Feature film shows arresting beauty of Lesotho

first_imgAn engaging movie filmed against the vast and rugged wilderness of Lesotho – the first feature film produced in the picturesque mountain kingdom – unwraps the mystery and beauty of the region and its people. (Image: The Forgotten Kingdom) • Andrew Mudge Filmmaker and Writer Black Kettle Films andrewmudge@gmail.com • Cape Flats gang film an Oscar contender • American film industry on tour • e’Lollipop sequel soon for South Africa • A shot at movie stardom with Jameson • Education at the moviesMelissa Jane CookAn engaging movie filmed against the vast and rugged wilderness of Lesotho – the first feature film produced in the picturesque mountain kingdom – unwraps the mystery and beauty of the region and its people.The Forgotten Kingdom won the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography in New York at the 14th annual Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards in October 2013, and opens on screens across South Africa on 11 April. Carlos Carvalho, the director of photography, won the award for his masterful attention to detail behind the camera.Haskell Wexler, an American cinematographer, film producer, and director who was named one of the industry’s 10 most influential cinematographers by the International Cinematographers Guild, presented the award. “The tough city slum shooting in the film has the realistic edge of a documentary, while the camera moves are smooth, with painterly frames used as part of a transition to the lead characters’ memories of rural youth,” he told the Woodstock Film Festival.“The first frame is a lone man on a cliff, a distant, beautiful shot valid as a still. After a beat of six, the man moves out of frame. A visual transition to the urban. There are strong, other world, even mystical images at the remote mountain village… Carlos Carvahlo is a first-class shooter well deserving of this award. I hope the Woodstock recognition will encourage him to continue pursuing his artful career doing features like The Forgotten Kingdom where the story he tells is as integrated and important as how you tell it,” said Wexler.Carvahlo received $15 000 (about R157 000) worth of film camera equipment rental from Panavision, in New York.View the trailer hereA life on setHe has always been fascinated by the lens. After studying photography at the Port Elizabeth Technikon, Carvalho joined the film industry as a runner in 1992. Using his precise shooting skills, he won a silver lion at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. He works on TV commercials, feature films, documentaries and corporate infomercials, and has won several awards over the years.In addition to best cinematography, The Forgotten Kingdom also won the jury’s award for Best Feature Narrative, as well as Best Editing of a Feature Narrative. Africa is a hive of activity of international and local film production, and this movie gives Lesotho a moment to shine as well.“The Forgotten Kingdom is a profoundly visual story,” says producer Chris Roland of ZEN-HQ. “The first film ever to be produced in Lesotho, it’s a charming and captivating quest steeped in the history and culture of the Basotho people. We congratulate Carlos Carvalho on this significant win.”The film tells of the journey of an unemployed young man, Atang Mokoeyna, who lives in Johannesburg. He returns to his ancestral land to bury his estranged father, and at once is intrigued and seduced by its mystical beauty and hardships. These are the people he has forgotten.Inspiration from travelsAndrew Mudge, the writer, director and co-producer, says on the film’s website www.forgottenkingdomthemovie.com that the inspiration for The Forgotten Kingdom came from two trips he made to Lesotho and South Africa in 2003 and 2006. “I explored Lesotho’s remote areas, and became fascinated by this little-known country totally surrounded by South Africa. It’s such a visually rich place, it feels like a frontier, and reminded me of how the American West must have been 150 years ago.”The American says he wanted to capture this place on film, and tell a story that had elements of magical realism, a reflection of the mystical nature of the country itself. “The storyline came to me when I learned about men who leave Lesotho to go work in the goldmines of South Africa, and only return home in their coffins, usually victims of HIV/Aids. I suddenly had the image of a tough city kid building a coffin for his father, and his reluctant return to the motherland. That was the launching point of writing the story.”Mudge conjures up images of horsemen wrapped in blankets moving through snow-peaked valleys and thatched-hut villages lost in time. “I wanted to make a film that was primarily visual, told through the colours of the land and the faces of the Basotho people. My own experience of discovering this mostly overlooked country called Lesotho was like finding something exquisitely beautiful and unique. I wanted to convey that experience to an audience through the journey of the main character, Atang Mokoenya. This is a man who unwillingly experiences a life transformation when he returns to a place that had he long ago chosen to forget.”He spent nearly a year living in Lesotho before filming, he adds, collecting stories from the people, many of whom gave valuable feedback to keep the story culturally genuine. Despite financial incentives for filming in South Africa, he never considered making this movie anywhere but in Lesotho. It was never an option to have the characters speak anything but Sesotho. “The film is a universal story, but it is told from a unique perspective. My producers and I embraced the challenges of making a feature film in a country with mostly rough dirt roads, no professional actors, and no film industry (yet!). Like all journeys, it was a voyage into the great unknown.”The lead roles are played by Zenzo Ngqobe and Nozipho Nkelemba, both known for their work in numerous TV productions, including the e.tv soap opera Rhythm City. Big-name supporting roles include Jerry Mofokeng and Lillian Dube.last_img read more

Read More

Wet weather (and even a tornado) Between the Rows

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Zach Profit, Van Wert Co.Since last Monday we’ve had 7.5 inches of rain. Every day since then we have gotten a pretty good shot of rain and there is a 50% chance tomorrow and an 80% chance on Wednesday. We got hammered pretty good and then there was an EF0 tornado that went through about a quarter mile east of our farm. It almost wiped out a new house that I bought.I bought the house at 3 on Friday and signed the paperwork and at 6:55 that night a tornado went through the north side of the lot. It threw a branch at one side of the house but it didn’t really hurt much. There were a bunch of limbs down but it messed up some corn. The corn was flat. There was green snap but since we’d had all that rain, the wind just pushed most of the plants over.The corn has goosenecked and stood back up and it is looking better. Our neighbors took it a little harder than we did. Their corn was maybe shoulder high and after that it was maybe two feet tall. We had 5 or 6 acres of damage and maybe total there were 55 or 60 acres that got wind damage. I think there will be corn there but it may be kind of a bugger to combine this fall.An EF0 tornado cause damage in a small area, including the newly purchased Profit home with the red buildings.The National Weather Service was at my new house all day Saturday. Just two or three miles away it was barely windy enough to move the leaves. We didn’t have a tornado warning or severe storm warning or anything. It looked like it tap danced in our field. It moved northwest and most tornados move to the northeast. The whole low-pressure system we had last week was counter clockwise rotation. It was wild. We were lucky.In the wetter areas the beans are a little yellow. I think they will bounce back pretty quickly. Last week we were one more big rain away from having a mess and we never got that next big rain. The ditch banks never came out but they were full to the brim. If we’d have caught one more big rain the ditches would’ve been out and we’d still be getting rid of the water. Most of the surface water is gone and most of the outlets are running about half full.Wheat around here is standing good. There could be some disease pressure. We are wet right now, too wet to get a combine out there. If we don’t get more rain they could maybe get out there late this week.For the rest of this week’s reports, click here.last_img read more

Read More

Assam begins deleting foreigners from NRC list

first_imgThose excluded from final NRC can appeal in Foreigners Tribunal: Home Minister  “The civil administration had filed 24 cases against such people when the NRC first draft was being published. There papers were found to be forged,” the district’s Superintendent of Police Ankur Jain told The Hindu.Some of these people have since obtained bail from the Gauhati High Court and the lower courts, he said.NRC Assam’s State Coordinator Prateek Hajela had on July 2 submitted before the Supreme Court that some 1.5 lakh would be deleted from the first draft due to various anomalies. The first draft, published on December 31, 2017, had the names of 1.9 crore of a total 3.29 applicants.The 1.5 lakh included 65,694 cases of “family tree mismatch” while 48,456 cases were of married women who had submitted doubtful panchayat certificates. Another 19,783 were left out because of data entry errors. District officials in Assam have begun work to delete the names of ‘declared foreigners’ whose names had been included in the complete draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was published on July 30.In central Assam’s Morigaon district, officials have identified some 200 people declared foreigners by various Foreigners’ Tribunals or facing cases related to their doubtful citizenship.Assam has 100 such tribunals where people of suspect nationality are required to prove they are Indians.Also Read  200 in Morigaon“These 200 belong to 39 families scattered across the district. Some of them are declared foreigners while some others are suspected illegal immigrants with cases pending,” Morigaon Deputy Commissioner Hemen Das said.“Their detection was not based on any complaint. A mechanism we have in place helped us find their names in the draft NRC. We are deleting their names from the list suo motu so that people don’t lose their faith in the system,” he said. However, he declined to reveal their names or their villages of residence for “security reasons”.Fake papers in HojaiThe police in central Assam’s Hojai district too have filed charge-sheets against 91 people who had submitted fake documents while applying for NRC.Also Read The citizenry test: Assam NRC explained last_img read more

Read More

Houses arranged for families of Bhavkhedi victims in Shivpuri city: Jyotiradtiya Scindia

first_imgFamilies of two Dalit children who were allegedly killed for defecating in the open in Bhavkhedi village in Shivpuri district would be moved into two houses in the city, Congress leader Jyotiradtiya Scindia has said.“I had promised them that I will leave the village only after settling them in Shivpuri,” Mr. Scindia told reporters. “For now, they have been moved into two temporary houses having a room, a kitchen and a courtyard each…Nothing can cure the deep wounds the family has suffered. But being people’s servants, the least we can do is bring them succour,” he said. The construction of permanent houses would at least take a month, Mr. Scindia told the family. “I am going to pay ₹5 – 5.5 lakh from my own pocket for it,” he added. Besides, he said, adult members of the family would be given employment, and children their education. “Both the families will start staying at the houses from tomorrow,” Mr. Scindia tweeted on Monday, after meeting the families.Two houses had been arranged for the families, he said, besides ensuring their adult members employment and children their education. The houses would be allotted to them under a government scheme, District Deputy Collector Manoj Garwal told The Hindu. “As for a job, we will have to see what kind of work they will be able to do. Most probably, it will be a daily wage job,” he said. Besides, Mr. Scindia on Monday wrote to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath appealing to him to provide lifetime support to the families as they “belonged to the Dalit community” and were “poor”.Requesting assistance on humanitarian ground, he said both the families should be given 10 ‘bigha’ land each. Moreover, “immediate financial support of ₹50 lakh each for the affected families was important”.On September 25, as the two children were defecating in the open along a village road, two Yadav men struck lathis on their heads, killing them. They were later arrested.During an interaction with Mr. Scindia, the father of one of the victims pleaded with him for a house outside the village. “I am going mad here. I may consume poison. I want justice,” he said. The father of one of the victims had earlier told The Hindu the family had lived in fear since then and had decided to leave the village fearing intimidation by the family of the accused.“I don’t see people of my region on religious or caste lines. Only a cruel person could commit something like this… I cannot believe someone in my region could even think of doing something like this,” Mr. Scindia told the father.last_img read more

Read More