Written by Fridous, Olamide and Ikeade.
On the penultimate day of the festival, we saw movies from filmmakers in diaspora and other African countries. Also, a Nigerian feature length animation film was screened. And somewhere in between, another networking event took place.
WATCH PARTY: ‘Ladybuckit & Motley Mopsters’ + Q&A
The feature length animation is a time travel adventure of a little girl, Oluwabukola, and the lessons she learned the hard way. The animation boasts a great selection of songs that will surely attract its targeted audience. The themes of friendship and possibilities are portrayed while addressing the fact that bullying is bad and when people do not attend to things at the right time, it can affect others, a.k.a evils of procrastination. It took approximately one year to produce the movie and twenty four animators worked on it. Also, the director, Adebisi Adetayo, advised upcoming/young animators, saying “if you’re going to give your characters life, you yourself must have a lot of life and read books”.
SHORT FILM BUNDLE: #TheKidsAreAlright
The List: The story follows a group of students whose names are put onto a list by an unknown person, a snitch. The short attempts to capture the life of high school students and the height students go through to avoid punishment, especially the shame of being called out at the assembly. The short film was directed by Gogo Clay and it was shot in Lagos, Nigeria. The story idea was conceived by the director in an attempt to revisit his old life, a walk down memory lane. Like he said during the Q&A, it is “a homage to my teenage years”.
Listen: The short film was directed by Udoka Oyeka and set in Nigeria. It relays the story of a young girl’s telepathic ability and how she rescues her fellow classmates from the hands of a teacher who harasses her. The short delineates an issue that has always been a problem in our society. It also serves as an avenue to give voice to the voiceless and make victims of sexual harassment speak up.
Morning After: In this short, Joe, a young man, brings a lady home from the nightclub. After a night of passion and intoxication, Joe forgets to sneak her outside early in the morning before his mother could notice. He later discovers that his mother is awake and has even washed the lady’s clothes. The events that follow this discovery are the point of climax in the short film. The short film was directed by Brian Munene and set in Kenya.
5 Ribbons: Two little boys in Salvador decided to leave their home to attend a big traditional festival for Senhor do Bonfim. The stories they heard from their grandmother prompted them to leave the house and make a special request. The 15-minute short film was directed by Vilma Martins and Heraldo De Deus and was shot in Brazil.
WATCH PARTY: ‘Pink Opaque’ + Q&A
The festival’s penultimate day screened the movie Pink Opaque, as written and directed by Derrick Perry. The film was produced by Mario Becerra and Elijah Boothe. It stars Elijah Boothe as the protagonist, Travis Woolfe. It is one of the diaspora entries for the film festival.
Travis Woolfe is a young filmmaker set to graduate from film school. However, he has a problem with his professor while finalising his thesis film. Complications arise as he runs against time to finish the film. He enlists his estranged uncle’s help but things go awry as family secrets are unearthed.
While trying to finish his film, Travis meets Kristen (Ruby Park), who he begins a relationship with. She has dreams of becoming a designer but has family issues as well. An opportunity opens in New York for Kristen and both their dreams and obstacles align.
After the movie, a Q&A session was held which emphasized on the film’s attempt to capture the intertwined social classes. The producers gave hints about their future productions, spoke about California, the restrictions of COVID-19, and how staple production companies won’t produce such a movie. They declared their pride that the film came through them.
WATCH PARTY: ‘Binti’ + Q&A
Before Pink Opaque came, Binti got screened. A film directed by Seko Shante and written by Angela Ruhinda and Seko Shante. Angela Ruhinda produced the Tanzanian movie. The film follows the life of four women, portraying their stories and tribulations, and by effect, the tribulations of most women in our society.
The Q&A session was quite mellifluous. The crew is female dominated, which, in a sense, is apt. The director and producer spoke on their problems while making the movie, the compromises they had to make, and the numerous friends, well-wishers, and family members they had to plead with for help. The efforts show that filmmaking is truly a communal endeavour.
WATCH PARTY: ‘Grace & Saleem’ + Q&A
The final screening on the third day served a delightful offering for a Saturday night, most fitting for couples participating at the festival. In this ‘When Harry Met Sally’-esque romcom, two polar opposites trying to briefly help each other out are forced to spend time together over the course of an eventful day. Filmmakers Jian Hennings (director, screenwriter) and Kyle Sahadeo (screenwriter), from Trinidad and Tobago, shot this film as a 40-minute school project before extending it to an 85-minute feature length film when they realised the potential. Playing the two titular characters are Kyle Hernandez and Ahevonne Metivier. While Hernandez’s acting skills are questionable, the story remains a pleasurable one to watch, most especially, in the first two stages of their 3-tier chemistry-filled friendship. As both characters gradually come together, two unique cultures, traditions and families are also unionized in the radiant film.
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