14:40 BLOCK 14 CROSSING
Drama (UK / Swaziland) 2018
Writer / Director / Producer: Toa Stappard
SYNOPSIS: A woman finds herself, lost in the deserted Swazi outback when she tries to locate an elusive community leader.
DIRECTOR BIO: Toa has directed six short films. These have screened in festivals including London Short Film Festival, Encounters Short Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, East End Film Festival, Angers Premier Plans and Busan International Short Film Festival, as well as being broadcast on BBC2, BBC3, Film4 and Canal+. He is currently developing his first feature, MĀRAMA, a Māori revenge drama set in Victorian England. Born in New Zealand, Toa is part Māori (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Huia). He lives in London and speaks German and French.
DIRECTOR STATEMENT: With EMKHATSINI, I wanted to tell a story about life between cultures and between life and death. My co-producer and lead actor, Sindisiwe Nxumalo, was invaluable during pre-production for EMKHATSINI, finding local cast as well as sourcing our locations. We were a minimal crew for the shoot (me and DoP, Nick Cooke), capturing drama in some unique spots and conditions, including: inside a tiny, smoky traditional 'beehive' hut, along the blazing hot edge of a burning cane field and on the side of 'Sibebe', the world's largest monolith granite rock, while an intense lightening storm flashed over our heads.Our focus was to enable truthful performances in the local language, siSwati, and to do justice to the generous, welcoming spirit of all those we met and worked with in the Kingdom of Eswatini, aka Swaziland.