Orange Studio Boards Female-Led Thriller ‘Tanzanite’

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Orange Studio has boarded “Tanzanite,” a female-centric thriller from Swiss-Rwandan filmmaker Kantarama Gahigiri, Selection has discovered solely.

“Tanzanite” takes place within the 12 months 2045 in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, a lawless metropolis the place temperatures have turn out to be dangerously excessive and the federal government has imposed a curfew to tame brewing unrest. At some point, a brilliant and feisty 11-year-old woman working in an unlawful mine discovers a valuable tanzanite gemstone, which is believed to carry the soul of the area and provides hope and safety to its bearer.

However the gemstone’s discovery units off a scramble to own it and harness its powers, pitting a psychopathic cult chief and his non-public military towards an all-female militia and a jaded detective on the downward slope of her profession.

“Tanzanite” is co-produced by Urucu Media (“The Wound,” “This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection”) and Shut Up Movies (“Sing Me a Music,” “The Swallows of Kabul”), with improvement funding from Orange Studio and Switzerland’s Migros. The movie is co-written by Gahigiri and Rwandan writer-director Kivu Ruhorahoza (“Grey Matter”), and was developed by way of the Realness African Screenwriters Residency and offered at La Fabrique Cinéma in Cannes.

The movie is about within the aftermath of an occasion referred to as the Nice Collapse, inspecting East Africa by way of the lens of local weather change and neo-liberal financial insurance policies which might be already placing a pressure on the area at the moment. Gahigiri tells Selection she was impressed by a various array of influences, together with the works of writers similar to Aldous Huxley and Nigerian sci-fi novelist Nnedi Okorafor, “Mad Max: Fury Street,” and the swaggering movies of the Blaxploitation period.

However past its futuristic trappings, “Tanzanite” is supposed to be “a compelling and emotional journey” a few 36-year-old detective, Machachari, who regardless of her hardened look is deeply affected by the injustice and violence that she witnesses every day towards her group. “The [futuristic] world is an envelope, however what’s on the coronary heart of the story is Machachari’s journey, and the way she’s going to have the ability to make the fitting choices for her and her beloved area,” says Gahigiri.

The filmmaker was raised between Rwanda and Switzerland, a proven fact that she credit with giving her a singular lens onto among the points going through East Africa. “I used to be lucky to not solely have one narrative,” she says. “Having these two completely different views…has allowed me to problem both model of what I see. I believe it additionally permits me to have a extra world side, a extra world strategy.”

She continues: “Sure, the story is particularly primarily based in Nairobi. However I believe the considerations and the themes are extra common than simply being East African themes.”

Ribeiro, who met Gahigiri and Ruhorahoza lengthy earlier than they started writing the script for “Tanzanite,” says he had “pestered” the duo to submit a venture to the Realness residency, which he co-founded. “There was a very large curiosity of their voices, even earlier than the venture got here to the desk,” he says.

When the therapy for “Tanzanite” arrived, he wasn’t upset. “This pleasure in regards to the materials has been there from the get-go,” he says. “It’s a world that we haven’t actually seen earlier than. The commentary that they’re making with this world is recent and really present.”

Flavia Zanon, of Shut Up Movies, was additionally drawn to the venture from the start. “I really like fiction, and I really like new voices, and I actually thought that Kantarama and Kivu have been bringing one thing to Swiss cinema that has by no means been seen earlier than,” she says. “With Kantarama, I believe we’re on the identical web page. We’ve the identical imaginative and prescient as to what it means to supply, what it means to start a narrative.”

“Tanzanite” is presently in improvement because the producers apply for added funding in Switzerland and Europe. A spokesman for Orange Studio stated: “We’re very glad to help ‘Tanzanite’ by Kantarama Gahigiri, an formidable venture produced by Elias Ribeiro’s Urucu Media, whose artistic universe [and] musical dimension, created by its gifted writer, instantly seduced us.”

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