Designed to be a platform to show case Lesotho films, both local and diaspora’s production, the Lesotho Film Festival was launched in Maseru today 21st October, 2014. The festival will show twenty five (25) docudrama and documentaries featuring ‘The Man and I’.
“The Man and I is the LGBTI community documentary. This one can shake you. It features Sheriff Mothopeng, a girl who grew up to be a boy.” So says Sesotho Media Executive Director. Sesotho Media is a local organisation that strives to develop film industry in Lesotho and the Lesotho Film Festival is its project.
Also to be shown is ‘New Dawn’, a United Nations Development Programme supported documentary produced by one of the local prominent film producers, Silas Monyatsi. New Dawn is a documentary that reviews the 2012 National Assembly Elections of Lesotho which, for the first time in history, produced a coalition government in the mountain kingdom surrounded by the Southern African economic giant, Republic of South Africa (RSA).
According to Mpho, also likely to be interesting is ‘Miners Shot Down’, an RSA produced documentary about the Marikana incidence in which some Basotho men were shot dead.
Sesotho Media’s vision about the Lesotho film sector is to build the capacity of the country’s producers so that their productions are featured in the international market.
“We would like to break the glass ceiling in film industry and penetrate the global market”, said Mpho in an interview shortly after the festival launch in Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho.
The Lesotho Film Festival is a month long event that comprises of shows in public places in the districts of Maseru, Thaba-Tseka, Qacha’s Nek, Quthing and Butha-Buthe.
The festival is one of the Sesotho Media projects and besides it, the organisation is participating in the review of Lesotho Copy Right Law and development on the Lesotho Film Law to protect local production.
Challenges faced by the film industry in Lesotho include the fact that the industry is still at its infancy stage and it does not make money. In trying to address some of these challenges, local film producers have this year established Motion Pictures Association of Lesotho (MPALE). The association’s president is Kalosi Ramakhula who is a producer of ‘Moshoeshoe ; The Mountain King’. He is deputised by Mpho Letima while the Public Relations Officer is Silas Monyatsi.