It’s not every day that you hear about a local breaking boundaries in the international film community. This is definitely something to be celebrated, especially when the boundaries speak to current narratives that play an important role in the emancipation and liberation of the most oppressed group of people on the globe; the black female.
Jerome Pikwane, born and bred in Kimberley, has indeed made us proud. Along with co –writer and novelist, Richard Kunzmann, the pair have written a chilling story for the South African and International audience to savour.
Although not the main intent, the film is premised on a predominantly feminist project and is set to hit our Kimberley screens on the 2nd November 2018. The film, The Tokoloshe, goes about a young black woman; Busi, who is a newly appointed cleaner in a hospital and who is forced to deal with the demons of her past in order to put it behind her and move on with her life. In the hospital, she meets a young girl who is also faced with the same torment. Together, they go about fighting the manifestation of The Tokoloshe in their lives.
“The good horror films always have females that have to overcome certain things in the story and these kind of horror films can really be good medicine for people to start engaging the type of social ills that are at play in this film. The lead character has to deal with both the real monster as well as the psychological monster. She has to deal with monsters that a lot of women have to deal with every day. There is a built in audience and once we realized people were going to start looking at this as a feminist project, we realized the importance of embracing the positives of it,” Pikwane explained.
There are few better ways to get a message across than through an engaging, capturing, visual medium. With a film that speaks to real South African stories and experiences, The Tokoloshe is the perfect platform for dialogue to begin, “Majority of the people watching horrors are young males. Men are part of the problem and therefore men need to be part of the solution, they have to be part of the discussion and reflect on their own behaviour.” elaborated Pikwane.
Making this film even more powerful is the fact that it is 100% locally produced.
From the soundtracks used in the film, all the cast, the locations and the production team. Pikwane went on to say that, “people don’t realise that South Africa has some of the best film infrastructures in the world. When you look at some of the South Africans that have made it overseas, you will appreciate that there definitely is a film culture in South Africa. We were extremely determined to have a 100% South African cast and crew. The exception would be that it has an international standard.”
Centred around excellent quality production, The Tokoloshe has been screened at over 10 of the top horror film festivals in the world; The Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea, The Fantasia International Film Festival in Canada and the Durban International Film Festival being three of them.
As a means of encouragement to the young creatives in the city, Pikwane urges the youth to explore and exhaust their resources, “The idea of becoming a film maker when growing up was just absurd, especially being from Kimberley. Now we are all globalised and we all have access to platforms like YouTube where the internet can actually teach you how to make films. It is a great time for young African filmmakers because regardless of which small town or city you’re from, you can be a film maker.
If there is anything that I would like people to take away from my journey it is that I am from Kimberley and if I can do it, anyone can do it. What would be most exciting for me is to see a young, black woman from the Northern Cape become a film director and go even further than what I have,” Pikwane passionately concluded.
Be sure to catch the premiere of this incredible local film at Ster Kinekor, Kimberley on the 2nd November.