Cook Off charms SA film fest

LOCAL film Cook Off continues to make inroads on the international film circuit after it was screened at the 10-day Durban International Film Festival in Durban, South Africa, on Saturday and Sunday.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

The festival, which opened at The Playhouse on July 19, is running until July 29, although the closing film will be screened on July 28, after the competition awards.

The fiesta is one of the major film festivals in Southern Africa and presents over 200 screenings, celebrating the best in African and international cinema, while offering filmmaker workshops, industry seminars, discussion fora and outreach activities.

The nearly two-hour-long romantic film that tells the story of Anesu, who feels like she missed her chance until her son enters her into auditions for a reality TV cooking show, was written and directed by Thomas Brickhill and produced by award-winning filmmaker Joe Njagu.

Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style from Mzansi yesterday, Brickhill said the film made a significant impact at the festival.

“Our film was well received by an internationally diverse audience at its African premiere at the Durban International Film Festival on Saturday,” he said.

“A mainly Zimbabwean and South African audience praised the film’s heart-warming feel-good message, whilst others from the United States and France were astonished by the film’s modest budget and high production values and said the film made them want to visit Zimbabwe.”

Brickhill said they were also trying to secure an international distributor for the film.

Njagu described the development as one of the most “amazing” outcomes of a “crazy filmmaking journey”.

“A film made by young filmmakers and powered by insane passion, crazy willpower and no funding, premiered at Durban International Film Festival. The entire cast and crew, guys, we did it. Please never stop believing,” he said.


The romantic film features celebrities, including actresses Jesesi Mungoshi, Anne Nhira and South Africa-based Tendaiishe Chitima, musicians Tehn Diamond and Kudzai Sevenzo as well as poet Chirikure Chirikure and stand-up comedian Michael Kudakwashe.

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