Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s fifth feature film, “You’re my Favourite Place”, is set to screen at the Durban International Film Festival at CineCentre, Suncoast Casino on Friday 29 July at 7pm.
The film takes Qubeka back to his hometown in East London, where through its lens, he examines the reality of youth fighting to redefine themselves amidst the flux of our current dispensation.
“I chose to make this picture because I wanted to give perspective to the plight of disenfranchised youth who are struggling with issues of identity, sexuality and gender-based violence, all the while trying to figure out their place in an ever-changing world,” he said.
“I want to give voice to marginalised youth who are not on the national agenda yet are our collective future”.
“You’re my Favourite Place” follows teenager Nelisa Vena's life after the death of her sister Anathi.
Nelisa and her three friends from a township in East London embark on a life-defining road trip by stealing a taxi and heading to the remote landmark of Hole in the Wall, where Xhosa legend has it, you can talk to the dead.
In the film, Qubeka delves into the correlation between spaces and bodies inhabiting reality, taking a closer look at safety and freedom.
“I truly wanted to delve into the correlation between spaces and bodies inhabiting our current reality, their safety, their freedom, with a specific focus on coming of age within these seemingly hopeless times. This ultimately forces us to define ourselves through our respective trauma,” he said.
The film is also a homage to the American teen-based films of the '80s, primarily the work of maverick auteur John Hughes.
“Whilst drizzling in a delightful blend of 80s genre tropes, ‘You're My Favourite Place’ masks its ambitious attempt to take a deep head-first dive into the depths of teen angst,” he said.
He said, when telling stories, he always “listens to the consciousness of the project at hand.”
“It guides me in my storytelling. Being present and attuned to what is required on the day is my protection. I just stay true to the story I’m telling at any given time.
“Its resonance with an audience is not within my fundamental control. That depends on the collective consciousness of the time,“ he shared.