Film Festival gets underway

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Mohalenyane Phakela

THE seventh edition of the annual Lesotho Film Festival (LFF) which begins today and until Saturday evening will showcase seven local films and four from outside the country.

The festival will be held at different venues, namely the National University of Lesotho, Limkokwing University, Alliance Française, the British Library and State Library’s American Corner. The closing ceremony will be held at British Library hall on Saturday at 5pm.

The films to be shown are Phirimelloa, Thabelo, Love faded by Grave Dust, Maphoofolo, The Legacy, Ture Hearts, Sir & Kabelo, Engulfed, Army of Shadows, I am Sherriff and The Lucky Specials.

Speaking to the Weekender this week, LFF’s volunteering coordinator, Lepheane Mosooane said that the 11 films will be shown at the aforementioned venues as well as their centres in the country’s other nine districts.

“We had 15 local submissions but only seven met the criteria while from outside the country we had five and only one qualified,” Mosooane said.

“The other three on the list are from our sponsors, Lucky Special from the US Embassy, Army of Shadows by Jean-Pierre Melville from France as well as I am Sherriff which was shot by Sesotho Media alongside Steps from South Africa.

“The public can get the full programme from our Facebook page.”

He also said that the seven films will contest awards in the four categories of Best 2017 Film, Jury Award, Special Mention and Best Short Film.

The LFF is organised by Sesotho Media and Development (SM&D) and since 2011 has provided a platform for local and international filmmakers to showcase their work.

SM&D is a non-profit making organisation active in the non-commercial exhibition of educational videos. It is also involved in mobile cinema, with this year’s edition of the festival focusing on youths in a bid to encourage their participation in filmmaking and to help them speak out and express themselves freely and artistically.

A statement released by SM&D further reveals that the festival will be held under the theme of #HumanRights4Youth and is aimed at uplifting the industry.

“The festival brings you stories from Lesotho and across the continent, some of which are very personal and are aimed at making the audience question or rethink their attitudes and opinions.

“Our national submissions mainly tell stories of everyday lives of Basotho while the international documentaries investigate issues that affect Basotho as much as they affect the population in the countries where the films were shot and produced.

“The ceremony will provide an opportunity to award Basotho filmmakers for their contributions to the development of our local film industry. For our local filmmakers, the LFF presents an important platform to celebrate their work, speak out on issues, challenges and successes that many Basotho experience in their day-to-day lives. The festival brings together local filmmakers to be able to exchange their experiences, network and learn from each other.”

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