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Kuxa Kanema has done sterling work raising the profile of African cinema, adding many films to mubi’s database, including some from Lesotho- a small, impoverished, beautiful, mountainous, landlocked country twinned with Wales that i would like to give its own space. Please see his marvellous list The Africa Project Part 3, which includes the country.
Starting from his efforts and a very sparse national cinema history, I hope to add films and information, as Lesotho’s cinema develops…
Films not on mubi:
Title: DESTINATION LESOTHO (1997)
Run Time: 22 Min.
Description: A social and cultural tour of Lesotho, with a focus on the Peace Corps presence in that country.
Title: AFRICA: TANZANIA, MOZAMBIQUE, LESOTHO (1992)
Run Time: 29 Min.
Description: Health efforts, peace negotiations, and minority and political issues are featured in this program. UN efforts in Tanzania to eradicate schistosomiasis – a tropical disease affecting 200 million people – are detailed. Families displaced by the 16-year Mozambique civil war are beginning to reunite, because of recent UN peace accords. Positive political changes in South Africa hold no promise of a better life for the men of neighboring Lesotho, who are the main labor source for South African gold mines.
Title: THE COLOUR OF GOLD (1992)
Language: In Sotho with English subtitles; narration in English.
Run Time: 52 Min.
Description: Focuses on the living conditions of men who work in the gold mines in Lesotho, South Africa. Four men discuss the danger of their jobs, money, AIDS, and the difficulties in having families.
BLACK RIDERS 2003 documentary about Lesotho’s Olympics-bound show-jumping team
Kaizer Matsumunyane is a winner all the way. Finishing his degree in humanities at the National University of Lesotho, his hunger for film found him sitting outside the office of The Cape Town International Film School until they gave him a scholarship. His second-year script won funding of R25 000, which he used to make a short film. The film won an award earning him the M-Net title of “Most Promising Writer”.
At the end of his studies, he returned to Lesotho where he worked for TV Lesotho before starting his own company. He entered a script into a competition for South African filmmakers by HIVOS/Sithengi. With the money he won, he made a short film called Untitled, which has been shown at film festivals like the Lion Film Festival. —Soulcity
His film Mapule’s Choice is on mubi.
Lesotho Film Festival
“From the 18th-20th of March 2011 Sesotho Media & Development (SM&D) hosted the first edition of the Lesotho Film Festival. Funded by Movies that Matter, in Amsterdam the festival was held at the Pioneer Mall Cinema in Maseru and outreach screenings were conducted at Limkokwing University and the National University of Lesotho.
The line-up included a selection of films dealing with human rights issues, courtesy of Tri-Continental Film Festival. Iron Ladies of Liberia and Please Vote for Me from the Why Democracy series were also screened as part of the festival.
The response to both of these films was overwhelmingly positive, with Please Vote for Me leaving the audiences in stitches! These films were also screened during the outreach screenings at Limkokwing University. The festival provided local film-makers with the opportunity to showcase their work and allowed audiences to meet the film-makers in person.
Overall the festival was a huge success, drawing close to 700 visitors. Sesotho Media & Development hopes to make this festival an annual event in Maseru.
SM&D is an NGO based in Lesotho that specialises in the innovative use of film for educational purposes on a range of developmental topics.
SM&D operates two mobile cinema vehicles, allowing films to be screened in the remotest of areas".
(Magnus Kossman from Sesotho Media & Development)
Lesotho also participates in the Golden Lion Film Festival which showcases films from Southern Africa.
LESOTHO: GENERALRead less