The South African short film “The Deal” has been announced as South Africa’s official selection entry for the forthcoming Essence Film Festival 2023.
This follows on the heels of the film’s recent triumph for Best Short Film, Drama at the Golden Bridge Istanbul Short Film Festival in Turkey.
South Africa will represent Africa, together with Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana. The festival’s music segment will be headlined by Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliot, Meghan the Stallion, and Wizkid.
“The Deal” delves into the complexities of gender-based violence and its influence on mental health.
Paul Modjadji, Play Your Part Ambassador, wrote and directed the NFVF-funded film, which stars great South African actors such as veteran Dr. Jerry Mofokeng, Abigail Kubeka, Aubrey Poo, Napo Masheane and Matli Mohapeloa.
The plot concerns Thandeka, an 18-year-old South African girl who becomes involved in a transactional romance with a wealthy guy. Botlhale Boikanyo, a poet and actress, plays Thandeka.
“This character’s story is one I resonated closely with and is unfortunately a saddening reality for so many women and girls in South Africa,” Botlhale said of her starring role in the project.
“I hope that through her story, we can reflect truths, educate, and change perceptions.”
The video dives at transgenerational transactional relationships, often known as “blesser and blessee” connections in South Africa, as well as the toll often borne by young ladies pursuing higher education.
The film’s central theme is the delicate border between coercion and consent.
According to a press release given to IOL Entertainment, the Essence Film Festival is the greatest yearly celebration of African American culture in the United States of America.
“The main idea behind the event is to empower and provide a platform for African-American musicians, artists, speakers, and entrepreneurs,” according to the press release.
“Every year, approximately 500 000 people arrive in New Orleans to attend this festival.” The event also hosts exhibitions and conferences, as well as a spa center and a large marketplace.”