Films with stories that center on female circumcision (female genital mutilation) in/from Sub-Saharan African countries are probably far more common (here in the USA anyway) than those that tell stories of male circumcision, and the health dangers that accompany that rite.

South African director Mayenzeke Baza's upcoming film Ndiyindoda (I Am A Man) tackles male circumcision in that country, and, further, highlighting…

… the dilemma it poses for South Africa as it forges a position in the modern world, attempting to reconcile its strongest traditions with today's ideas of democratic rights. Dozens of young boys die every year and many more lose their penises, but the majority of Xhosa boys continue to go through with the ceremony. Why?

The South Africa/UK production – one that I'll be watching as it progresses – is one of several projects seeking completion funds via the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam's IDFA Fund.

In the interview below (courtesy of Smart Monkey TV), director Baza talks in-depth about the project – from financing, to his motivations for wanting to tell this particular story, the story itself, to what his plans are for the completed film, and more.

Watch, listen, learn: