The annual Zimbabwe International Film Festival (Ziff) this year passed like a silent wind as it was overshadowed by the entertainment fete of Brick and Lace, Akon and Sean Paul during the same period.
On August 28, Ziff’s opening night, there was the much-anticipated Brick and Lace show at Fusion Cafe as well as the DJ Cleo Beach Party at Circus Night Club in Strathaven.
Thousands of potential attendants to Ziff flocked to either to the Beach Party or the Brick and Lace show rather than Ziff’s opening movie at the 7 Arts.
“There was just a handful of people at the opening night and I just went because I was too tired to attend the Brick and Lace show although I wanted to go,” said a film fan.
This year, the opening night was not only ill-attended but it was also poorly organised and ill-timed. They screened an Indonesian movie without sub-titles and only after protests from the audiences did they care to show the sub-titles.
The bad spell also spilt into last week in the midst of all the excitement of Akon’s arrival on Monday, Sean Paul’s arrival on Thursday and the Welcome party on Friday night which coincided with Ziff’s closing night.
The overall attendance of Ziff this year, according to film enthusiasts, was very low as compared to previous years.
Moreover the film festival received close to zero media attention this year, as most papers and online publications chose to carry stories on the major music acts that visited the country.
Nakai Matema, festival manager for Ziff, could not be reached for comment but several traditional Ziff patrons admitted that this year was clearly below par compared to preceding years.