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Zim film screens at States festival

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BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
WORLDWIDE Box-Office blockbuster Vantar by Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment grossed US$2,8 billion, which was US$100 million more than Zimbabwe’s 2022 national budget of US$2,7 billion at the current US$1:$356 interbank exchange rate.

This example simply highlights that the impact of the film industry must never be underestimated and should be taken seriously because it has serious potential to contribute to any country’s gross domestic product.

But in Zimbabwe the film industry is hardly recognised for its worth and is under-invested that it is a real feat that some of the country’s filmmakers’ works are making it onto international cinema screens.

Despite the poor support, local filmmakers have not lost heart and are proving their prowess as a number of their films have managed to be showcased at different prestigious festivals beyond the borders.

In a latest development, a local short film, Two Dead Government Officials, has made the grade for this year’s edition of the Roxbury Film Festival that begins today in the United States of America.

The Zimbabwean film is part of international films to be showcased at the prestigious festival to run until July 2 in the historic Roxbury neighbourhood of Boston.

The film’s achievement means the local film industry has the potential to produce competitive material that can land on international cinema screens if filmmakers receive adequate financial support.

Written and produced by Thandiwe Mawungwa, the short film is based on the award-winning stage play of the same title: Two Dead Government Officials.

In the film, the minister of national security learns that her daughter has been arrested for corruption, a few minutes after signing a law that declares all forms of corruption as punishable by death.

Mawungwa said the film looks at the layers of complexities that exist when dealing with the issue of corruption.

“How many are willing to bear the full cost of integrity? Adapting the story for film was an interesting process as it allowed me to also tell the story visually,” she said.

Film director Charles Mawungwa said: “We are very excited to see our work being appreciated beyond our borders.”

Previously, the film was showcased at the Africa Film for Impact Festival in Nigeria in 2020 and at the 2021 edition of the EU Film Festival in Zimbabwe.

The film stars Munya Chidzonga, Munyaradzi Guramatunhu and Felistas Tizola, who is a National Arts Merit Award nominee for the Best Actress category for her role as Immaculate in the film.

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