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Entertainment ‘When the Sun Sets’ Director Phumi Morare Talks Oscar-Qualifying Live-Action Short

01:32  08 december  2021
01:32  08 december  2021 Source:   hollywoodreporter.com

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Phumi Morare is a South African writer/ director who is passionate about redeeming the African and feminine identity through cinema. She’s interested in using the Black female gaze to tell personal, human stories of everyday Africans. She also loves exploring African history, mythology and folktales in her When The Sun Sets Film Still. The Student Academy Awards is an international student film competition, established in 1972, that recognizes and honors student filmmakers who demonstrate excellence in the creation of motion pictures. Each year, college and university film students from all

Phumi Morare (Writer/ Director ) Phumi Morare is a South African writer/ director who is passionate about redeeming the African and feminine identity through cinema. She's interested in using the Black female gaze to tell personal, human stories of everyday Africans. She loves exploring African history, mythology and folktales in her storytelling. Phumi ’s short films have played at international film festivals including Telluride Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, and the American Black Film Festival. Phumi ’s short film Lakutshon’ Ilanga ( When The Sun Sets ) is a finalist for the 2021 Student BAFTA

Phumi Morare directs a scene from her short film, Lakutshon’ Ilanga (When the Sun Sets). Phumi Morare directs a scene from her short film, Lakutshon’ Ilanga (When the Sun Sets).

In October, Phumi Morare became one of only 17 filmmakers — and one of only two Black filmmakers — to win a 2021 Student Academy Award, in her case, the gold prize for best narrative film from a domestic film school for Lakutshon’ Ilanga (When the Sun Sets), which was her thesis film en route to receiving her MFA in Film Directing at Dodge College at Chapman University in 2020. The 34-year-old South African’s production re-creates an Apartheid-era crisis experienced by her mother. It previously screened at the Telluride Film Festival and was recognized with a BAFTA Award nomination. Now, it’s eligible for an actual Academy Award, for best live-action short.

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The short , inspired by a true story, is about a nurse negotiating her space and trying to protect […] Blackfilm.com correspondent Ellen J. Wanjiru sits down with Student Academy Award winner Phumi Morare to discuss her historic South African short film WHEN THE SUN SETS , why it was important to make it and what she learned.

The Oscars ceremony itself will be broadcast live from various locations, including the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, on April 25. The full list of qualifying films, with their casts, is available here . The gold medal in the domestic narrative category went to recent Chapman University graduate Phumi Morare for “ When the Sun Sets ,” with Columbia College Chicago and UCLA winning silver and bronze. The international narrative winner came from two German schools, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München, followed by the Canadian school York University.

What was your journey to this film?

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I was born and raised in Johannesburg, went to boarding school in KwaZulu-Natal and then studied finance at the University of Cape Town. After that, I did my first job in London, in investment banking, until I felt the itch to move into the film industry, which is something I first got passionate about in high school. I moved back to South Africa and did a leadership program at a management consultancy, which allowed me to explore my interests. One of my mentors encouraged me to pursue my passion, so I started working for a producer and helped with development and pitch presentations. But I felt really drawn to the creative aspects of filmmaking, so a friend encouraged me to apply to film school, and that’s how I made my way to Chapman.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled the 10 films that made the short list for Best Live Action Short on Monday. The films were selected out of a field of 165 short films submitted for consideration, the highest in Academy history. Among those films are three entries that The last time Spain chose one of Leon de Aranoa’s films over one of Almodovar’s was 2002, when the selection committee went with “Mondays in the Sun ,” which wasn’t nominated, over “ Talk to Her,” which landed Almodovar an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and an additional nomination for Best Director .

Phumi Morare on Winning Student Academy Award for Short Film Lakutshon' Ilanga ( When the Sun Sets ) Film director and writer @phumimorare has won gold at the 49th Annual Student Academy SPOTLIGHT | Phumi Morare Phumi is one of two Black creatives out of 17 students announced as

You’ve said you’re passionate about “redeeming the African and feminine identity through cinema.”

Growing up, I didn’t see a lot of representation of myself, meaning African and female, onscreen, and if I did see that representation, it didn’t feel holistic or authentic. Whenever I make a film, I want to make sure that those identities are represented in ways that are authentic and holistic and give people dignity.

Seven years ago, my mom told me a story about seeing her brother getting taken into a police van in 1985. During that time, a lot of young people were in activism against the Apartheid government, and whenever they were taken in that way by police, they were never seen again. She chased them down, screamed and shouted at them, made a scene — and it actually worked. Her brother was released. I couldn’t believe that my mother did that. I saw her in a completely different light. When I was thinking about what I wanted to do for my thesis, one of my professors said, “Do the things that haunt you.” This story had always haunted me.

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Also read: Oscar Live - Action Shorts : Let's Twist Again. The film is a touching, understated tale of a 15-year-old boy with cancer, who, when visited by a representative from a Make-a-Wish-Foundation-type group, announces that his wish is to lose his virginity. The short was written by Tom Bidwell Why make a short , a form with limited distribution and uncertain prospects, when Barnes could have been doing more lucrative work on television, and Waite could have continued with a TV and feature career that has included the Oscar -wining doc "Man on Wire"? "You work under certain constraints

The Oscars ’ Best Live Action Short category is often dominated by European films, but this year it takes that trend to an extreme: With entries from Spain, France, Denmark, Finland and Great Britain, the field is entirely European, without even the lone American entry that often provides contrast. Spanish director Crespo’s story of a horrifying incident that begins at a checkpoint in an unspecified, war-torn African country is already the most divisive of the nominees: In Contention’s Kris Tapley said it was “so affecting I had to take a breather when it was over,” while the Los Angeles Times’ Martin Tsai

Most Chapman MFA films are shot in and around L.A., but you were intent on shooting in South Africa.

It was a decision that I debated with professors and my team. Eventually the conclusion I came to was that we had to because of the authenticity of place, people and language. We embarked on raising the funds and organizing the logistics and pitching people locally who could assist us. It took about a year of planning.

You finally get to South Africa, and then the pandemic hits …

We were shooting in March 2020 and hearing rumors of the pandemic. It was stressful because it felt like we were shooting as the world was ending. On top of that, because we were an international shoot, we had funding both in U.S. dollars and in rands, the local currency, and the currency went wild during that time. Our budget was constantly fluctuating. We wrapped on a Friday and the country shut down the following Wednesday. It added complications to postproduction because I was stuck in South Africa for months, so I [met] with my editor over Zoom with a nine-hour time difference, and with my sound designer we constantly had sync issues because we were doing it on Zoom.

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How did you find out you’d won a Student Academy Award?

I was told I was going to be interviewed about what it’s like to be a finalist, but I arrived on Zoom and there was a surprise guest, [actress-director] Marielle Heller! She was there to tell me that I had won. I honestly couldn’t believe it, it was so wild. I was so shocked and wasn’t prepared for that at all.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

This story first appeared in a December stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Click here to read the full article.


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