AWARD-WINNING film-maker, Lebohang Motlomelo, has issued an appeal for sponsorship to enable him to travel to the United States of America where his film, The Lost Cause, has been shortlisted for an award at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival.
Motlomelo says he is even willing to produce commercials or any digital and video work in exchange for return tickets to the prestigious event at Historic Hoover Theatre in California from 29 September to 1 October this year.
The Silicon Valley African Film Festival seeks to promote an appreciation of Africa and Africans through moving images. Aptly themed “Africa through the African lens”, it is the only film festival in California that exclusively focuses on films by African filmmakers.
The festival has become an annual destination for out of state and international guests.
The Lost Cause has also 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, United States of America on 22 April.
The film also won the Best Student Film at the Lesotho Film Festival 2016 In November last year. It tells the story of a young man (Mosiuoa) who finds himself trapped in a world of pride, wickedness and evil after his brother (Ramonne) left him alone to join the liberation army in response to the capture of their father by the army.
Speaking to the Weekender this week, Motlomelo- a Broadcasting and Journalist student at Limkokwing University in Maseru, said that attempts to secure funding from government were fruitless.
“The organisers of the festival will only cover the accommodation and ground transport so I need about M 25 000 for a visa as well as return air tickets,” Motlomelo said.
“My efforts to get sponsorship from the government through the ministries of gender; communications and tourism failed as I either got no response or was told they do not sponsor such trips.
“I even propose an exchange programme where I produce a television commercial, corporate video or photoshoot to the value of the amount I need for my trip. I have my own equipment.”
He said it was important to attend the awards ceremony as this would foster working relations with other African and American film-makers.
“I have never been to any of the international screenings of the Lost Cause but this one is more important as it is about Africans therefore the spotlight will be on us and it will be easier to form working relations with prominent people in the industry,” he said.
Motlomelo’s invitation letter states that he will get to interact with the audience in post-screening dialogues as well as “visit with students in some of our local schools to share personal stories about their home countries, background and profession”.
“The Silicon Valley African Film Festival is the only film festival in California that is exclusively focused on films made by African filmmakers and each year, presents 60+ films by seasoned and emerging filmmakers from over 26 African countries.
“The 2017 festival highlights include: Red Carpet / VIP reception, a colourful opening ceremony flag parade featuring flags of the countries in the festival, African drumming and dance, film screenings, post-screening dialogue with filmmakers in attendance, theme parties, African market, fashion show, food, Diaspora Spotlight – USA and awards ceremony,” the letter further states.