Local filmmaker Tumi Sejoe’s short film titled The Awakened Spirit is set to premiere in the USA later this year.
Although she is still finalizing screening logistics, she has confirmed that the short film will be part of a film festival in New York sometime in December.
The short film also took part in the court métrage short film corner at the 69th festival De Cannes in France in May. It is through this program that accredited attendees get a chance to network with industry professionals, institutions, financiers and the most important international representatives in the film business around the world.
“This opportunity came after I showcased the short film at festival De Cannes in France this year. I went there with the hope of creating exposure, film distribution opportunities and some form of interest for the film. People there loved it and I was presented with another opportunity. I am very grateful,” she said.
While this would be the film’s second debut internationally Sejoe says Batswana will also get to see the film before the end of this year. “I am currently lobbying for support to show the film to Batswana. It has been a slow process to get other people and stakeholders on board but hopefully the screening will take place next month,” she said.
Sejoe also highlighted that she is working on creating a level of awareness where Batswana appreciate their own before the world does. “Here we don’t have a creative culture appreciation but it is a different story when you look at other nations. We need to change our mindsets, tell and appreciate our own stories before we take them to the world.”
The Awakened Spirit which is Sejoe’s directorial début, is a universal story of self discovery, set on the backdrop of Botswana culture, its natural beauty and its people. In the story, an encounter with an elder woman leads to the unfolding of Segametsi’s (lead character) life changing journey. The 15 minute short film is a cultural and inspirational film, performed in Setswana with English subtitles targeting an audience between the ages of 15 to 65 years.