Arts council partners PIFF for African filmmakers’ mentorship


NATIONAL Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) have partnered the Piton International Film Festival (PIFF) to launch the year-long PIFF Africa 2021 initiative that focuses on celebrating filmmaking and seeks to work collaboratively with filmmakers based in Africa.

The PIFF “Africa 2021” is one of the programmes which fall under the memorandum of understanding between NACZ and PIFF based in the United States of America.

PIFF director Ed Herman “Umoja,” in a statement said the PIFF “Africa 2021” was a unique opportunity for filmmakers as it focused on education, collaboration, and celebration, instead of competition.

“Filmmakers will be able to work together to inspire and influence the global community in a positive and uplifting manner”, he said.

Herman said the programme was aimed at assisting independent filmmakers with opportunities to expose and monetise their creative artworks as well as celebrate filmmaking in its various forms.

“PIFF-Africa 2021 is a family-friendly event that encourages unity within families, allowing them to watch, discuss, learn, and enjoy the films together”, he said.

The NACZ provincial arts manager for Midlands Farai Kupfavira said the partnership aimed to create and foster relationships among artists not in Zimbabwe, and have them engage with fellow artists beyond the borders.

“Its programmes are aimed at promoting African artists based in Africa to see their works showcased beyond their countries and the African continent. The programme intends to push the essence and value of black culture and have it appreciated,” she said.

“The focus of PIFF “Africa 2021” is to address the various aspects of the billion-dollar industry known as filmmaking as well as understanding filmmaking from front of the camera to behind the camera through workshops and seminars.”

Kupfavira said several Zimbabwean artists had used the annual PIFF to premiere their productions.

“During the 2020 edition, which was hosted virtually due to the travel restrictions imposed by countries due to COVID-19, the late Thola “Osman” Banda premiered his short film Disturbed, while visual artist Keith Zenda had a page created on the main festival website which showcases his work,” she said.

“The NACZ/PIFF also held an international online poetry jam in November where over 15 participants from Nigeria, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe showcased their talent. Through the poetry jam, a collective anthology of poets who participated is currently under production and will be published shortly.”

She said filmmakers who want to take part in the mentorship programme could log on to for more details.

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