Local film puts Zim on global map



AWARD-WINNING film-maker Joe Njagu yesterday said he was charmed by the international recognition that the film Cook Off continued to attract following an invitation to be screened at the 16th edition of the Festival International du Film PanAfricain at Cannes in France, running from April 17 to 24.

The two-hour long romantic film’s production was a collaborative effort with compatriot Thomas Brickhill — who wrote and directed it — while Njagu was the producer.

The film continues to strike gold after it was screened at local and international festivals, including the Zimbabwe International Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam in Netherlands, Seattle Film Festival in Washington and Durban Film Festival in South Africa.

Njagu told NewsDay Life & Style that when they produced the film, they never thought it would make such an impact — more so on the international market.

“It is such an honour to be accepted to such a prestigious festival. It’s reassurance that we are doing something right and are headed somewhere,” he said.

“The journey for the Zimbabwe film industry is getting shorter and shorter. One day we will get there. To the cast and crew of Cook Off, I salute you. We did it.”

The film recounts the story of Anesu, a determined single mother who is forced to leave school after falling pregnant. She is passionate about cooking, and her son and best friend signs her up for a cooking contest with heart-warming consequences.

It 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.