Farewell Ella Bella
2016/2017 “Farewell Ella Bella” written and directed by Lwazi Mvusi and produced by Tsholo Mashile, executive produced by Carolyn Carew and Kamscilla Naidoo, Premiered July 2018 Durban International Film Festival, Zanzibar Film Festival, AFRIFF, African Film Festival Edinburgh, and others..
For Ella (24), the death of her alcoholic father saddles her with nothing but debt and the bitter memory of a complicated past.
Abandoned by her mother at a young age, she has sacrificed her life, career opportunities and love to care for a man she resents; leaving her adrift in the world after his passing. The re-emergence of her nomadic yet charming musician godfather, Neo(48), at her father’s cremation gives Ella the opportunity to rediscover her identity by deserting the suffocating and constricting life she has lead in the small town of Beaufort West. She decides that she will bury his ashes at her childhood home in Johannesburg and that Neo – who is the epitome of a man child- will be responsible for taking her there.
Therefore, the two set out in his beloved old BMW and traverse the Karoo desert all the while meeting various colourful characters who give Ella and Neo insight into themselves and each other.
As the landscape in their backdrop changes so their relationship is challenged and deepened as they come to realise how much they need each other and how it imperative it is for them both to no longer be haunted by the ghosts of the past.
The story is a coming of age tale both for Ella and Tumi as the twists and turns of the long, open freeways from the Western Cape through the Northern Cape and up to Gauteng enable them to find strength in each other, maturity within themselves and wisdom in the characters they meet along the way.