Award of Merit – Snake Chief (South Africa)

Title: Snake Chief
Runtime: 22 min
Country: South Africa 
Director: Nick Cloete
Placement: Award of Merit
Competition: September, 2022

Synopsis: Chief Bheki is desperate for his son, Prince Sifiso, to get married in order to continue their family lineage, but Sifiso wants to marry for love and he knows that all the women in the village would want to marry him because he is a prince.

So Sifiso approaches Msizi, the village sangoma, for help. Sifiso asks for a spell which would prevent his people from recognizing him. Msizi uses the power of the ancestors to distort Sifiso’s wish and turn him into a snake.

Sifiso tries to warn Khetiwe, a young, beautiful girl foraging for food that the berries she’s picking are poisonous. But, Khetiwe distrusts the talking snake and flees from him. Sifiso manages to follow her home and prevent Khetiwe’s mother from eating the poisoned berries. Grateful to Sisifo, Khetiwe promises to help him recover his memory and break the spell that turned him into a snake.