Reminded of the animals she is paid to scrape off the side of the road, Nonna fears the inevitable day when she will be cast aside by society. Dissatisfied with her lot in life and conglomerate intervention into her homeland, she finds herself at a crossroads. Nonna faces a critical loss in her life, is forced to jettison all the layers of control to which society has subjugated her, and finally recognises what she must do to obtain true independence.
Petrus van Staden, Terence Makapan, Tebogo Malebogo
Vanishing Elephant (South Africa)
Petrus van Staden
This story operates in a modern South Africa that can at times feel stuck in place, for reasons not limited to gender roles, race relations and financial insecurity. That antiquity becomes heavily layered in the context of South Africa's prevalent violence against women and the patriarchal structures that subjugate them. Nonna’s story is not a new one. Foreign companies intervene across the country and strip the land of resources, selling the spoils to the highest bidder the world over. Instead of tackling the full scope of this issue, this story focusses on the phenomenon at an interpersonal level. It is a story of patterns of exploitation on many levels, and what must be done to break those cycles.
Tebogo Malebogo is a South African writer, director and producer currently based in New York City. His films have screened at the Locarno Festival, the New York Film Festival, SXSW, New Directors/New Films, and the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. His work has been acquired by MUBI, Topic and One Story Up, and he has received support from the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as initiatives at New York University, where he studied in the Graduate Film Programme. In 2021, Malebogo participated in the Berlinale Talents Short Form Station.
Petrus van Staden is a filmmaker based in Cape Town. Initially trained as an editor, he shifted to producing and writing in 2019, the result of a hunger for more involvment in the storytelling process. His work has screened at more than two hunder international film festivals, including the Locarno Festival, the New York Film Festival, the Cork International Film Festival and SXSW. He is passionate about diversity, collaboration and finding ways to uplift marginalised voices through exploring avenues to tell those stories with authenticity and justice.
August-September 2022, Karoo, South Africa
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