The newly launched lifestyle television magazine show, UnpluggedBW TV – sister company to Botswana Unplugged online, which airs every Friday at 2030hrs CAT on the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Culture and Culture Development’s (MYSC) youth channel dubbed Now TV will see its director, Tumi Sejoe jetting out of the country as the only Motswana attendee at the internationally-acclaimed South African Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) slated for 19th – 29th July 2018.
Sejoe will join 18 other filmmakers from 13 African countries in Durban where the five-day event will consists of masterclasses, workshops, discussions, screenings, and specialized programmes for specific disciplines including directing, scriptwriting and reviewing films for print and TV.
This year’s theme, “Breaking Rules” promises to inspire new collaborations and initiatives. Talents will be afforded the opportunity to further develop their documentaries, features and short film projects through mentorships and expert guided Project Labs.
Selected projects will have the opportunity to join the Durban FilmMart two-day preparatory workshop, followed by two days of public pitching, round tables, and individual meetings.
“DIFF and Talents Durban will welcome 19 filmmakers from 13 African countries that will engage in numerous topics that consist of masterclasses, workshops, discussions, screenings, and specialized programmes for specific disciplines including directing, scriptwriting and reviewing films for print and TV.”
Furthermore, DIFF said, “The final 16 individuals were selected from 250 applications from 30 countries throughout the African continent. Talents, were carefully selected by an independent, international, woman-led Talents Durban alumnae selection committee.”
“In an intensive series of master classes, workshops and networking events, the continent’s up-and-coming filmmaking talents are encouraged to advance their careers and forge relationships with their global counterparts.”
Excited about her new endeavor, Sejoe said the opportunity will give her an ability to expand her budding career and advance the industry’s woes after the conference. Sejoe’s career is widely spread both locally and internationally having done project as far as Hollywood.
“I am extremely happy. It’s a great opportunity to advance my career and truly a steppingstone to start working on my next film. I’m really looking forward to it, you can’t stop learning and also it’s a chance to learn and better the craft. It feels good to be representing Botswana. I just hope my country is as proud of me for accomplishing such a success.”
“I’ve worked on two of the international productions that have come to Botswana, being the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency and A United Kingdom. I’ve worked with the Directors Team as a 3rd Assistant Director, which further afforded me the opportunity to work with some of Hollywood’s elite from Directors to Actors,” said Sejoe.
Amongst the star names that she has worked with in the past include the late Oscar Award Winning Director Anthony Minghella and Amma Asante, actor and singer Jill Scott, Terry Pheto, Rosemund Pike, David Ayelowo and Idris Elba just to name a few.
Besides being a reckoning force behind UnpluggedBW TV, Sejoe noted that she is currently working on other epic projects that will hit the local screen soon.
“As a filmmaker you can’t remain stuck in one production. I am working on other projects that can’t be mentioned as yet, but be sure to keep a look out for them as they’d be broadcast on television soon.”
Sejoe who has also worked on the local television drama series, Morwalela as the 2nd Assistant Director suggest despite the insurgence and mushrooming of television productions locally, the industry is still at an amateur stage adding that it needs proper monitoring to improve on the standards.
“It’s still at its infancy, but the narrative is changing, there definitely seems to be a lot of positive development. I’m hopeful that there will be substantial growth in the industry in the next five years.”
Among the many participants geared to attend DIFF include Aliki Saragas (South Africa), Amajad Abu Alala (Sudan), Brian Gitahi (Kenya), Comfort Arthur (Ghana), Desiree Kahikopo (Namibia), Emamodeviefe Edosio (Nigeria), Glele-Aboucha Cornelia (Benin), Howard Mashilo Nthite (South Africa), Jessie Zinn (South Africa), Mandimbijaona Nndriamaharo Razafimanantsoa ( Madagascar), Matamba Kombila (Gabon), Mlingane Dube (South Africa), Nildo Essa (Mozambique), Oluyomi Tolupe Ososanya (Nigeria), Oualid Khelifi (Algeria), Aade Adenirian (Nigeria), Tafadzwa Tarumbwa (Zimbabwe), Tokololo Masemene (South Africa).
Talent’s Durban is an initiative of the Durban International Film Festival in cooperation with Berlinale Talents, with support from the German Embassy of South Africa, the Goethe-Institute of South Africa, Gauteng Film Commission, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission.
Through the international programme, with a network that extends to Talents International events in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Rio, Guadalajara, Sarajevo, Beirut and Tokyo, as well as Durban, participants are initiated into a global community of filmmakers and connected via a wide social network platform operated through the Berlinale.