“Small budget. Big heart. Thank you for all your well wishes.”
Mmabatho Montsho’s short film The Award Ceremony came out on top at the Worldwide Women’s Film Festival 2020 winning BEST SHORT FILM. This film had another official selection for the Pan African Film and Arts Festival taking place in Los Angeles! This means this filmmaker had two films showcasing in two International Festivals, a testament to the fact that she is one of the most incredible storyteller we have in our country.
The Worldwide Women’s Film Festival 2020 took place between 7-9 February and aims to empower women in the collaborative endeavor of film-making while shinning a light on women’s stories, stories by women, and other diverse experiences across all genders.
The Award Ceremony is a powerful film that is centralized around lack of shoes for schooling in poor South Africa one almost wants government to give kids free shoes & uniform! Starring Sindi Montsho, Mmabatho‘s mom and Kgalalelo Mfokazane.
‘Joko Ya Hao’, another film by this sensational storyteller is a film set in a small town called Gracetown during the 1955 forced evictions. It tells the story of Nozizwe (played by Simphiwe Dana) an aspirant preacher, who after failing to be ordained as a pastor because she was a woman, becomes a symbol of resistance and an anchor for the oppressed. A love letter to Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela. This film just got nominated for SAFTAs 2020 as Best Short Film. This film stars Simphiwe Dana, Sibulele Gcilitshana and Jet Novuka
Born in Soweto, Mmabatho started as an actress and now showcasing other aspects of her craft which is writing and directing. As an actress we’ve seen her on popular shows like Generations as Lumka Dlomo and on shows like Jacobs Cross, Rhythm City and one of the most successful films to ever come out of South Africa, Happiness is a Four Letter Word.
Her humble beginnings as a director dates back when she shot a web series titled Women and Sex to taking a director’s chair on the youth show MTV Shuga Down South, a drama series that follows the sexual lives of young people on the African continent, based on real life stories. Set against the clubs, bars and student hangouts of South Africa, a tale of love, betrayal, relationships and heartache among young people as they find themselves in this world.
Transitioning from actor to writer or director is not a walk in the park but we are proud that Mmabatho has managed to shine in everything she touches and turns in into gold. Next time you watch your favorite show, pause a moment and take a closer look when the closing credits roll, you’ll notice that she has made contributions to TV Shows like Thulas Vine, SAFTA-winning Emoyeni, Multi-Award winning Lockdown and more.
We’ve seen this multi-talented star turning her attention from in-front of screen to behind-the scenes work by writing the local hit series Lockdown, with an all-female star cast, notorious for its cliffhangers, plot twists and emotional rollercoasters, taking viewers into the daily battle for survival in the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility. Here she wore an actor and writer cap as she was starring and also headwriter for this season.
It is no doubt that Mmabatho Montsho is one of the most beautiful voices in our country and her passion in embracing other fellow filmmakers sets her apart. This year is off to a great start for her and we cannot wait to see her shine bright in the most prestigious circuits across the world.