For a small town whose only exposure to the motion picture medium is a small DVD rental club and television sets at home, the International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF) is a great leap forward.
Never mind that there is no movie house in Gwanda because on December 2, the Matabeleland South capital residents will be able to watch movies on film at the Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library.
Jackson Ndlovu, the director of the Edward Memorial Library, confirmed that IIFF was hitting Gwanda for the first time this December.
“We are working on the finer details now. As the Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library, we have committed ourselves to providing space and we are busy trying to put up modalities,” he said.
Ndlovu said this was a huge development for Gwanda because there were no movie houses in the small town but one small DVD rental shop.
“It (the festival) will expose young people here to the marvels of the big screen, which is such an adventurous way to see movies,” he said.
IIFF programmes officer, Yvonne Jila, said, as an introduction of the festival to the Gwanda community, there would be no workshops but screenings and discussions only.
“We are going to show three films on the 2nd of December and there will be discussions after the screenings,” she said.
Jila said this year’s edition of IIFF, which is the only professional women’s festival south of the Sahara, will be the ninth and would run under the theme Women of Decision.
“It investigates, among other things, the societal pressures women face when making decisions for themselves, their families, and the community,” he said.
The programmes’ officer said the Bulawayo leg of the festival will be celebrated at the Stanley Hall in Makokoba on 1 December.
“This year, IIFF incorporates some exceptional local films and therefore sees it fitting to open and close with local productions,” he said.
Jila said acclaimed filmmakers from Belgium, Britain, Poland, Belgium, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia will attend the festival, during which they would take part in different training workshops.