Casimir presents a new short film by director-to-watch Amirah Tajdin inspired by the idea of sisterhood, magic, femininity and heartache. Shot against a pink Dubai sunset and set to a Swahili Taarab song, Minerva’s Lilies is an intimate portrait of girlhood and the bond between sisters, mothers and daughters. The film is a personal journey for Tajdin and reflects the various places she calls home, “A testament to the women in my life, my two sisters and most importantly to my mother. Minerva’s Lilies is a meditation on femininity that I weaved up after watching my mother deal with her daughters leaving the house and her re-assessing her sense of womanhood outside of her primary identity of motherhood after 30 years.”
Minerva’s Lilies centres on two sisters, Leah and Nayomi, aged 9 and 10, as they go through the motions of ‘being girls’, playing dress up, riding bicycles and performing make believe rituals. The visual meditation forms the experience of not only the girls’ little world of magic but that of their mother watching over them perched carefully on the edge of their reverie.
The film was produced by Amirah’s sister, Wafa Tajdin. Together the siblings own and run SEVEN THIRTY Films, an Africa based indie production company founded in Nairobi in 2011. The sisters split their time between Africa and the Middle East, between commercial projects and working on their first feature film, Hawa Hawaii set in the Swahili community of Mombasa, Kenya.
Amirah’s most recent co-directed short, Marea de Tierra (2015) premiered at the Cannes Director’s Fortnight as part of the Chile Factory Residency. The film is also part of Sundance Film Festival 2016 under the International Shorts Program.
Wafa’s focus is on producing films by independent female directors in both Africa and the Middle East.