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Filmmaker embarks on a $1 movie project

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LOCAL filmmaker Patrick Mahlasera has embarked on a low budget filmmaking initiative “$1 Movie Project” as a way of using film to capture current issues affecting communities at an affordable cost.

BY BRIAN PENNY

Film

Mahlasera told NewsDay the project would see the production of low budget, but high quality films targeting people with little money to spare for leisure.

The project has since produced several films including Crossroads, Coarse Salt, Ane Benzi, Changing Faces, Charm Offensive and Twangu Ndatora.

Mahlasera said due to the positive response from people in his neighbourhood, he has since established the Mufakose Film Society (MFS) to enhance the project.

“I always get regular enquiries from people who want to make their films, but they do not have resources, so a brief explanation to them about my $1 Movie project makes them live their dreams. I can say there is a genuine interest in making films in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“I teamed up with (veteran actress) Stella January, to form the film society. We worked on the modalities and come up with a template which we are using.”

A lot of films have since been screened at the society with a huge turnout of aspiring filmmakers and fans, Mahlasera said, adding that they were holding discussions around film issues after screening.

“It is out of those discussions that you come up with new ideas. Twangu Ndatora, for instance, was a result of collaborations between MFS members. They come up with ideas and a result was a production at a low budget.”

Mahlasera, who is also a theatre practitioner with many productions to his credit, said he is aiming to see the project replicated in other neighbourhoods.

His theatre productions —Everyday Heroes, Just Papers, Caged and Wedding Day — were premiered at Harare International Festival of Arts. Some of his poems have also appeared in the anthologies Tsuro Ndisunge, Shaurai and Flowers of a Dry Season.

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