Award-winning local movie filmed on iPhones opens in select cinemas

2018-11-14 14:10
South African director Jenna Bass.

Cape Town – Jenna Bass’s critically acclaimed and award-winning film High Fantasy opens in selected cinemas this Friday.

The comedy drama first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2017 where it received rave reviews from critics.

Earlier this year it went on to win Best South African Feature, and the award for Artistic Bravery at the 2018 Durban Film Festival.

Shot entirely on iPhones Jenna and her cast Qondiswa James, Nala Khumalo, Francesca Varrie Michel, Liza Scholtz and Loren Loubser collaborated on the writing and production.

The film follows a group of diverse young friends who mysteriously swap bodies while on a camping trip on a remote farm and are forced to reassess their friendship. It explores themes of race, gender and politics in a South African millennial context. 


Speaking about the themes in the movie Jenna says that she tells stories about what is important to her in her own life at the time. 

“And at the time I was deciding to do High Fantasy, these topics were at the forefront of my mind and many other people around me. Not only were these conversations happening everywhere, they were all really part of the same conversation: Despite the rainbow promises, the system does not work for all, and we do not accept it.”

For Jenna filming the movie on iPhones allowed for more collaboration but it had its challenges. 

“The cast - the storytellers of this film - could literally participate on a far more collaborative level in showing how they saw things. I never doubted that they’d be able to do this; visual language via cell phones has become such a prolific skill, and the ‘selfie’ format really allowed the filming to be an extension of their acting. And of course they’re all very talented people.”

She continues: “The only challenge was that the iPhone would shut down at 40 degrees. And it was hot in the Northern Cape.”


The Labia Theatre, Cape Town 
15 – 22 November 2018 
R50 pp

The Bioscope Independent Theatre, Johannesburg 
16 – 30 November 2018 
R50 pp

Read more on:    local films  |  movies

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