THE International Images Film Festival (IIFF) roars into life today with the screening of a film titled Half of a Yellow Sun at Ster-Kinekor Eastgate Cinema in Harare.
Half of a Yellow Sun features Zimbabwean-born actor Thandie Newton and was adapted by Biyi Bandele from the novel of the same title by acclaimed Nigerian writer Adichie Chimamanda.
The opening ceremony will have performances by Selmor Mtukudzi and husband Tendai Manatsa and a poetry performance by Moreblessing Size and Batsirai Chigama.
The festival, running from today to August 23, will be held under the theme Women Alive Woman of Art at different venues that include Book Café, Alliance Francaise and Ster Kinekor Eastgate.
Festival director Yvone Jila said in partnership with the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa they will conduct a script adaption workshop by Nigerian award-winning playwright and screenwriter Ade Solanke, which is meant to educate scriptwriters on how to write scripts.
“The five-day workshop is aimed at equipping filmmakers with a set of skills that will allow them to approach adaptation with confidence and expertise as they move forward in their careers,” Jila said.
“Local filmmakers among them Abel Dzobo, Lazarus Mudzimu, Jamie McLaren, Dr Winston Mano, Tawanda Gunda and Sylvia Vassilatos will participate at the workshop networking with other professionals from all over the world on aspects of filmmaking.”
Jila said the number of films submitted this year had improved from last year’s 68 to 82.
“This year’s edition of the festival has attracted guests from countries such as China, UK and Denmark. We have realised the need to share with other countries so we will be expanding the festival to Malawi, Somalia and Kenya in November,” she said.
Despite challenges faced by local filmmakers, IIFF organisers said the festival which has been in existence for the past 13 years had witnessed tremendous growth.
While the previous editions of the festival mainly focused on celebrating women’s success in society, this year’s edition will have a New Man category focusing on successful stories about men.
The award was named after the late Walter Muparutsa, who was a renowned actor, theatre guru and playwright who died in 2012 after a long battle with cancer.
“This year we have included a category that showcases films that portray men as positive role models and we have the Walter Muparutsa Award in the New Man category,” Jila said.