Film producers appeal for support

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Founder and leader of Kay Jay Talk Show Keketse Oriel Jonane falnked by two of his actors

Bereng Mpaki

A GROUP of youths who produced a short film exploring the challenges faced by women in the country have appealed to well-wishers for financial assistance for its distribution.

Titled The Ignored Stories, the short film spotlights the abuses many young women undergo in Lesotho, such as vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infection, human trafficking, gender-based violence and poverty among others.

The film was produced by Kay Jay Talk Show (KJTS) — a local non-profit project working with youths to instil life skills through their talents to adopt healthy behaviours.

KJTS founder and leader Keketso Oriel Jonase this week told the Lesotho Times the film was meant to raise awareness on the challenges to ensure meaningful action could be taken to address them.

He said the film tackles issues such as teenage pregnancy, forced marriage, illegal termination of pregnancy, contraction of serious illnesses and suicide among others.

“The film focuses on how young women suffer abuse on a daily basis in the country be it sexually, physically or otherwise. Yet there seems to be little in terms of laws and policies being done to address the problems,” he said.

“Our intention is to impart educational messages that can inspire the youths to know and stand for their rights so they can lead normal lives and reach the potential they would otherwise not reach.”

Jonase, who wrote, directed, starred and is currently working on the film’s post production editing, also hopes the message carried by the film will spur the authorities into taking concrete action towards addressing the plight of young women.

Produced with a threadbare budget, the film was shot in different locations around Maseru and parts of Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek and Quthing. The cast and crew consisted of 24 people including 12 actors, eight technical staff and extras.

However, Jonase said their final hurdle was distributing the short film to the target audience.

“The truth is it has not been an easy job putting together the film without a real budget since we are not employed,” he said.

“So we are appealing to any Good Samaritan to help us finance the publishing and distribution of the film to reach a wide audience in the country.”

One of the actors in the film, Senate Letsie (21), said the major challenge they faced in producing the film was recruiting actors. She said many people turned them down when they realized they would not be paid for acting.

Letsie plays the role of Nandi, a character who provides illegal abortion services.

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