Indian cinema partners Zim film industry

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BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO

ZIMBABWE’S Mirazvo Productions on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Economic Trade Organisation (IETO) that would see the Indian cinema industry investing in the local film industry.

The MoU is one of the 20 agreements of co-operation in various areas including mining, agriculture, housing development and information and communication technologies.

IETO director for entertainment films and music Wali Kashvi told NewsDay Life & Style that Zimbabwe was conducive for investment in the film industry.

“Zimbabwe is certainly conducive for investment in the film industry because there are locations which are raw even to Indian cinemas and ready to be explored. Indian cinema always looks for newer locations along with other requirements and I see that it could be a great place for this,” he said.

“This country has its own beauty, peace, culture, beautiful weather and people, however, we only got to know this more deeper when we came and experienced it ourselves.

“Therefore, we would like Indian cinema creators to come and see the actual beauty and weave the country into their stories,”

Kashvi said Zimbabwe had perfect locations that could be used in boosting the tourism economy of the country.

“Very recently, India made a movie with a backdrop of gold mines along with that we have songs with beautiful backdrops including mountains, farmland and more. I don’t see why Zimbabwe cannot be a perfect location to shoot with amazing Victoria Falls in the background, river cruises and animal safaris,” he said.

“There are many opportunities that we are seeing very clearly such as the film education, technical growth, and skills exchange programmes.

“There are a lot of creative minds here, however, they have not been able to get the right platforms and at the right time — the way I see it, it is never too late.”

He added that the Indian market was open to different films from across the world.

“It is not going to be just about beautiful Zimbabwean scenes, but an amalgamation of creative minds. There will be exchange of skills, showing how Bollywood operates and Zimbabwe can further learn the finer elements and vice-versa too,” he said.

Mirazvo Productions technical director Mike Zemura said the MoU was going to create “a lot of opportunities” for local film producers and tourism players.

“This MoU will create a lot of endless opportunities not only to the film industry, but Zimbabwe’s tourism sector. We need to showcase the beauty of the country.

“From the discussions we had, we talked about having Zimbabwean films penetrating Indian territory. We have Zimbabwean productions with English subtitles that can be showcased during Indian festivals,” he said.

“They requested a database of people who are capable of doing certain things. In response we said we have a lot of creative talent. India can provide expertise online by teaching local filmmakers how to do certain things or using gear.

“In terms of gear they are ahead of us. It’s not going to be Indian crew coming to Zimbabwe only, but a win-win scenario. There will be a lot of skills sharing.”

His brother Shem, Mirazvo’s director of operations, said he was very excited as the MoU would create marketing and distribution opportunities for the local film industry.

“It is a milestone achievement because it’s going to open market and distribution opportunities which are our industry’s major challenge at the moment,” he said.

“I always say that because you are a Zimbabwean that does not mean you only have to make a Zimbabwean film, no, you are a global citizen.

“We can make content for any region and this is the opportunity for the film industry.”

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