Interview with Filmmaker Keagan Afonso (CASUAL WORKERS)

CASUAL WORKERS was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the May 2021 Experimental Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The motivation to take on Casual Workers came from the stagnation from the pandemic,the economy during early 2020 forced businesses to hire non permanently , “casuals” who get weekly wages instead of a monthly salary. Tebogo was directly affected by this and because we were childhood friends we always corresponded through Facebook and I asked him to be in the film.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

The conception was discussed through out pre production which consisted of scattered Skype calls through out October of 2020, specifically calls between myself and the cast, Nala and Tebogo which was just to ensure and curate a chemistry that can linger on to set which was mid November and consisted of a 6 hour day of shooting before wrapping.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Enigmatic Dribble (?) Joking “abstract realism” maybe?

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The hardest part was finding a location, I used to work at the company we used to film the interiors in, and had to use our primary budget to rent out the factory for a day which meant we could only afford a 6 hour shoot time for the entire project. There were so many changes in weather during that day, it went from foggy in the morning to scorching hot during the afternoon and a rain storm towards the end of the day, we kept shooting through all of it intending on contextualising it in the editing room.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Honestly its a moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget, I’ve had some friends look at our work and give positive feedback but to see these amazing and articulate strangers reflect on a project we made with positivity was surreal and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to have an audience at all.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Although I’ve been a cinephile since adolescence, at thirteen I realized the “director” helmed a film as an author would for their writing, imparting their style and perspective into their films which inspired me to take on as a career

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

The movie I’ve probably seen the most in my life is Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life (2011). I dragged my poor mother to the cinema with me 5 times to see it in theatres when it came out. When it came out on digital media I would watch it countlessly because it was the most aspirational film I’d ever seen from a filmmaker’s perspective.
I still stream it all the time!

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

The platform works when there is justice done to the work submitted, meaning that the work is assessed or at least watched once then given feedback on wether its eligable, not when the festival cannot or will not view any works if submitted in abundance

9. What is your favorite meal?


10. What is next for you? A new film?

We are prepping a documentary about an orphanage for children with aids here in Johannesburg.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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