Arts & Leisure

Lesotho Film makes it to cinemas

Chris Theko

After being announced as the first ever Lesotho film to be selected for nomination at the 2021 Oscars, “This is not a burial, it’s a Resurrection” has now hit the big screens all over the world. 

The movie is being screened at Cinemas as part of the requirements for possible nomination at next year’s event which honors the best of the best in the film industry and the screening begins this Friday until December 05.  The movie is selected in the best international feature film for the 2021 Oscars. 

“This is not a burial” premiered last year in Venice’s Biennle College strand before winning a special jury prize for ‘visionary filmmaking’ in Sundance’s international competition. 

The film producer Cait Pansegrouw said this has been a surreal experience which none of them from the crew to the cast did not foresee.

“It’s a historic moment and this is the first film that is made by a Mosotho film maker, in the Sesotho language and filmed purely in Lesotho to ever be showcased internationally

“Since premiering this year in January, we have won 21 international awards and now we are the official submission for Lesotho in the Oscars.  It’s amazing that such a small film is already being called a strong contender,” she said. 

It stars the late South African legendary actress Mary Twala-Mhlongo as a life-weary 80-year-old protagonist and skims the real and spiritual realms, it’s the kind of myth-rooted, avant-garde Southern African storytelling that rarely cracks the international festival circuit.

It also stars SA actor Jerry Mofokeng WaMakhaoloa Ndebele as well as local greats Tseko Monaheng and Siphiwe Nzima-Ntšekhe in supporting roles. 

Pansegrouw said the late Twala-Mhlongo was the heart and soul of the film and she dedicates the success of the film to her passion and spirit.

“She was one of the extraordinary women that I have ever met, as well as a visionary hence she believed in our vision and put her heart and soul in it as if she knew that it would be her last film” she said. 

Earlier this month on the back of the nomination Newsday Arts got in touch with actress Siphiwe Nzima who was overly emotional as she shared her excitement and said the whole experience of the film could not be quantified into words. 

“It’s unbelievable, it cannot be put into words being in the presence of such legends; the superb Mary Twala and fellow Basotho actors who are quite big in this industry. I think all we can do is say wow because it really feels like a dream,” Nzima said. 

The film has so far gathered over 20 awards globally from 16 countries, some awards going directly to certain acts in the film while this one is a nomination for best international feature film at the 2021 Oscars.  ffff

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