Local Filmmaker To Raise Botswana’s Flag At Festival de Cannes In France

actress on one of the scenes

actress on one of the scenes

Local filmmaker, Tumi Sejoe will attend the 69th festival De Cannes in France this year from May 11-22. Tumi’s short film ‘The Awakened Spirit’ has been accepted to partake in the court métrage short film corner; represented by 105 countries, a programme for short filmmakers to promote and showcase their films.

It is through this programme that accredited attendees get a chance to network with industry professionals, institutions, financiers and the most importantly international representatives in the film industry around the world. The programme also gives attendees access to conferences and workshops during the prestigious renowned festival.

The Festival de Cannes is an international film festival that takes place every year to celebrate cinematographic art. In the words of Thierry Fremaux the director of Cannes Film festival, “we exist to showcase new writing, new genres and new visual innovations of our time.” The purpose of the film festival is to draw attention to and raise profile of films with the aim of contributing towards the development of cinema, boosting the film industry worldwide and celebrating cinema at an international level.

The Cannes Court Métrage upholds the Festival de Cannes’ desires to develop initiatives, encouraging emerging talents as well as the particular format of short films. Inventive, often incredibly gifted, free and without constraints, shorts have forever carried high the values of Cannes.

The Short Film Corner proposes films from all over the world, most previously unseen, as well as the films included in the Official Competition, the Cinéfondation, the Director’s Fortnight and Critic’s Week. Providing a space in which upcoming generations can emerge is essential and is also one of the very purposes of the Festival. Short films explore the present and prepare the future. They showcase a variety of styles, identities, cultures and geographies.

And this is why, by providing a link between the Short Film Competition (and its Palme dO r) and the Short Film Corner (where everything that matters can be found), Cannes Court Métrage is the proof of the vitality of a world meant to become tomorrow’s Festival de Cannes Film Festival).

Sejoe is a local filmmaker based in Botswana. She has been involved in the film and television industry for over ten years and has experience in both local and international productions. Her creative background includes completing a mentorship programme at the BBC headquarters in London, UK which included directing a 10 minute short film G et Real Beeb featuring British Actor, Rudolph Walker(east enders). She is also a 3 rd Assistant Director on the upcoming feature film ’A United Kingdom’, starring David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike and Terry Pheto.

She was also involved in the production of ’The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency ’ as a 3rd assistant director under the direction of the late and great Anthony Minghella starring Jill Scott.

She also worked as a 2 ND Assistant Director on ‘Morwalela’ a ground breaking local television series produced By South African Production Company Traffic.

The Awakened Spirit is Tumi’s directorial début film project as an independent artist. The Awakened Spirit is a universal story of self discovery, set on the backdrop of cultural Botswana, its natural beauty and its people. An encounter with an elder woman leads to the unfolding of segametsi’s (lead character) life changing journey. The 15 minute short film is a cultural and inspirational film, performed in Setswana with English subtitles targeting an audience between the ages of 15 to 65 years. In recognition of Botswana Insurance Company’s support Tumi said: “I would like to commend Botswana Insurance Company, for its contribution to the success of The Awakened Spirit. It is through their support and contribution that The Awakened Spirit has been able to reach this pivotal stage of success.”

BIC is the first corporate organisation approached that invested and empowered The Awakened Spirit through its Community Social Responsibility Programme in 2014. The support was a boost to the development and progress of the film. Tumi highlighted that BIC has continued to remain a great support opening its doors and helping when needed. “It is without a question why BIC are the awardees of the Vision 2016 Award, (received in 2014) it is through such exemplary partnerships, that set them apart and in this case, shows the importance of the partnership of the corporate world and the important role it plays in the development of our local film and television industry,” she commented.

BIC is determined to positively transform the nation through its support towards the youth and developmental projects. The organisation has helped contribute to the success of the film production through sponsorship under its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. Film making in Botswana is still developing and faces challenges of producing international standard quality films and BIC believes it is important for the private sector to support projects such as these to contribute in the development, advancement and relevance of the film industry in our community.

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