CFMS Student Film Selected for 2 International Film Festivals
A film produced by a group of Centre for Film and Media Studies (CFMS) honours students has recently been selected for 2 international film festivals in 2021: Berlin Lift-Off in Germany and The African Film Festival in Dallas, Texas.
The Red Place, directed by Muofhe Raphunga, who also features as the subject of the film’s narrative, premiered at the Encounters International Documentary Film Festival in 2020 in the South African documentary section.
The film follows Muofhe Raphunga as she sets out to uncover past memories and traumas from her childhood by revisiting her hometown of Hamutsha in Limpopo. The narrative centres on her experience of forgiveness after her beloved uncle was shot in 1998 by a man who claimed it was a mistake. She speaks to former constitutional court judge Albie Sachs and to Candice Mama, the daughter of murdered anti-apartheid activist Glenack Masilo Mama, to help her interrogate what it means to forgive and how it affects the individual.
Asked what inspired her to tell the story, Muofhe said, “The question of what forgiveness meant had been lingering in my mind for a very long time. I started having small conversations about the topic but I realised that people do not normally discuss such topics, especially in the black communities as most are from a very conservative background, including myself, and that prompted me to explore it as a documentary.”
Muofhe admits that being the director as well as the subject of the film’s narrative “was a challenge that took an emotional and physical strain on me because I was digging up the past that was never discussed at home. They were painful memories that we all had to relive and overcome through prayer and support.”
Muofhe appreciates the support she and her group received from the CFMS. Dr. Ian-Malcolm Rijsdijk assisted the group to understand the political context of the film and “was willing to help with more information regarding the topic.” Dr. Liani Maasdorp helped with early scriptwriting and development and continued to support throughout the production phase. Dr. Julia Cain, the course convenor, “a remarkable being and an amazing lecturer… she asked me one important question that changed the outcome of the narrative: why is this topic so important to me? She was very professional, contributed in the development and production process, and encouraged me along the way until the very end.”
“The Success of The Red Place broadened my knowledge of the film industry and inspired me to start my own production company,” Muofhe said.
Director – Muofhe Raphunga
Producer and DOP - Geana Robinson
Editor - Pauline Shrosbree
Creative Producer – Julia Cain