Documentary Fridays presents Botlhale

Published 21 January 2022 in Special project

Screening date: 22 January 20200

Time : 20:00 

Where: Dube, Soweto. Pop -Up Gallery

BOTLHALE who suffers a mental illness makes new friends and finds love when he’s institutionalised at a mental health facility. He and his friends plan an escape to Chicken Heart, a fast food joint, where they’ll live out their fantasies of being high society people, but their escape day collides with the shutting down of their home, where their lives come face to face with tragedy and death - Inspired by the true events of Life Esidimeni. 

In October 2015, the Gauteng department of health terminates an outsourced care contract with Life Esidimeni in order to save money and give effect to a policy to "deinstitutionalise" psychiatric patients. Almost 2000 patients were transferred to the care of their families, NGOs, and other hospitals. The process was subsequently found to have been a total shambles. In September 2016, it was reported that several of the transferred patients had died. Later investigation revealed many attempts to warn the health department of the consequences of transferring patients to NGOs incapable of providing the specialised care they required. These warnings were ignored and at the end, lives were lost and no one is held accountable - a South African loss, tragedy and scandal. 

Writer  and Director - Rea Moeti

Rea’s a Masters graduate from the renown National Film and Television school in the UK with experience in the film and television industry since 2007 ahead of completing her undergraduate degree at CPUT in Cape Town. Rea established her career as a writer, she then became a head writer on television series made for broadcast in SA. Her film directing debut was the award winning short narrative comedy The Virgin Vegan followed by another award winning short historic drama Mma Moeketsi, both with multiple International Film Festival selections and celebration. Rea thereafter began directing TV series and commercials, then establishing her production company Rare View Media in 2016 and becoming a resident director for commercials production company Platypus Productions. Moeti is a recipient of a South African Film and Television (SAFTA) award for her work as a Head-Writer for the hit female prison drama Lockdown for DSTV’s Mzansi Magic. Rea’s an alumni of the American Film Showcase which was hosted by the University of Southern California, she’s a fellow of the Cannes Producer's Network, DFM Access and The Gotham (formerly IFP). She's a SWIFT (Sisters Working in Film and TV) board member and also serves on the advisory board of the drama and film department of Tshwane University of Technology where she also lectured in screenwriting. She’s had the honour of being a judge for the South African Film and TV Awards best feature narrative writing category and being a part of the selection committee for the SA nominee of the Best International Film in the Oscars (Academy Awards).

Producer Zoe Ramushu