Swazi-born, writer and director Xolelewa 'Ollie' Nhlabatsi's film, 'Lost in the World', will premiere this week at London's Film Africa Festival, where it's up for a Baobab Award for Best Short Film. The short film is the first film by a Swazi director to make it on to the London Film Africa Festival list.
The film was written and produced by the young Swazi film-maker for Mzansi Magic in early February this year. It garnered so much attention and critical acclaim that it premiered at Pretoria's Independent Mzansi Short Film Festival in July and went on to premiere in Europe at Greece's Thessaloniki International LGBTQ Film Festival in September.
The short film tells the story of a South African police officer seeking revenge after her long-time girlfriend is violently raped and murdered. The cop, played by Johannesburg actress and stylist Honey Makwakwa, loses her mind and soul in the process of looking for the perpetrators.
Nhlabatsi, describes his style of writing as a mix of neo noir and dark comedy. "I wanted to write a film about love lost and revenge. I found the inspiration for this project from listening to USA artist Kanye West's song, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy', whose lyrics have 'Lost In The World', which he interpreted as a song about losing someone close but finding the strength to overcome it," he said.
At the time of writing the film script, Nhlabatsi was assisting a group of German journalists who had come to Johannesburg to investigate corrective rape. "After listening to the stories and hearing that the police hadn't solved any of the cases, I wanted to make a cathartic film for the victims and to a larger extent anyone who had suffered similar that maybe they could find some hope or strength," said Nhlabatsi during an interview with Okayafrica.