Tawengwa takes film venture to America

HARARE - Award-winning film maker Patience Tawengwa recently attended the Annual Harvard Business School Africa Conference in Boston as part of promoting Milele-a Pan-African production house she formed last year to uplift young African artists.

The premier annual event, where the keynote address was delivered by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, was attended by luminaries such as South African television host and the founder of Ndalo Media, Khanyi Dhlomo and Ecobank Chief Operating Officer Evelyne Tall.

Tawengwa’s visit to Boston followed her trip to the Lusaka International Film and Music Festival late last year.

The award-winning film maker told the Daily News that attending the Harvard Africa Business conference, which is dedicated to increasing awareness of business opportunities on the African continent, was very strategic for Milele.

“The television/film/theatre industry is a multi-billion dollar global industry which unfortunately is not taken very seriously in Zimbabwe and most of Africa at the moment.

“It is up to us to change that story and make the case for serious investment by beginning to adopt a business approach to what we do. I read a report which said that “the global revenue for the film industry will grow from 88.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to 104.6 billion in 2019.

“But the disappointing thing is Africa doesn’t have even five percent of that market share yet we are consumers of movies, television shows etc. Something is wrong with that picture,” she said.

Tawengwa, who has been a key player in the Zimbabwean film industry for over a decade, added that she is determined make Milele a key Pan-African television and film business.

“I am building Milele into one of the few woman-founded and led Pan-African television and film production studios in Africa and to do that we need to seriously understand the business of what we do.

“We can sit around and complain, daydream or wish we had an industry like the global ones we so admire or we can just get up and do what we can to create the rewarding industry we want, it’s not easy but it can be done,” the respected film-maker said.

As part of its agenda to bring together African film makers, Milele co-produced with some partners from the continent a short film called “The Sojourner.”

The Harare-based organisation is currently in the process of developing an original television series titled “Somewhere in Africa” which looks at the world through the perspective of a post-colonial African woman President. The series seeks to employ 26 African artists

“The main star of the show I am proud to announce will be Zimbabwe’s very own leading actress Sandra Chidawanyika-Goliath.

“It is a work in progress which we will produce in collaboration with both African and International partners,”Tawengwa told the Daily News recently.

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