Gale Maimane on her new short film, starring Zoe Modiga, called Me

“We wanted to make a piece that encapsulates fashion and music in a skilful way. A tender way. A femme way.”

A short film by Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme 2016 participant, Gale Maimane, merges vibrant fashion with dreamy music to create a euphoric  audio-visual experience.

The short film, titled Me, is a collaboration between Maimane, fashion designer Nao Serati and musician Zoe Modiga. The trio came together to combine their skill sets and produce a powerful yet delicate retrospective production. Me is a song off Modiga's debut album, Yellow: The Novel.

“We wanted to make a piece of content we could share and be proud of, [where we are] controlling our narrative," says Maimane.

It was important for the artists to make the film unashamedly soft, gentle and strong all at once.

“We wanted to make a piece that encapsulates fashion and music in a skilful way. A tender way. A femme way. Much like the song.”

For Serati, who worked on the creative direction and styling of the film, the inspiration came from wanting to speak directly to the man or woman in modern-day Africa. 

And then it was up to Modiga, who not only stars in the film but carries it with moving vocals, to seal the deal. The combination of the songs soulful beat and Modiga’s soothing voice was a perfect backdrop to the underlying emotions the film held.

“The song evokes a deep seated sense of care. The song sort of cradles you and like the album you feel a very relatable connection to Zoë,” explains Maimane on why the song was chosen.

Maimane says it was important for her as a director to capture the essence of what Serati and Modiga envisioned. “Me is an exploration of choice through the small and simple-seeming decisions we make to cloth ourselves. We wanted to create a succinct and beautiful representation of the sometimes downplayed effort it takes to gird yourself to the outside. [The film is] a light and tender lamentation on how the process of clothing yourself is firstly to please yourself," she says. 

Me

This film is a collaboration. NAO SERATI X ZOË MODIGA. Fashion and performance.

The way it was shot was also of importance. The film consisted of different edits and mixing with slowed down parts and sped up bits, creating a balance between different emotions Modiga experienced.

“We decide to create her world. [nicknamed: Nao’s playroom] with captivating light, textured elements and props that create an iridescent quality to be a way to put the clothes on display,” she explained.

This is not Maimane’s first time directing a film having previously worked another film called Totamma. 

She says that her experience as part of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme in 2016 was a valuable way of meeting other creatives: “[It was] truly unforgettable and very valuable in the long run,” she added.

Applications for Design Indaba Emerging Creatives 2019 close on September 10. APPLY NOW.

 

Read more on other Design Indaba Emerging Creatives: 

9 creatives to look out for this Women's Month

These striking images offer an alternative view of Nigerian diversity

Advice from past Design Indaba Emerging Creatives