In its debut edition, FACES cellphone film competition recognized the short film by Miss Jane Choolwe Nsanzya as the winning entry. In addition to winning an all expense paid trip to Mauritius, Miss Nsanzya’s film titled “Ignorance isn’t bliss” will be screened during the 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, taking place in Mauritius.

As a 3rd year LLB student at the University of Pretoria, we caught up with Miss Nsanzya to ask her a few questions about her experience with the FACES competition. Below are the excerpts:
  1. What was the inspiration behind the story of your film? 
    The recent spike in violence against women, especially on a domestic level, was the main inspiration behind the short film. 

  2. What were some unique experiences you encountered while shooting with your phone? 
    I had to hunt down selfie sticks and become an overnight expert in camera stabilisation. I didn’t have a tripod and couldn’t come up with a home-made solution tailor made for cellphone, so I had to focus on execution and come up with makeshift ways of ensuring stable shots. I also forgot that I was using a phone that would receive messages/calls. So there was one time while recording a very important and beautifully performed line, my phone rang, and the sound ruined that perfect scene and I couldn’t use it!

  3. What were the challenges faced during the production of this short film? 
    Casting: I wanted the best of the best. This was hard though, because I couldn't offer proper payment (just a free lunch). So sourcing talent to even just audition was tricky. I had to convince the cast that the benefits of being in such a short film is good enough as they would receive a lot of exposure.

    Location: acquiring permission to film on campus took weeks, and then booking the venue for a time that fit with the different schedules of cast members was nearly impossible.
  4. What is the biggest take-away you hope people will grasp from watching your film? 
    I hope that people will understand that our happiness as human beings start and end with us. Yes there are all sorts of abusers, monsters and negative people in this world, but the least we can do is be proactive in ensuring our own personal safety and happiness.

  5. Do you intend to make more films in the future using your smartphone? 
    Yes absolutely! My intention in the long run is to become a filmmaker – that is, a screenwriter and director. For now I will continue filming pieces on my phone, until I can acquire more expensive professional equipment. Even after this, I will continue filming with my cellphone.
Follow her on twitter logo@ChoolweJane
Be on the look out for the 2018 edition of the FACES competition
Short film


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