One of the shortest films premiered at this year’s Zanzibar
International Film Festival (ZIFF) is simply called “Anguko”, which
means “The Fall” in English.
During the week, its’ Director and
Producer, Edgar Ngelela, an artist, who lectures at the University of
Dar es Salaam, told the ‘Sunday News’ for a long time he wanted to do
something different in film production and has been looking for people
to work with on it.
Actually he really wanted to make a
full-length feature film but could not get the funds for such a venture.
“So what I actually did was to write seven short stories, which I wrote
scripts for with a mind to start making them one by one.
Chances are when I reach five stories
I’ll start looking for grants. But then even if I have two of them there
would be something that I’ve done. They create credibility, so it would
be easier for me to look for grants. If they ask me what I have done
already, I’ll have something to show.
The fact that this one has been selected
to be screened in ZIFF, gives it even more credibility,” Ngelela said
when explaining his strategic plan and the outcome so far to the ‘Sunday
News’ earlier this week. It can be said that it is because of his
determination to carry out his plan that has brought him where he is
For when faced with a situation of not
having a sponsor, he scraped-up the required funds to make the seven
minutes and 46 seconds “Anguko” from his own pocket. In it he depicts
the fast moving world of today, with a specific concentration on the
This was a deliberate move, he states
because this group is constantly taking-in a lot of things without
separating what is important from the unimportant. Then he added to this
concoction the growing trend of young girls having intimate
relationships with men old enough to be their father. These two notions
Ngelela put together in a unique way to tell a story, in that now it’s
actually a misconception.
The entire tale is based on a young man,
Madaraka, played by Mustafa Masudi, who has just proposed marriage to
his girlfriend, Hollo, played by Janeth Lameck, but then he makes a
critical mistake when he saw her talking to an elder man.
It is only after he has taken certain
hasty actions that he finds out it’s her father, who she was seeking
advice from concerning the coming engagement, which should lead to her
eventual marriage. The film ends there. This style of ending is another
deliberate move by the director to leave room for the audience to think
whether the engagement or wedding will go on or not.
Although he did not have a large
audience, as he would have liked at the screening, in the Maru Maru
Hotel, there was a lively discussion after in which it was suggested
Ngelela should finish the story, preferably in a feature film format.
He admitted liking the role of Madaraka because he has found a lot of his age-mates to be of such character, whereby they often hastily take action without checking the details properly first. He also took the opportunity to add that in keeping with his name, he played the character to his best ability.
On the subject of the future of Bongo Movies, Mustafa says it can go to very high levels providing all sectors within the industry constantly improve their education related to the profession. The main problem he sees in local films these days is that too many of its practitioners are satisfied with doing what they are used to, instead of pushing each time for better.
Together with Mustapha was the lady who
played the role of his future Mother-in-law, Madina Hamis a.k.a. Zawadi.
Whereas Mustapha is relatively new to the profession, Madina has been
in the business since 1999, so it was interesting to hear what she had
to say on the industries future.
Although she was accepted as being able
when she started, she pointed out that she is aware this was solely
because of her talent. However, for her to continue doing justice to the
profession, she had to seek further training so that she can grow in
ability because talent can never be enough.
This is why she was pleased when she
heard that Ngelela had opened a small independent training school in the
Ubungo section of Dar es Salaam called Tanzania Film Training Centre
(TFTC). Now there was a place where actors like herself, who had no
formal training could go and fill that gap.
In fact the entire crew of “Anguko” are
students at this centre, which provides coaching on acting for film and
production. Armed with this information from Madina the ‘Sunday News’
went looking for Ngelela to hear his thinking behind setting-up the
It is because he knows that there are
many local amateur filmmakers, who want to make good films but simply
lack certain necessary knowledge or skills that he thought of settingup
this entity. He maintains that they cannot do something good without it.
So he set out looking for a group of
students, who he could teach what making films entails. He strongly
believes that by training more amateurs the future of local movies will
be brighter. This way the content and quality of the final product is
being built-up. Looks like he has a point for “Anguko” did have its
premier at the ZIFF, which ends on Sunday.
By IMAN MANI, Tanzania Daily News