Following the theatrical screening, watch a special conversation with director Jenna Cato Bass, producer Babalwa Baartman and actor Chumisa Cosa moderated by AFI FEST Programmer Julia Kipnis.

South African auteur and AFI FEST alum Jenna Cato Bass (HIGH FANTASY) delivers a haunting, psychological thriller steeped in remnants of postcolonialism and apartheid. Tsidi (Chumisa Cosa) and her daughter must move in with her estranged mother, Mavis (Nosipho Mtebe), a domestic housekeeper who has worked for her “Madam” Diane since Tsidi was a young girl. While living in Diane’s large and foreboding house, Tsidi is appalled with her mother’s extreme dedication and servitude even after all these years. Gradually, Tsidi’s daughter and then Tsidi herself become submissive to the whims of the rarely seen Madam. Co-written and produced with collaborator Babalwa Baartman, Bass employs stylish imagery and an ominous tone to bring this chilling narrative to life. –Julia Kipnis

Jenna Cato Bass is a South African writer, filmmaker and former magician. Her award-winning films include THE TUNNEL (2010), and the collaboratively created features LOVE THE ONE YOU LOVE (2014) and HIGH FANTASY (2017), which have screened around the world, including at the Sundance, Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals.

Tarek Shoukri
Visit Films


Country: South Africa

Year: 2021

Director: Jenna Cato Bass

Screenwriters: Jenna Cato Bass, Babalwa Baartman, Chumisa Cosa, Nosipho Mtebe, Kamvalethu Jonas Raziya, Sanda Shandu, Khanyiso Kenqa, Chris Gxalaba, Peggy Tunyiswa, Sizwe Ginger Lubengu, Siya Sikawuti, Steve Larter

Producers: Babalwa Baartman, Jenna Cato Bass, Kristina Ceyton, Samantha Jennings

Executive Producers: Salman Al-Rashid, Sam Frohman, Richard Mansell, David Bass, Jason Newmark

Director of Photography: Jenna Cato Bass

Editor: Jacques de Villiers

Production Designers: Jenna Cato Bass, Babalwa Baartman

Music: Simon Ratcliffe

Cast/Featuring: Nosipho Mtebe, Chumisa Cosa, Kamvalethu Jonas Raziya, Khanyiso Kenqa, Sanda Shandu, Sizwe Ginger Lubengu, Siya Sikawuti, Peggy Tunyiswa, Chris Gxalaba.

Running Time (minutes): 92

Languages: English, Xhosa