SMD hosts film fest


Bataung Moeketsi

SESOTHO Media and Development (SMD) recently afforded 23 filmmakers a platform to showcase their talent at the ninth edition of the Lesotho Film Festival (LFF).

The festival ran from 30 October to 2 November 2019 under the theme #TellingAfricanStories.

The festival screened 26 films at the National University of Lesotho (NUL), the State Library, Café What, Machabeng College, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology and Alliance Françoise.

SMD is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which aims to grow the festival into a national platform to “view and review development dialogues through the camera lenses of Basotho and international producers”.

Senate Pitso, the festival’s coordinator, told the Weekender the entries for the festival were submitted from April to September 2019.  The winning entries were selected by Mannini Mokhothu, Michael Motaung and Goitumetswe Moseki.

“Every year the LFF team invites local independent juries who may be artists, writers and filmmakers to judge the submitted films,” Pitso said.

“Films are selected according to how they contribute and influence change in Lesotho.”

Ms Pitso hailed the improvement in the quality of submissions this year while the number of local entries also improved.

SMD received 36 local and six international submissions. From these, 26 of were selected.

Pitso however, said they faced serious problems with the poor sound of some of the submissions. She however, said they would next month host a master class on sound engineering and script development.

The class will be held in Morija on 3 and 4 December and will be facilitated by Mosotho filmmaker Pheello Makosholo. Pitso said the applications for the 10 master class spots were already open and would close on 14 November.

The festival ended with an awards ceremony where four filmmakers received golden horn awards for their exceptional work.

Realeboha Mokhabi received the Best Short Film Award for Nyamatsana, The Hub received the Jury Award for their Lesotho music video, Zambian director Paul Luanga Jr received the Best Documentary Film award for Palesa and Khauhelo Lephema received the Best Lesotho Film award for The Curse.

Lephema said winning the award would motivate more people who look up to him.

“Winning the Best Lesotho Film Award means that people who look up to me will be motivated and that is where my excitement comes from,” Lephema said.

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