Local filmmaker makes a mark at Rustenburg fest



MASERU – An aspiring Mosotho filmmaker has made a mark at the Rustenburg Film Festival in South Africa. The Rustenburg Film Festival, which was held from November 11 to 14, is an annual event where filmmakers from across the world meet under one roof to exchange ideas. At this occasion, participants also share knowledge and skills in filmmaking, watch and enjoy the nominated films and documentaries, and the best nominated films and documentaries to be awarded.

At this year’s event, South African company, Canon South Africa, gave out a free camera to anyone attending the festival who would share on social media their enjoyable moments of the festival. That particular individual was to be identified by the use of hashtags, and scored according to how many times they have used the festival hashtags. Rantsatsi Bert Mokeki, a 25-year-old from Roma, a National University of Lesotho graduate in social work, emerged the winner.

“It came as a shock because I think I was aware of the competition but I did not pay much attention to it, in the sense that I did not believe I would win it. There were hundreds of South Africa celebrities in attendance with hundreds of thousands of followers online so I did not think I would win it.

“I had been sharing the vibes of the festival over the days, but I was shocked to be nominated among all the others. And, also shockingly, I appeared the winner,” Mokeki says. He adds that he learned a lot from the best of South African creatives and some from the rest of the world during this occasion. The festival offered different programmes and Mokeki says he tried his best to learn from all of them. There were also film workshops, facilitated by best South African filmmakers and others from countries such as Botswana and Egypt.

“There were film screenings of filmmakers from across the whole world, from as far as the United States of America and segments where those particular filmmakers engaged in question and answer sessions to discuss issues pertaining to films and the film industry in general. We were also able to network with almost all filmmakers who were present,” Mokeki continues.

“On a personal level, I managed to network with several filmmakers, mostly from South Africa, Botswana and as far as Kenya. And for that I feel I have gained a lot from attending the festival. The plan now is to do a lot, much more than I have been doing to positively impact on our underdeveloped film industry,” he told Life&Style.

Mokeki was honoured as a winner of a M50 Cannon Vlogging Camera from Canon South Africa, one of the major sponsors of the Rustenburg Film Festival. “I am an aspiring filmmaker. I started this endeavour in 2018 when I auditioned for role in a film ‘Thoughts’ by Sekhankula Productions Agency. Through that experience I started going for more, and landed other roles in different local films, including ‘Sekoloto’, a 2019 by Pule Communications International, as well as ‘Radio Love Joint’, also by Pule Communications International in 2020.

“A number of these films I featured in were student films from the Limkwokwing University of Creative Technology,” he adds. It was in 2020 when he decided to go try his luck in South Africa, where he failed to get opportunities to audition – the Covid-19 pandemic hit hard on production houses and they were closed for a long period as a result. Mokeki adds that when business returned to normal it was very difficult to book auditions due to tight restrictions that were in place at the time. He says the only opportunity that came his way was being featured as an extra on dramas ‘Rhythm City’, ‘The Queen’ and ‘Kings of Joburg’.



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