The International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF) this year ended on a high note last Friday, with a closing ceremony held at the Zimbabwe Germany Society.
Over 250 film lovers attended the ceremony, during which they watched Ungochani, a film directed by Porcia Mudavanhu under the supervision of prominent film-maker and author, Tsitsi Dangarembga.
One of the judges, film-maker and actress Martha Ferguson, said the jury had a hard time deciding the winners as competition was tight, with all the films rich in quality and content.
Japanese film, Tokyo Tower, directed by Matsuoka Joji, scooped three prizes in the categories Best Cinematography, Best Script and Best Director.
Swedish film, Starring Maja, won the Best Actress and Best Depiction of a Woman of Decision.
The main protagonist in the film, an overweight girl who wants to be an actress, has to overcome predictable stereotypes to realise her dream of becoming an actress.
The French Embassy in Harare, whose entry, Beaches of Agnes, was directed by Agnes Varda, won the Best Film award while the Best Short Film award went to a Namibian production, Cries at Night, directed by Oshosheni Hiveluah.
Challenges of our Time (a joint Denmark/ Kenya production), was selected as the Best Documentary.
It portrayed challenges and situations relevant for Zimbabwe while An Uncommon Woman from Burkina Faso won the Best Feature Film in the DVD format
Other festival highlights, according a spokesperson for IIFF, Charmaine Mujeri, included the Ndichirimupenyu (While I am Still Alive) Awards which were held in collaboration with Unifem on November 24.
The National Social Contributor award went to Gogo Nellie Dlembeu from the Department of Social Services, while Susan Hains scooped the Arts award ahead of actress Pretty Xaba and singer Dudu Manhenga.
Divine Ndlukula scooped the Business award. Samukeliso Moyo walked away with the Sports award. “IIFF is the only women’s festival south of the Sahara and is still to do its run in Bulawayo and its outreach in Gwanda,” said Mujeri.
She added that next year will be the festival’s 10th edition, due to be celebrated under the theme “Women of Goals” in line with the Millennium Development Goals.
“We look forward to more entries both locally and internationally and it is our fervent hope that local companies will support us to make the 10th edition bigger and better,” she said.