The Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF2018) makes its annual return to the country’s cultural calendar for its 20th edition scheduled to run in Harare from 1 to 8 September.
Running under the theme NARRATIVES FROM AFRICA the Festival will screen out a full program of films relevant to this theme in partnership with corporate sponsors, embassies as well as local and international independent filmmakers.
According to the Festival Director Ms Nakai Matema, this year’s film fete will put the spotlight on Zimbabwean and African films as a way of cultivating and embracing the African culture.
‘We are exclusively focusing on stories on the African experience from the continent and beyond because it is high time for us to celebrate and harness our own culture, heritage and history ourselves as Africa’s place begins to take center stage on the global stage’, she said.
In line with the theme, ZIFF2018 will kick off with the locally produced comedy Cook Off as the Opening film. Produced by Joe Njagu and directed by Tomas Brickhill, the star studded romantic comedy features a bevy of celebrities, among them South Africa-based Zimbabwean actress Tendaiishe Chitima, musician Tehn Diamond, legendary actress Jesesi Mungoshi, poet Chirikure Chirikure, Anne Nhira, Kudzai Sevenzo and Michael Kudakwashe.
To date, the film has graced various regional and international festivals including the just ended Durban International Film Festival as well as the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in the Netherlands.
‘In order to embrace ourselves as Africans and develop the arts in Zimbabwe we are specifically opening the Festival with a local film for the first time in over a decade. Also in conformity with the African theme, various embassies are again going to host Afro -centric films’. Said Matema.
Meanwhile, Ms Matema also urged emerging Zimbabwean filmmakers who are finishing off their submission projects for the Hi-5 Short Film Competition ahead of the 27th August deadline to also explore the idea of African narratives.
The Film Forum will present an exciting Industry Program featuring, workshops, seminars, discussion, pitch sessions and collaborations among industry stakeholders. As usual, support programs like Outreach to Educate will also facilitate screenings and workshops in High Density areas.