Home Grown Glory
In 2014, South African film director Christopher Dos Santos began writing a script for what would become Last Broken Darkness. Filmed entirely in Johannesburg, this post-apocalyptic movie tells the story of a broken man forced to survive underground following a catastrophic meteor shower. The film itself has been garnering attention and acclaim in America with two wins at the Boston Sci-Fi Film festival. I had the pleasure of speaking to Christopher about the film and where it all began.
When and where did the idea start?
Chris: Last Broken Darkness has been on my mind for a long time. Funny enough, it is one of those rare films where it all started with me finding a location that I really liked. I thought to myself I need to shoot something here. It was an old building we had played paint ball in back in 2006. The seed had been planted then and it just grew from there. Now a good film is all about the story, so it took some time to find a story that I believed in, and I let the idea sit for many years whilst I did my other films. Then in 2014 I finally had a story I wanted to tell, I knew what I wanted to do and put pen to paper.
“...it is one of those rare films where it all started with me finding a location that I really liked...” - Chris Dos Santos
You have an amazing cast, were they your first choice?
Chris: Sean definitely was. I wrote the script for him. We met on the set of a short film in 2012. Eventually in 2014 I got hold of him and told him I had a screenplay for him that I would like him to play the lead in. Sean and Brandon, them being the actors of the caliber that they are, they are not going to accept just any script that comes along. So with that in mind, it was quite an honour and very awesome that they said yes. Having them trust the source material was a major support for me going forward.
Your film has been doing very on the American festival circuit, please tell me about that?
Chris: I didn't really think the film was a festival film at first, but the festival director from Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival saw the trailer and got hold of me. They asked if we would be able to get the film to them by February, my concern was that we hadn't finished the film yet. It was quite a crazy three months to get the film done and it literally went to Boston a week after being finished. It was well received at Boston and won two awards, namely best screenplay for myself and best lead performance for Sean Cameron Michael. Then from there we got invited to the Sunscreen Festival. That was a really cool, intimate festival, they really try hard to make filmmakers feel part of the family. Cinema is a massive culture in America, something that we are still lacking here in South Africa. For Americans, cinema is part of their culture so they go all out when it comes to watching a film. The film played at an AMC theatre, which is a major theatre chain in the USA and it looked absolutely amazing. For any filmmaker, seeing your film on a cinema of that caliber is just absolutely awesome. It just makes it all worth it.