Mthunzi

The film follows Mthunzi walking home from the shops as he sees a lady go into seizures in her driveway - he is then asked to help carry her in by her niece and so becomes caught up in a world he does not belong.

  • Tebogo Malebogo
    Director
  • Tebogo Malebogo
    Writer
  • Petrus van Staden
    Producer
  • Nala Khumalo
    Key Cast
    “Mthunzi”
    High Fantasy
  • Inge Beckmann
    Key Cast
    “Charity”
    The Escape Room
  • Jamie-Lee Money
    Key Cast
    “Patricia”
    The Escape Room
  • Russell Crous
    Key Cast
    “Jesse”
    The Escape Room
  • Pierre de Villiers
    Director of Photography
    This is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection
  • Elu Eboka
    Composer
  • Greg Albert
    Sound
  • Vanishing Elephant
    Production Company
  • Petrus van Staden
    Editor
  • Film Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Drama
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 14, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    3,800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • 72nd Locarno Film Festival
    Locarno
    Switzerland
    August 10, 2019
    World Premiere
    Official Selection Pardi Di Domani
  • 57th New York Film Festival
    New York City
    United States
    October 7, 2019
    North American Premiere
  • 55th Chicago International Film Festival
    Chicago
    United States
    October 23, 2019
  • San Jose International Short Film Festival
    San Jose
    United States
    October 25, 2019
    Californian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • 38th Uppsala International Short Film Festival
    Uppsala
    Sweden
    International Competition
Director Biography - Tebogo Malebogo

Born in the United Kingdom and raised in Canada, Kenya, and South Africa, Tebogo Malebogo is a Writer/Director/Producer currently based in Cape Town. The son of a diplomat, his itinerant childhood exposed him to myriad cultures which inform his work today. Tebogo is interested in exploring what it means to be a first generation African born abroad, and characters who wrestle with a need to belong. He is currently developing his first feature film and entering pre-production on another short.

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Director Statement

The working title for our film was Proviso. A proviso is an addition or qualification attached to a statement, gesture or agreement. I feel all people have provisos attached to how they live. How they should act, talk, stand, dress, etc in order to be accepted in certain environments. A woman in an all-male workplace. A homosexual man who’d have to hide his orientation. A mixed-race person depending on what side of family they’re with. Mthunzi, our protagonist, is being reminded of his proviso. Despite being in this home to help, his race takes a forefront. Partially autobiographical, it’s a young man’s reminder of society’s snap-judgement of people who look like him.
The idea first came to me when I was walking through a suburban neighborhood and saw a lady faint in her doorway. I helped her grandson carry her inside and on my way out, one of her other family members questioned why I was in the house. I had to explain to him what had happened to his own family member. Even after explaining, there was an unease that stayed in the air, it clouded the whole scene and prevented us from seeing each other as anything more than society had conditioned us to see. He appeared ready to defend his family from me, a cue their dog took as it snarled at my feet on my way out.
As I sat on that moment, I began to think about the real fears we face in a country like South Africa. How we are conditioned, without it being our fault. I became interested in exploring those spaces, finding the limit. What happens if someone who looks like this enters this space? What are the stakes? How much explaining needs to be done?
We hope this project will be a way to interrogate these ideas. To use a form as malleable as filmmaking to interrogate a small part of our own place in the world, not only so that we can understand others, but for others to look into themselves and reconsider their own surroundings.