Homeless and HIV+ Gay Filmmaker Chases Dream

A talented, ambitious, and gay African filmmaker living in NYC, N. Mabasa-Mathope is not letting being homeless and HIV+ stand in the way of making his dream movie project a reality.

N. Mabasa-Mathope
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And with over 525,000 YouTube views of the short film version, the buzz is definitely on about future hit dramedy, “Boyz Will Be Boyz.” Check out the cray-cray storyline:

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After Tyrone–a “down-low” (closeted) bisexual rising NCAA basketball star–accidentally gets his heretofore unknowingly intersex boyfriend pregnant, he must contend with his scandalized conservative Christian mother, the near fatal disapproval of his fellow gang-bangers, his psychotically vindictive ex-girlfriend and the impending, catastrophically expensive—and potentially life-threatening–birth of…septuplets!

Though raised an orphan in South Africa, Mabasa was a bright kid who’d caught the movie bug at a young age, often shooting short films in his back yard. While still a teen he earned a full computer science scholarship to The University of Cape Town. A second full scholarship followed—this time to The New York Film Academy–after he won an online screenwriting contest for an imaginative spec script entitled “Boyz Will Be Boyz.”

He studied at the New York Film Academy’s Universal Studios campus in Los Angeles, where he also majored in Film Screenwriting, Directing, Producing & Editing and Theater Arts at Santa Monica Community College. For his graduation thesis Mabasa made his winning “Boyz Will Be Boyz” script into a 15-minute short film.

But life in Hollywood was far from glamorous. To survive, Mabasa worked as a messenger, delivering scripts, film stock, and post-production tapes to big name Hollywood studios like Paramount, DreamWorks, Amblin and Universal. He also took work shooting short films for a not-so-famous studio, but instead of getting paid and credited, he was set-up, badly beaten and framed by his thug boss for a crime he did not commit.

In the aftermath he was nearly deported, had it not been for his HIV+ status: no African countries would take him back! So, homeless and broke Mabasa returned to New York after hearing of the HASA (HIV/AIDS Services Administration) program, which helps people living with AIDS get back on their feet. He now lives in a HASA shelter in the Bronx, but has just qualified for housing assistance and hopes to move into his own apartment very soon.

It’s been tough, but Mabasa has persevered, working long days on no-budget indie films in exchange for film credits, while pursuing his dream to make his life-changing “Boyz Will Be Boyz” short into a feature film.

Donors wishing to contribute to the making of “Boyz Will Be Boyz” can donate via the international crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com. A wide range of donor perks are offered, from a t-shirt to a starring role or executive producer credit.

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