The making of Gaborone Film festival

Organisers of the annual 48-hour film Project are grinning from ear to ear following a successful installment of the festival this past weekend. 


With a total crew contingency of 96 people, eight teams shot and submitted their films during the festival. The public has a chance to see some of these works, when the films are screened on Sunday (October 19th) at New Capitol Cinemas (Riverwalk).

According to the organisers, the one of a kind event is an international film festival where filmmakers are given only 48 hours to conceptualise, shoot and submit a 7-minute short film. A project of this nature is characterised by high stress levels, raised blood pressure, sharp creative ideas and a world of madness and fun. The event is open to anyone from all walks of life whether professional filmmaker or amateur. One of the organisers, Thabo Makgato told this publication that this year marked the first time that Gaborone was hosting as an accredited city.

He said last year, Gaborone participated under Johannesburg, South Africa and that for a city to be accredited the founders of the event first had to assess whether the city has the creative and administrative potential to host the event of such magnitude. “We passed that test with flying colours,” he explained. But one might wonder about what is in store for those who are willing to put their creativity to a test. The winning entry according to Makgato from each of the 120 participating countries gets to travel and have an opportunity to film Palooza in New Orleans (last year Dee Zone productions represented Botswana - they even flew a team to the States).

And the good news is that the top ten teams get to see their films being flighted at the Cannes film festival which is the premier film festival in the world attended by most of the major Hollywood filmakers and studios.“On top of that there is also a domestic audience choice prize which is the only prize a late entry films are eligible for,” said Makgato. Furthermore, New Capitol Cinemas who are the hosts of the 48 hour film Project will be screening the winning film as a trailer to the big blockbuster film featured at the cinema. He also said that having seen the amount of talent that was displayed, the world is ready to see what Botswana has in store for them in film. “There is real passion and you could see people crying and fainting as they submitted their works.

It just shows that we are on the right track to compete with other international producers,” he said noting that one of their highlights was seeing producers as young as 13 years old taking part in the project. “We had successful storylines ranging from love, hijackings, and betrayal,” he added noting that they have managed to attain their mandate of giving a platform to film producers while at the same time giving the average person the experience of being part of the film making journey. 

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