THIS year’s International Images Film Festival (IIFF) for Women to be held in August will see the restructuring of the festival’s programming by including the late Walter Muparutsa Award in the New Man category.
IIFF director Yvonne Jila said the New Man category showcases films that portray men as positive role models and great allies to women by recognising that the human struggle is common to all and is not gender specific.
“The New Man section is a great programme, the only one of its kind in women’s film festivals.
“In addition, IIFF 2014 introduces more and bigger cash prizes in national, regional, continental and overall categories,” Jila said.
The late Walter Muparutsa was a renowned actor, theatre guru and playwright who died in 2012 after a long battle with cancer.
This year’s festival will run under the theme Women Alive: Women of Heart, portraying women as tough beings yet possessing a rare gift of loving unconditionally and being emotionally strong and also brave.
Jila said the films to be seen during the IIFF 2014 will also celebrate daring women who, despite daily challenges, always emerge stronger than before.
“The films at IIFF 2014 are exceptionally unique and it is clearly a festival about she-heroes which will run from August 15 to 23 in Harare before moving to Bulawayo and Binga,” Jila said.
She said in her three years as the festival director she had seen the festival programme speak to women’s challenges in a way that was gripping and engaging to both male and female audiences alike, young and old.
Jila added that the impact of IIFF films had come alive during screenings where men would begin to interrogate each other about their behaviour towards women, as happened at the just-ended festival in Bulawayo (courtesy of the United States Public Affairs Section).
This showed that IIFF narratives had an influence on people’s behaviour.
“It is my great joy that national policies are now recognising the importance of such narratives in national development,” she said.