AN INDEPENDENT “Afropolitan” film about recovery and redemption will be shot in and around downtown Johannesburg during May.
The Missing Piece combines the talents of South African writer Cinga Maseti, Cameroonian director Cedric Wembe and Congolese producer/actor, Joe Kazadi. It tells the story of Joe (28), who has to find happiness again after losing his family.
“Life has totally taken the taste out of him. So he’s dry, dry, dry,” said Kazadi, who plays Joe.
The Missing Piece refers to a teddy bear owned by a little girl who befriends Joe. “This little girl is basically the only person that shows love to this guy. She smiles at him every time he comes to the park,” said Kazadi.
Their relationship turns when Joe breaks into a house in order to get something to eat, not realising it is the house in which the little girl lives.
Kazadi described the story as “beautiful” and said it was inspired by the married couple he used to live with. The story came from what he imagined life would be like after a man got married.
“I just wanted to show the people that there’s a lot that happens to a man after he has made that commitment.”
[pullquote]”I was just trying to show that this guy [Joe] is going to find happiness through his own talent.”[/pullquote]
He was also inspired by the love people had for each other and he wanted to teach the audience we should accept one another. “We want a person because they either have a talent or they have something that you need. I was just trying to show that this guy [Joe] is going to find happiness through his own talent.”
The overall message of the film, according to Kazadi, is: “We must never give up. If you look at the whole story, this guy is dry, [the] life is out of him and, where he has lost hope, that’s when somebody come(s) from nowhere to pick him up.”
Kazadi came up with the original story, but did not write the script himself. The script was written by Maseti, a graduate of Afda film school in Auckland Park. Maseti, who graduated this year, has made several student films, one of which was shown at Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank at Afda’s annual graduation film festival.
Kazadi handed over scribe duties to Maseti because he wanted the script to be written by a professional. They were introduced by a mutual friend. Wembe, the director, has worked professionally in the industry. Kazadi met him when they were playing soccer.
Kazadi himself has worked professionally as an actor. He appeared in an American series, Strike Back, which showed locally on M-Net. He also appeared in Jacob’s Cross, Ekasi Stories and Generations.
Commenting on his attitude to the African film industry, Kazadi told Wits Vuvuzela, “I’m not so positive about the way we make films. I would really like it if everyone took this job seriously to show the world that we too can win awards and we have that ability to make great films.”
He did not believe Africa had achieved that yet.
The film will be shot in Bree street in Braamfontein and in Hillbrow. Shooting will start on May 1, and will premiere at the Wits School of Arts.
Kazadi said he hoped to take the film further. “We want to take this film to as many places as possible.”