Locally produced film Stuck premiered this past Friday evening on DSTV’s Southern African channel, Zambezi Magic. The film, shot in Gaborone, is a fascinating story about how four colleagues who hold different positions in their organisation find themselves trapped in a lift.
Not only do they have to survive each other, but they also have pretty interesting lives waiting for them outside the lift and deep secrets. The 75 minutes film is produced by local company, Mangorelo Images owned by Dutch Palala and Mcdonald Kengaletswe. It features four main characters, namely Tefo Paya, playing the role of Mandla, who thinks that he is God’s gift to women. Although he is married, he does not respect his marriage, and chases after every skirt that he fancies and has very little respect for other colleagues.
And then there is Lucas Kgosi, playing the role of Kabelo, who is barely surviving and is employed in the company as a security guard. What is sad about Kabelo is that life is showing him flames, and he has to resort to selling some of his possessions including his cellular phone. At work, he attempts to gain the audience of his boss, in order to pitch a business proposal that can uplift him, but his boss played by Ruth Moore does not listen to him. Kgomotso Ratsie plays the role of Nono a receptionist.
Her life is also not so perfect. She is about to give up on life as she does not have the funds to pay for a much-needed kidney transplant, and is toying with the idea of taking her life. Not only that, Mandla makes fun of her and her shabby phone that has seen better days. The fourth person in the lift is none other than Morati Kgari from Colours. Wearing shades and on the outside appearing as if her life is put together, she also has dark secrets. Hiding behind sunglasses, she is battling to get out of drugs, and her abusive boyfriend happens to be a drug dealer. The sunglasses hide her black eye.
The four are hopeful that the other security guy who relieved Kabelo from his shift will rescue them. The guard is none other than Tomeletso Sereetsi, and is fast asleep on the ground floor. Of the four, calling for help is an impossible task. Kabelo does not have a phone, he sold it. Mandla’s battery is dead; his wife is waiting at home with dinner, and calling him a million times. Leah forgot her phone in her office, meaning that the only person with a phone is Nono, who is embarrassed to take it out.
The film was mostly shot at Kagisong centre. And the big scenes inside the lift where tempers flare, and egos are displayed is shot inside a ‘man made lift’. Speaking in an interview, with producer Dutch Palala, he explains that the film features a total of 17 cast members. He explains that in the beginning it was mission impossible to construct the lift, but that a team from AFDA came through for them in the end. “In the end it was a wow,” he says.
He also says that one of the challenges that they faced was funding, but that Zambezi Magic who commissioned them to produce the film covered the bulk of the costs. Shooting for Stuck started in May, and they finished production in August. Giving a brief of how they were commissioned, he explained that they pitched in December, and that early January they received a call that their proposal has progressed to the next stage.
He also explains that their company was established in 2015, and that they have previously produced short films that include Don’t Fall asleep. One of their projects, Small House, a feature film, he says might be shown on Now Tv. “Don’t fall Asleep was the opening act to the horror film, Annabel which showed at New Capitol Cinema’s,” he explains.