SAFTAs12 nominee series: Q&A with Inxeba director John Trengove

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The 12th annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) will take place on 22 and 24 March 2018 at Sun City Resort in the North West Province. Managed under the custodianship of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) – an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture – the SAFTAs committee consists of the SABC, DStv, M-Net, e.tv, StarSat, the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) and the South African Screen Federation (SASFED).

Screen Africa chatted to John Trengove, director of 2018 SAFTA-nominated film, Inxeba:

What inspired you to make this film?

We wanted to make a queer South African film and specifically speak about same sex desire in the context of traditional culture. We were frustrated with the way that gay characters were being treated in our films. We wanted to see more complex representations of the LGBTQI experience.

What do you attribute the film’s success to?

The film has come along at a time when there is a lot of heat around the subject of Ulwaluko as well as the plight of queer people throughout the African continent. It’s a love story, but it’s more than that, it deals with themes that the whole world is grappling with, specifically the consequences of toxic masculinity. Most importantly, the story is authentic. It’s based on things that have really happened to people and it’s performed by an all Xhosa cast.

What will winning the SAFTA this year mean to you and the Inxeba cast and crew?

The film is currently fighting for its rights not to be banned from South African screens. It means a lot to have the recognition and support of the industry since the fight for Inxeba has become a fight for artistic freedom.

Watch the Inxeba trailer.

Keep up with all the SAFTAs12 action on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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