American filmmaker scouts for actors

By Lerato Matheka

 MASERU — An American filmmaker is looking for Basotho actors to feature in a film, The Forgotten Kingdom, set for shooting in March.

Auditions for the roles will be held at the Mediterranean Guest House in Old Europa on  Tuesday and Wednesday.

The film will be shot in Lesotho. 

Andrew Mudge, the film’s writer and director told the Weekender that scenes for The Forgotten Kingdom that depict the summer season will be shot in March while those for winter will be made in July.

He said they were looking for actors to play seven main roles, 10 supporting and 20 for sub supporting roles.

There will also be hundreds of “extras” (actors that make up the numbers for scenes that require crowds like market places or funerals in films). 

The 90-minute film tells the story of a young man named Atang who was born in Lesotho but grew up in Johannesburg with his father after his mother died.

Atang comes back to Lesotho 15 years later to bury his father who had died in Johannesburg.

He intends to make the burial as brief as possible so he can go back to Johannesburg but then meets Lineo, his childhood sweetheart.

When Lineo suddenly leaves Maseru for Semonkong, Atang embarks on a journey to find her.

To get to Semonkong Atang gets help from Tau, a young and “streetwise” shepherd. 

The journey to Semonkong becomes Atang’s journey of self-discovery.

“He (Tau) helps Atang rediscover himself again as a Mosotho young man through the journey,” Mudge said.

Mudge said they will crisscross the country to look for a young actor for Tau’s role.

“We will be travelling to different parts of Lesotho in search of talent especially an individual who will suit the character Tau,” Mudge said.

He added: “The film is an investment as we are going to be using resources available in the country to put it together.

“The film was influenced by my first visit to Lesotho where I fell in love with the beauty Lesotho possesses, its beautiful people and the colour.

“I then decided to write a film that will provide the picture I saw to the international market,” he said.

He said he would like the film to be premiered in Lesotho before heading to America and the international market.

 “The American and international market I am looking at would love the unique core of the story and the scenery of the film,” Mudge said.

“The story is fresh and provides something that Hollywood is not providing at the moment,” the independent filmmaker said.

Mudge said when the film’s trailer was shot in 2006 more than 300 aspiring actors auditioned for the roles.  

“We are hoping to get the same support we received in 2006 where about 300 people pitched up for auditions for the trailer shooting of the film.

The trailer of the film features the likes of Gonzales Scout who starred in Kau La poho.

Papali Monyake, who is helping with logistics for the film told the Weekender that The Forgotten Kingdom is a sign that the local film industry is growing.

Mudge added that the film will see a lot of its crew and cast lodging and using local transport which will benefit the locals.

He said the film is financed by investors in the US and Europe.

Mudge said the film will be shot in Maseru, Roma, Semonkong, Leribe, Sani Pass, Sehlabathebe and Ramabanta.

“The places were randomly chosen with no tourism agenda in mind,” he said.

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