Director/Writer Nosipho Dumisa made a trip to Austin with her first feature, Number 37, which she describes as a nod to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, Rear Window. It follows Randall, a recently wheelchair-bound criminal cooped up in his apartment in a rough Cape Town neighborhood. Randall is heavily indebted to a sociopathic loan shark and with no means to play up, despairs for himself and his devoted girlfriend, Pam. The Gift of a pair of binoculars presents him with an opportunity to get his hands on the money he so desperately needs – but at great risk.
“When I saw Rear Window, I would look at this film that was so amazing and full of so much tension but I would think the binoculars for Jimmy Stewart are really just about ‘great I got nothing else to do,'” said Dumisa during her visit to the Deadline Studio at SXSW.
For her film, she continued, “I was more interested in looking at these binoculars as more of an escape for a person growing up in these in these blocks where there is so much crime and drug abuse and gangsterism.”
The concept of Number 37 began as a short film, Nommer 37, which picked up steam traveling the festival route before getting the feature treatment.
“I was really interested in digging into the relationship between Randall and between Pam,” said Dumisa. “It’s a thriller, it’s not a drama, so it’s not this amazing love story but at the same time there’s all this heart behind it and it adds the layers that I think is what people have been connecting to.”
Watch the rest of the interview above.
The Deadline Studio at SXSW 2018 is presented by MoviePass.