Mugabe film wins accolades

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Ronelle Lootes scooped the best documentary editor award for a short film on the Zimbabwean leader tilted Robert Mugabe — What Happened? at the South African Film and Television Academy Awards at the weekend.

The awards, which were held in South Africa last Friday and Saturday, were screened on SABC 3 on Sunday night. Lootes shrugged off competition from other contenders for the award who included Nicholas Costras for The Dawn of a New Day and Johnny Lawrence Nkgapele for Made in China.

Produced in 2011, the documentary on Mugabe has featured at a number of film festivals in Africa and Europe and was produced by Michael Auret and directed by Simon Bright.

According to the film’s official website, it has been “billed as the definitive account of Mugabe’s life” and “dramatically illustrates his successful liberation and development of the country, but also his ruthless and cunning retention of power at all costs”.

Bright was reportedly inspired to make the film after he was briefly detained in Zimbabwe in 2003.
He returned to the country in 2007 to start research.

”Five years later they are finishing this eye-opening film, which contains never-seen-before archival footage,” the website says.
“Bright was co-producer of the 1996 Zimbabwe liberation film, Flame, directed by his wife, Ingrid Sinclair, and the first Zimbabwean film to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.

“Ingrid Sinclair is a co-writer of the film Robert Mugabe — What Happened?”

Auret was reportedly behind the media campaign “for the National Constitutional Assembly, which defeated Mugabe in the first constitutional referendum in 2000 and he went on to open the first private radio station in Zimbabwe, Capital Radio, which was later shut down and he was forced to leave the country”.