Freestate sets IIFF alight

HARARE - Freestate, a short film featuring veteran actor Steven Chigorimbo alongside Canadian lead actress and director Martha Ferguson, premiered in Harare on Friday.

The 12-minute film on a special relationship between a single white woman and her married driver, is the main highlight of the highlight of the International Images Film Festival (IIFF).

Freestate, adapted from Space To Fall, a short story by South African writer Mellisa Webster, was produced by Daves Guzha while award-winning writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarebga was involved in the screenplay adaptation of the gripping love story.

France-based Ferguson, the film’s director who jetted into Zimbabwe to attend Freestate’s IIFF première, is delighted with the impact the film is making at various international film festivals.

“We started working on it May last year and finished it this year and was impressed by the amazing talent in the cast and crew,” said Ferguson who plays the character of Mitchell on the eve of Freestate’s Friday premiere at Rainbow Cinemas.

Ferguson, who co-produced the performance part of the film HIFA: The Harare International Festival of the Arts for the British Council during her stay in Zimbabwe between 2010 and 2012, added that they are keen to raise funds to turn the short film into a feature film.

Chigorimbo, who has seen it all in a long acting career, praised the quality within the Freestate cast and crew.

“It was a great and exciting experience. I have worked on a number of international productions but this was my first time as part of lead cast. It felt good to work with people who have done well in this industry I had a lot to learn from them,” he said.

“In the film I played the character of John a married driver who never imagined that his ‘madam’ would ever consider falling in love with him, and is surprised when it happens because he never saw her as a ‘woman’ just his ‘boss’.”

Chigorimbo wants to see the creation of a national film institute mandated to turn around the fortunes of the local film industry.

“A national film institute is critical. With films the greatest market is never local and I was particularly happy with Freestate because it’s not every day you feature on a film that travels that far, “Chigorimbo said.

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