'Wrapped Up'

Third year UCT Humanities Production students (breathe) are required in their final semester to write, direct and produce a 10-minute short film of their own creation. A film we NEED to discuss and praise is ‘Wrapped Up’ which has been co-produced, co-written and co-directed by the incredible Shari Mwanika and Beth Ribeiro who chose to divide the film into two perspectives, each from a different racial point of view. The majority female cast tells a complex and compelling story about a multi-racial female friendship between Lola, a white girl who is struggling with the anniversary of her mother’s death which is directed by Beth Ribeiro, and Naledi, a young black girl coming to terms with her own racial identity and struggles which is directed by Shari Mwanika.

Her Campus UCT has had the honour of going behind the scenes on the set of ‘Wrapped Up’ and interviewing a few members about the film.

1. Why the title ‘Wrapped Up’?

“It speaks in many ways to the complexities of friendship and how friendship, politics of identity, experience and perspective all ties into one. The film shows audiences things aren’t as black and white or as clear-cut as they seem. The idea came up as a symbol for one of the major objects of the film with one of the characters getting a haircut and the title plays with that idea. We trying to be punny.”

- Shari Mwanika (Co-Director, Co-Writer and Co-Producer)

2. What is the plot of ‘Wrapped Up’?

“The film is about two best friends who are for the first time experiencing the trouble of race within their friendship because they are black and white. Race has always played a role, but this is the first time it is causing a problem. The film is split up into two parts, each told from a different perspective. Lola’s perspective is directed by me [Beth] and Naledi’s perspective being directed by Shari. The film is centred around each of the characters experiencing things differently as a white woman and as a black woman would. The film is  trying to come to terms with this new relationship that their friendship is moving towards.”

- Beth Ribeiro (Co-Director, Co-Writer and Co-Producer)

3. Who is the target audience of ‘Wrapped Up’?

“Millennials in South Africa, the ‘born frees’ those who after 1994 are constantly dealing with relationships like this but also everyone who have had relationships like this one.”

- Luella Vraagrom (Editor and Sound Designer)

“Young people living in South Africa. Also, anyone who has experienced friendship. The film is also for people living in societies where race and racist behaviour plays a big part in how people react and respond to each other in that society.”

- Shari Mwanika (Co-Director, Co-Writer and Co-Producer)

4. Why highlight tensions in a female multi-racial relationship?

“Because it’s real. It is what I have experienced, and people everywhere have experienced particularly in South Africa. That’s why as South Africans this is a story we [Shari and Beth] had to tell.”

- Beth Ribeiro (Co-Director, Co-Writer and Co-Producer)

5. What is your favourite scene in the entire film?

“It’s difficult, but the scene which is shot in Lola’s bedroom. The scene we [Shari and Beth] shot in the morning because of the beautiful effect that the sunlight has within the scene. The lighting, colour contrast and the actresses energy just work. I’m excited for everyone to see it!”

- Blair Inglis (Assistant Producer)

6. Why join this project?

“Basically, I love intersectionality so when Shari and Beth approached me to join the film I was like, Yes! I think this is a very important story that needs to be told. People have different stories and different versions of the truth because there’s not one truth and the film shows a side of that. I think the film can relate to anyone and everyone.”

- Luella Vraagrom (Editor and Sound Designer)

7. How was the film funded?

“We ran a crowdfunding page on Thundafund.com. We also used social media which helped to bring traffic to the funding page, but we also threw an event. Also, we got funding from UCT so those were the four ways we got funding for equipment and everything.”

- Shari Mwanika (Co-Director, Co-Writer and Co-Producer)

Go to @wrappedupshortfilm on Instagram to keep updated with where and when the film will be screened.

This is a must-see film for EVERYONE so gather your parents, grandparents, best friends, potential mother-in-law and the person you’re crushing on and prepare yourself for a film that does everything right!