African films under spotlight

THE 20th edition of the annual Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF 2018), which is set for September 1 to 8 under the theme ‘Narratives from Africa’, will screen a full programme of Afro-centric films in partnership with corporates, embassies as well as local and international independent filmmakers.


Tendaiishe Chitima

Festival director Nakai Matema said this year’s film fete will put the spotlight on Zimbabwean and African films as a way of cultivating and embracing the African culture.

“We are exclusively focusing on stories on the African experience from the continent and beyond because it is high time for us to celebrate and harness our own culture, heritage and history as Africa’s place begins to take centre stage on the global stage,” she said.

ZIFF 2018 will kick off with the locally-produced comedy Cook Off. Produced by Joe Njagu and directed by Tomas Brickhill, the star-studded romantic comedy features celebrities including South Africa-based actress Tendaiishe Chitima, musician Tehn Diamond, legendary actress Jesesi Mungoshi, poet Chirikure Chirikure, actress Anne Nhira, musician Kudzai Sevenzo and comedian Michael Kudakwashe.

The film has so far graced various regional and international festivals, including the just-ended Durban International Film Festival as well as the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in the Netherlands.

“In order to embrace ourselves as Africans and develop the arts in Zimbabwe, we are specifically opening the festival with a local film for the first time in over a decade. Also in conformity with the African theme, various embassies are again going to host Afro -centric films,” Matema.

She also urged emerging local filmmakers keen on making submissions to the Hi-5 Short Film Competition ahead of the August 27 deadline to also explore the idea of African narratives.

The festival will host a string of workshops, seminars, discussions, pitch sessions and collaborations.

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