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Zim has film talent: Gopal

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SOUTH AFRICA-BASED Zimbabwean actor Leroy Gopal , who was part of the adjudicators at the inaugural BIOSKOP Short Film competition, said there was phenomenal talent in Zimbabwe that needed to be cultivated.

BY SHARON SIBINDI

The BIOSKOP Short Film competition was part of this year’s edition of the European Film Festival Zimbabwe 2020 which has been running virtually from October 30 with curtains set to come down at the end of this month.

In a statement issued by PaperBagAfrica, Gopal said it was a pleasure being part of the adjudicators for the film competition, adding that he was pleased with the productions that were submitted.

“The Zimbabwean film industry can learn from surrounding countries such as South Africa. We need to find a place of our own such as Mzansi Magic, where we can find unique Zimbabwean stories and should not be shy to share that with the rest of the world,” he said.

“Collaboration is key to creating a sustainable industry in the whole creative industry of Zimbabwe. If one project succeeds in Zimbabwe, it will create a platform for others as well. I was super impressed by Love in Lockdown, Who is the Witch and many other short films I watched during the selection process.”

Gopal said while there were a lot of talented filmmakers in Zimbabwe, there was, however, a lot of work that needed to be done.

“It was such a difficult task to take up, but at the same time a very insightful process as I got to get a clear insight of Zimbabwean filmmakers. There was work that was easy to watch and the other which was difficult,” he said.

“Above all, I admire people who actually get into something and take that bold step to start. I am so happy that people went out to film and submitted their finished products.”

He said the winners should strike the iron while it was still hot, use the win to improve in other areas of their artistry and get onto other platforms.

Meanwhile, 42 short films were submitted and five won at the inaugural BIOSKOP Short Film competition that had both local and Zimbabwean filmmakers in the diaspora (Europe) participating.

The competition is a new addition at the festival that consists of masterclass input sessions.

“The selection was whittled down to the final five winning films. The winning films are 18 Months Later in the Best Narrative category, Love in Lockdown in Best Cinematography category, Petrichor in Best Sound Editing, Mass Drug Administration in Best Documentary category and Who is the Witch? in Best Diaspora category,” read the statement.

“The winning films will be available to view as part of the European Film Festival Zimbabwe 2020 programme, via the festival page on Festival Scope. The winners in each category will receive a cash prize and an award statue designed by the acclaimed Bulawayo-based multi-media sculptor and visual artist, Danisile Ncube.”

According to PaperBagAfrica the selection process of the film competition was overseen by an esteemed panel of judges, with both a local and global view of the film industry.

The panel consisted of Sibongile Mlambo (Hollywood actress), Thomas Brickhill (director — Cook Off), Valerio Caruso (director — cineuropa), Fibby Kioria (programme director — Maisha Film Lab Uganda) and Leroy Gopal (South Africa-based award-winning actor).
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