise that they can use small tools like a mere cellphone to make good films.”

Lesotho’s edition of the Gold Lion Film Festival kicked off at Sterkinekor cinemas in Maseru on Thursday where local filmmakers and members of the public were treated to a series of short films from around the world.

The festival continued at Limkokwing University campus on Friday, targeting film and television production students.

The Limkokwing students also got the opportunity to present their own films to Hall’s Gold Lion Films.

If the films meet the set criteria they might be screened at various film festivals around the world.

“This festival is about introducing innovative filmmakers to a new audience and bringing the excitement of today’s Africa through film,” Hall said.

“We want the work of all filmmakers to be seen by the rest of the world.”

This was the third time to have the Gold Lion Film Festival in Lesotho.

The United States Embassy in Lesotho helped fund the festival in Maseru.

A representative of the embassy, ‘Ma-Lord Mefane, said they got involved with the project because it promotes cultural exchange among young filmmakers from different countries.

“The embassy found it necessary to get involved in the project because it addresses one of our missions of cultural exchange,” she said.

“The festival interacts youth from around the globe through short films which tell different stories affecting the world.”

“We need people who can tell our stories better,” Mefane added.

“It’s also important that young Basotho learn from the works of other filmmakers which is exactly what Gold Lion Film festival seeks to do.”

The festival will continue in Swaziland tomorrow before moving to South Africa and Mozambique later.

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