Canadian filmmaker Martha Ferguson recently produced a short film titled Freestate, which brought together some of the country’s most celebrated talents.
BY TINASHE SIBANDA
The film premiered on the opening of the 2013 International Images Film Festival (IIFF) in Harare last week.
The cast and crew includes a powerful team of the who is who of the Zimbabwean film industry like Tsitsi Dangarembga who did the screenplay adaptation together with Melissa Webster and Ferguson.
It was produced by Daves Guzha and stars Stephen Chigorimbo, John Dennison and Kevin Hanssen.
Freestate is a 11-minute film based on a contemporary love story set in Zimbabwe, recounting a special relationship between a single woman and her married driver, emphasising the cultural hurdles that surround them.
The short film is a forbidden-love story depicting complicated relationships between the people in today’s southern Africa capturing two days in the life of a single, foreign woman, Michelle who is in her 30s, and her married driver, John who is in his 50s.
The two share a unique closeness, until Michelle breaks their bond. When their car breaks down, a shocking encounter with a helpful family forces them to address the accepted rules of behavioUr on their property.
“Inspired by the idea of bringing people from various places together I brought in a local crew and together with these wonderful people we made Freestate,” said Ferguson.
According to key actor Chigorimbo, Freestate was a story that could get under the skin of ordinary human beings as it involved the normal things in people’s day to day lives.
Hanssen, another key actor said the film brought out great collaborative efforts, unifying people from all over the world in one production. Guzha said it was important the film had been shown to the public at the opening of the festival.
“The fact that it opened this year’s IIFF shows that it’s very competitive also considering that it’s the first time to be selected to be consumed by a huge public,” said Guzha.
Freestate is currently receiving attention internationally and Ferguson said it would be showcased at the LA Short Film Festival end of August and afterwards at the Raindance Film Festival in London this September.