DATE: May 10
Director: Jenna Bass
Writers/Cast: Jenna Cato Bass, Qondiswa James, Nala Khumalo, Loren Loubser, Francesca Varrie Michel, Liza Scholtz
Run Time: 1h 11min
A passionate and versatile producer, writer and director, Marc Radomsky has made more than 200 documentary and drama programs for International and local broadcasters, winning nine awards and receiving numerous nominations.
More recently, Gut Revolution achieved the highest ratings in the ABC’s rebranded Catalyst strand. Struggle Street Series 1 (SBS) sparked a controversial media avalanche on the issue of poverty. With over 1.5 million viewers per episode, the series is the highest rating locally commissioned documentary program in the history of SBS.
In “Choosing Exile” (ABC 2002) Marc explored his own personal journey, leaving South Africa to migrate to Australia, winning Best Documentary at the 2003 Kalamata International Film Festival, and “An Australian Idol in Africa” (Channel Ten 2005) profiled the plight of the Child Soldiers in war torn Northern Uganda through the journey of Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian to the region.
Free Film Makers were associate producers of the Oscar nominated biography of Nelson Mandela, producers of the 8 part Channel Four Series ‘ The History of Soweto’ and pioneered the award winning “Ghetto Diaries” series, teaching township youth to use a camera so that they could film their own stories. In “Towards the Spotlight” and True Colour (SABC) Marc followed Grassroots township musicians striving to get their music into the mainstream and explored musical activism in post apartheid South Africa.
A group of young friends on a camping trip, deep in the South African countryside wake up to discover they have all swapped bodies. Their individual cultural heritage and experience of these strange happenings couldn’t be more different; and stranded in the wilderness, they will have to navigate a personal-political labyrinth if their friendship and their lives are ever to be the same again. The stage is set for comedy to turn to tragedy, for the fantasy of South Africa’s “Rainbow Nation” to become a painful awakening.
Crammed into a car, four friends are going on a camping trip. Their destination is an isolated farm in South Africa’s Northern Cape. It’s owned by Lexi’s (Francesca Michel) family, and she’s invited her two best friends; Politically radical Xoli (Qondiswa James) and happy-go-lucky Tatiana (Liza Scholtz). Without telling the others, she’s also invited a new male friend, Thami (Nala Khumalo), who’s chauvinistic attitude immediately puts the three young women on edge. What’s more, Xoli won’t let Lexi forget her white privilege, that her coloniser forefathers only own this land at the expense of the country’s indigenous black people. Tatiana does her best to keep the peace, but it’s only a matter of time before things fall apart. They’re all in their early 20’s, recent graduates of university and the national Fees Must Fall protests that brought South African colleges to a standstill in 2015, 2016 and 2017. To them, like many of their “woke” generation, the post-apartheid Rainbow Nation of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu is nothing but an ill-conceived fantasy.
Filming their journey and arrival on phone cameras, selfie-style, they capture themselves in the farm’s endless, haunting landscape. As the sun bakes down on their campsite, the friends do their best to get along and survive the weekend together. But the next morning holds an unbelievable shock: During the night, without any reason, all four of them have swapped bodies. Their reactions vary from horror to disgust to glee, but one thing is agreed; they can’t go home like this. They’ll have to get along just long enough to find a solution, but tensions are already mounting: Conflicts from the past return in force, things that have been left unsaid are said. However, when swimming in the farm’s reservoir unexpectedly returns them to their original bodies, Xoli, Lexi, Tatiana and Thami find it’s not possible to go back to their old lives as if nothing has happened. The stage is set for comedy to turn to tragedy, for the fantasy of the Rainbow Nation to become a painful awakening.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
“Short Film, ‘High Fantasy’, Uses Body Swapping To Explore Race Relations In South Africa” Odunayo Eweniyi – KONBINI.COM
“The Verge’s TIFF 2017 Awards” Tasha Robinson – THE VERGE
“‘High Fantasy’ — shot all on an iPhone 7 — tackles race, gender & class in post-apartheid South Africa” Nella Fitzgerald – SHADOW AND ACT
“‘High Fantasy’ is an artistic & intimate body-swap drama” Andrew Crump – THE PLAYLIST
“‘High Fantasy’ Is High In Quality, And One Of The Year’s Best Films” Edgar Chaput – GOOMBASTOMP