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Flower girl: A Refreshing Take on Romantic Comedies

BY: LUNGELO KHANYILE

The writing gods must have smiled upon me, as I had the fortune of driving to the screening venue Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre with director/producer Michelle Bello of Flower Girl success.

It was both our first time visiting this wonderful free screening location in KwaMashu. Wide eyed and nervous I approached Bello. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to engage with this multitalented director as she regaled me with her story.

The script for this romantic comedy was originally Bello’s first draft for her Master’s Degree in Communications at Regent University, Virginia, USA. What was initially intended to be a project for Bello’s Masters Coursework on feature film script writing, evolved into one of this year’s highly anticipated films. When asked why this motion picture in particular, Bello said, she has always had a great fondness for romantic comedies, so naturally she wanted to write about love.

In writing the script for this, her second feature film, she wished to challenge the misconceptions held by this generation about love. “So many couples who marry young end up divorced within the first two years of their marriage”, said Bello. To help her bring her film project to life, Bello enlisted the help of her script writer brother, Jigi Bello. When quizzed about the collaboration, she says it happened organically.

According to Bello there aren’t enough female directors in Nigeria, and being in a male-dominated world provides further complications because some men still prefer working exclusively with their fellow male counterparts. The challenges of working in such a male driven industry didn’t stop Bello from creating a tale about love.

Set in her home country of Nigeria, Flower Girl follows the hilarious antics of love crazy Kemi played by Damilola Adegbite, as she tries to get her career driven boyfriend Uma down the aisle (Chris Attoh). The film doesn’t only tell the tale of love… it is a portrayal of the beauty of the Nigerian land.

Lungelo Khanyile is a Durban born and bred film enthusiast, and aspiring film critic who lives for film, television and writing. "Simplicity provides a fine line between elegance and plainness" is a quote I live and write by.

Twitter: @lungelo_k  

 

 

The 36th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (a special project of the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Humanities, Cheryl Potgieter) with support from the National Film and Video Foundation, , KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, City of Durban, German Embassy, Goethe Institut, Industrial Development Corporation, Gauteng Film Commission, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture and a range of other valued partners.

 

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