A Breeze In The Palace Garden

PART I: emeralda - The Long Before & The Long After.

Nearing the end of her life, an aged accomplice wanders through the forest - lost and in desperate need to reconcile with her past.

PART II: olivine - The wild things in between.
Two young lovers elope into a life of crime and expensive thrills

  • thomas seward
  • mwami
  • maxine sibihwana
  • mwami
  • isaac sekalala
    Be A Good Girl
  • michael ogoso
    Be A Good Girl
  • Bilarh Nakuti
    Key Cast
  • Juliet Mutenyo
    Key Cast
  • Mariam Sufi
    Key Cast
  • mwami
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Music Video, Short
  • Genres:
    Romance, drama, suspense, experimental, surreal, cerebral, poetic
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 8, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
    Sales Agent
    Country: Canada
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - thomas seward, mwami

Thomas Seward is a fine art & fashion editorial photographer and filmmaker based in Nairobi Kenya. inspired by the shape, form and general disposition of the human imprint, he seeks to capture elegance and fluidity in an impactful and personal way. as a young practitioner, Thomas has made quite the name for himself within the fairly tight knit creative community in Nairobi, shooting editorial, music videos, fashion films and more for collaborators and peers within the extremely active scene. residing in the quaint countryside of kiambu however, Thomas's oscillations between the worlds of nature and cityscape mirror mwami's experience albeit one country over.

mwami is an audio / visual artist born and based in Kampala Uganda currently at the forefront of the growing alternative 'East African new wave' art scene. With his artistic journey beginning in sound, his sonic style carries an experimental edge to which he employs against the full spectrum of dance music - from house and techno to afro-fusion and amapiano. his venture into other mediums began by approaching his visual accompaniments in the form music videos, vlogs and documentaries all with the same left-of-center quality that made his music unique. much like Thomas, when he isn't at the heart of the Ugandan metropolitan city, pursuing creative exploits, mwami can be found two hours outside of the capital - on a farm, where he works with his family.

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Director Statement

A breeze in the palace garden is a firm attempt at an impressionist, somewhat surreal exploration of the passage of time and the often disjointed relationship that this may set in place between our present moment and our past selves. 'Emeralda' portrays our protagonist both in the prime of their youth and at the preicipice of old age, all within a shared moment, while 'olivine' portrays our protagonist within a brief and defining yet ephemeral encounter, stretched out into a lifetime. the essence of this rupture is made palpable by depicting the evolving nature of one character, over a long period of her life, as wholly distinct in form and manner from herself at another point in time, with the sense of choice and consequence depicted as a form of poetry that unravels within a non linear fever dream state.

written by maxine sibihwana and mwami, the films narrative structure borrows form and functionality from traditional East African storytelling - depicting the movement of plot through the evolving use of key thematic symbols and grounded emotional touch points (food, home, travel etc) the well known cycles of natural and spiritual order (night and day, birth and death, heaven and hell etc) and finally - local and universal human rituals (cook, clean, walk and run etc) -all contextualized within contemporary non linear story conventions.

Thomas cites influences from Ryan Marie helfant - responsible for the prolific cinematography on Solange's "When I Get Home". kenyan photographer Staice Shitanda - an established mentor whose guidance informs Thomas's approach to color, contrast and shape. Both Thomas and mwami cite Terrence Malick as a key influence - for his use of wide angle compositions and equally unconventional storytelling.

mwami goes on to cite Khalil Joseph, a profound directorial voice that pushed the medium of the "visual album" into new and very exciting territory with his work on Sampha, Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce's accompanying visual bodies of work. mwami's other influences include Wong Kar Wai for his strong and well grounded use of color within delicate and romantic compositions, Andrei Tarkovsky for his poetic exploration of the most spiritually universal human experiences and katsuhiro Otomo for his timeless and singular approach to fiction, composition, color and sound design.