US artist rues lack of support for Zim film sector

BULAWAYO - American filmmaker Judy Lieff says lack of government funding is the curse of the Zimbabwean movie industry.

Lieff, who led a two-day workshop at the Bulawayo Art Gallery last week with the help of fellow American filmmaker Claire Aguilar, is convinced that the desire by local producers to make quality movies is being undermined by lack of state support.

“I think it is very difficult to make films in Zimbabwe because there is not much support here,” said Lieff.

“There is no government support and the broadcasters do not do much.

“Most of the filmmakers I understand are moving to South Africa because of the economic hardships in Zimbabwe.”

Lieff, however, said local filmmakers can still manage to produce quality movies by pooling their efforts together.

“Film-making is a collaborative, you cannot work on a film without working with other people,” she said.

The two American filmmakers ran sessions for established local filmmakers on devising effective festival strategies, distribution planning and fund-raising methods in a workshop that was facilitated by the United States Embassy Public Affairs Section (Pas), the State Department’s American Film Showcase Programme in partnership with the Zimbabwe International Film Festival Trust (ZIFFT).

During the two-day workshop, Lieff also showcased her debut feature documentary titled Deaf Jam which is story of a deaf teen Aneta Brodski’s bold journey into the spoken word slam scene.

It tells how Aneta, an Israeli immigrant living in the Queens section of New York City, meets Tahani, a hearing Palestinian slam poet.

The two collaborate in the creation of a new form of slam poetry that speaks to both the hearing and the deaf.

ZIFFT coordinator, Elton Mjanana, who attended the same workshop, also emphasised the need for the state to fund the film sector.

“The government should therefore fund the sector so that they do not depend on support from non-governmental organisations,” Mjanana said.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.