UP-AND-COMING filmmaker, Lepheana Mosooane, will tomorrow launch a short film entitled Marriage at the Bedside of Death tackling abortion and pre-marital pregnancy among young people.
The 16-minute film is set to premiere at Kaycees Club in Roma tomorrow, starring seven budding actors and actresses.
In an interview this week, Mosooane said the film was premised on the exploits of a 23-year old college student called Lesoetsa who, upon discovering that his girlfriend Mamello (20) was pregnant, tries to force her into having an abortion.
However, Mamello refuses to abort the pregnancy, resulting in Lesoetsa dumping her. Three years later, Lesoetsa is infected with KVR-2, a new deadly virus which kills a person within three days of infection. The only antidote to the disease is the blood of an infected person’s child. Lesoetsa’s mother then frantically looks for Mamello and her son. After being found, Mamello agrees to save Lesoetsa’s life with her child’s blood on condition he marries her on his deathbed.
According to Mosooane, the film was an alternative to the usual narrative of women being the victims in cases of premarital pregnancies.
“The film’s underlying message is for men to take responsibility when they impregnate outside of wedlock,” he said.
“Instead of producing a film in which the girl is always a victim, I decided to come up with a story where the boy is a victim and is saved by the blood of the child he wanted to abort.”
Mosooane said the film would also be in the running for the Lesotho Film Festival Awards organized by Sesotho Media and Development. His first film Darkest Hour won the Best Amateur Documentary gong in 2013 while his second, Last Tear Drop, won an award last year for being the best film made in 48 hours.
“Since I won two Lesotho Film Festival awards in a row while I was studying film production at Kick4life, I decided to produce another film for this year’s competition,” he said.
“The other objectives of this film are to unearth budding talent and address social issues especially those affecting young people and marginalised groups in society.”
Making the film, Mosooane said, was no mean feat since he had neither the financial nor human resources to complete the project.
“We struggled to find actors who were prepared to work for free, and finding free locations was no walk in the park either. Ultimately, we had no choice but to cast people who had not starred in any film production before,” he said.
“Most of the actors were National University of Lesotho students, and almost all our scenes were shot in Roma. We had only three days to shoot the film and the actors learnt their lines on set.”
Mosooane said the major expenses he incurred was hiring cameras, buying food as well as providing transport for actors and crew, adding that he had to dig deep into his pockets to bankroll the project.
“I had no money, and the only asset in my possession was an old car. So, I decided to sell it at half the price it was worth to get quick cash to finance the film,” he said.
“The other major challenge I encountered was land owners changing their minds on the locations they would have promised. However, despite the limited experience, limited time and limited resources, we managed to produce the 16-minute long short film.”