THE AFROPOLITAN film independently produced by Witsies is nearing completion despite its low budget. The producer says this is due to careful planning and because everybody “came to do it with their hearts”.
The Missing Piece tells the story of a Congolese man named Joe who turns to a life of crime after losing his wife and child. The film also shows the relationship he forms with a little girl whose only companion is a teddy bear. The title of the film refers to the teddy bear.
When asked why people would want to watch their film, director Cedric Wembe said, “The problems and the issues at play in the movie are problems people face not only in South Africa but everywhere else.”
Joe Kazadi, the producer and star of the film, funded most of the film using his money which he set aside especially for the production.
He said, “Everybody came to do it with their hearts, no one came for the money.”
Despite the budget, Wembe said it was the aim of the crew to use the best equipment to make the best quality film people would want to see.
Wembe said the problem with making a film in Africa is always budgeting. There is never enough money to make a film in the “African context” especially when the production does not receive funding from external funders.
Kazadi said, “We [were] looking for the way forward. What was the positive and what was the negative and then we decided, yeah, we’ll do that.”
According to Kazadi, compared to other productions, this film had the most planning behind it.
“With the other productions we just rushed into it, we were not prepared mentally for it. That is why it [other productions] was not a full success,” he said.
The film is currently in post-production. Kazadi is looking to premiere the film at Wits University. They chose Wits because the film is primarily a student film. Students from Wits and AFDA film school in Auckland Park came together to write and shoot it.
“Ninety-five percent of people involved or 90 percent of the people [crew] are people who come from Wits,” Kazadi said.
Wembe and Kazadi want to take their film to the Ecrans Noir film festival in Cameroon, the Fespaco film festival in Burkina Faso and a film festival in Cape Town.
The trailer for the film has been released and is available on Wembe and Kazadi’s Facebook pages respectively.