Lesotho film festival kicks off at Sterkinekor

MASERU — The Sesotho Media and Development will beginning tomorrow host the Lesotho Film Festival at Sterkinekor in Maseru.

The three-day festival will showcase international and African films at Pioneer Shopping Centre.

Admission is free.

Sesotho Media and Development is a non-profit making organisation that is active in the non-commercial exhibition of educational videos.

It also screens films through facilitated film sessions with the Mobile Cinema Unit at its Resource Centre.

Sesotho Media and Development’s ‘Mamolefe Petlane, who is co-ordinating the festival, said the festival is meant to popularise the film genre in Lesotho.

“This is a pilot project. It will showcase an international selection of films focusing on socially and politically relevant topics starting from Friday (tomorrow),” Petlane said.

She said the aim is to create a socially conscious cinema audience in Lesotho.

The festival also seek to motivate local film-makers by providing a platform to screen their films.

“This is a festival that will create a screening platform for both international and local films,” Petlane said.

“The festival is a free event to attract a huge audience,” Petlane said.

Magnus Kossmann from Sesotho Media and Development said the initiative was established to close gaps that had been identified in the local film industry.

“There is a visible gap in the film industry. People are not really active in film while local filmmakers don’t have anything to motivate them to continue producing films,” Kossmann said.

“The festival constitutes a platform for the screening of local and international films,” he said.

The festival will showcase films that tackle political and social issues faced by other African countries.

“We will be showing films that communicate different information ranging from democracy, the impact of international aid and other political issues,” Kossmann said.

 “We spoke with Limkokwing’ School of Film and local filmmakers to submit their productions and the selection has been very tricky.

Local films such as Lilaphalapha and Moferefere will be screened.

“We want to involve students to motivate them to pursue filmmaking as a career to grow the industry,” Kossmann said.

“We don’t want the students to just produce and pack their products without having the platform of being screened. We therefore want to make the festival an annual event,” he said.

He added: “We will be showcasing six local and 11 international films to cater for the different types of audiences.”

“We hope to get people flocking in for three days to witness both international and local film productions. The screenings will start in the afternoon until late in the evening.

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