ZIFF rebound applauded

HARARE - Organisers of Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) have been applauded for reviving the event which is central to the growth of the film industry.

Hivos regional director Tanja Lubbers said ZIFF coordinators have shown commendable levels of resilience and commitment after it re-launched following the economic melt-down of 2008.

“I am proud of this festival, started with beautiful productions going back to 1980s,” said Lubas during the launch of ZIFF 2014 in Harare on Saturday.

“We said we need a platform for inspiring, helping and supporting each other and ZIFF coordinators came up with this festival.

“After a few years, the festival could stand on its own. When we said you can stand on your own for now, then the economic crisis that devastated industries including Zimbabwe came a few days later and the festival was damaged for quite a few years.

“We are happy that they chose to revive, reinvent it. We gave them a small support and they are able to make it grow.”

This year, ZIFF was given a $10 000 grant by the Culture Fund.

From the almost 200 submitted works, 67 films from 32 countries will be screened this year.

Apart from screening in town, organisers will this year take some of the films and workshops to Harare’s high density suburbs such as Mabvuku, Mufakose, Kuwadzana, Highfield and Mbare.

Event director Nigel Munyati said the organisation believes it has a mandate to keep the industry vibrant for future generations.

“I would like to believe that a greater part of who I am today is because of my early experiences with the film industry, so why shouldn’t we try pass on part of that legacy to our younger folk and children,” he said.

Six of the expected 23 international guests are already in the country for the week-long event.

A 2013 film, Camarada Presidente, by Mosco Kamwendo was shown during the launch.

Kamwendo, who is a Zimbabwean living in the United Kingdom, took 20 years to complete the film which revisit and contextualise all aspects of the life of liberation icon Samora Machel.

ZIFF Trustee Isabella Matambanadzo said, “From Kamwendo, I think we need to learn that our dreams do not have expiry dates.”


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