‘Forest for the Trees’ premiered at Riverwalk

·       The director of the film says the idea is to compel discussion of ‘unwanted’ family issues like treatment of children born out of wedlock


Young local filmmaker Ray Kotshe Maifala decided to defy convention with his debut film “Forest for the Trees.” By unmasking some nuances of family life, the film has ambitions of igniting conversation around trivial issues that can break families apart. The short drama premiered at New Capitol Cinema at Riverwalk on March 9.

Maifala explains: “‘Forest for the Trees’ is a metaphor to explain that small things can cloud the bigger picture if we allow them to. In the film, we tried to delve into the importance of family and in the same breath reveal some insignificant aspects that can destroy this essential function.”

Regarding how long it took to put the film together, he daws a lighthearted parallel with pregnancy: “It took a whole nine months for us to finally agree that we had a solid narrative,” he said. “In these nine months, we wrote, edited and dissected the whole film. It was a full pregnancy come to full term.”

He speaks highly of his production team and cast: “They put a lot into the film,” Maifala says. “The film was written by me, Chisambwe Kapiyha was responsible for cinematograph, Naledi Maifala took care of costume design, Kago Maotwanyane was great with visual effects, the music score was taken of by Lincoln Thuto Moanei and Chonas Bros., sound engineering was Francois Arthur Titus’ job and the aerial photography was Karabo Molema’s job, while editing fell to Kizito Bonna and myself. I was also responsible for directing the film. Greta team work!

The cast includes Nomsa Seitshiro, Tebo Magopane, Tlhompho Molema, Thabile Moyo and Boemo Modisetsi. “We hope to encourage audiences to reflect on the strength of their bonds. Family issues such as how children born out of wedlock are treated need to be addressed, if they are to be resolved,” says the filmmaker.

Maifala adds that they have several projects underway: “We are busy working on other projects that we will roll out once we have confidence that they are ready for public viewing. ‘Forest for the Trees’ is just the beginning.”