New Capitol to screen local short films

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Creative Minds, Mmakgosi Tau and Neo Kebiditswe, will get a chance to see their short films screened at The New Capitol Cinemas inside Riverwalk Mall next month.

Tau, who is also a talented poet, writer and director, has a film titled Section 82 that will be screened on July 8, while Kebiditswe’s Hidden Scars will be screened the following day. Both films showcase struggle, abuse and violation of human rights that ordinary women face everyday.

According to Tau, Section 82 is a telenovela about the injustices of women caught up in and battling against abusive marriages. She told Arts & Culture that Section 82 tells the story of a highly educated woman, Montleemang (Pretty Phuthego) who got married to the man of her dreams, Dira (Omphile Mabine) until she wakes up a slave in a world completely new to her.

Section 82 explores themes such as slavery, abuse, jealousy, manipulation, and mental health. ‘Bokgoba - Ba Golegilwe’, a documentary on minimum wage by CineScent Films, inspires the film. “Modern Day Slavery has manifested itself in different forms and one of those is marriage. Forced labour, exploitation and the capitalist system makes marriage easily susceptible to a domineering patriarchal system that is a breeding ground for gender inequality and oppression. The film is not always escapism. In Section 82 my desire is to educate the audience on the sensitivity of modern day slavery,” she explains.

Section 82 is written in Ikalanga, Setswana and minimal English. Mompati Rantuana produced it. It is written and directed by Tau.

The film’s cinematography was done by Benjamin ‘Benstar’ Sediba and edited by Leano ‘Brand’ Ennetse. Tau is a mental health activist who was diagnosed with bipolar and depression when she was at tertiary school.  She overcame her challenges and depression through her immense talent in the art industry.  She uses her art to bring positive impact to lives.  Meanwhile, Kebiditswe’s Hidden Scars is a 24-minute play that is brutal, heartbreaking, and emotionally draining. 

It is a graphic social drama that showcases the shocking reality of rape, betrayal and infanticide.  “Even though it is an originally created film, it draws inspiration from everyday life in Botswana, where the media is constantly reporting on these social issues and also seeing them first hand in our own backyards.

The story takes place in the township of Old Naledi and it follows the journey of Keamogetse, a 14-year-old school girl who ends up being the victim of such problems that violate the rights  of girls and therefore ending up costing them their virtue,” she said.

Kebiditswe explained that their research revealed that there was a link between poverty and sexual abuse of women and girls. 

In this film, Setswana is used as the main language so that ordinary Batswana can get the message it conveys.

Kebiditswe said it does not undermine the severity of those problems, but tries to voice out against their increasing occurrence.  It is co-written and directed by Kebiditswe with the help of her co-writer, Kabelo Modise.  Lesedi Mphothwe and Kaone Moala produced it. 

The screening of both films is part of a Film Festival sponsored by AFDA Botswana and Riverwalk Capitol Cinemas, which are working to encourage and nurture an industry of locally produced film and television productions. They are a graduation film project by fourth-year AFDA Botswana Students that go by the name CineScent Films.  Entrance fee is P20 and both films will be screened at 7pm on each day.

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