22 January 2018

Zimbabwe: Breakthrough for Zim Film Industry

Zimbabwe will this Friday become the first Sub Saharan Africa country to host the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) which is set to be held at the Theatre in the Park.

The Harare edition of the IFFR festival will kick off with the screening of six films inclusive of fiction, documentary feature films, short films and media art.

This unique event comes at a time when Zimbabwe's film industry is breaking new ground on the international arena with a local feature film, Cook Off, directed and produced by Tomas Brickhill and Joe Njagu respectively, having been selected for screening at the festival in Netherlands.

According to the organizers, Bero Beyer, IFFR Director, the festival, will focus on recent works by talented new filmmakers from around the globe.

Beyer said that the live streaming in Harare provides the IFFR with an opportunity to widen the reach of new films.

"IFFR is about connecting people and bringing daring new films to audiences that care to widen their view on the world though cinema. We are extremely happy and proud to include Harare, Zimbabwe in a unique cinema event, called IFFR-Live" said Beyer

"A line up of six films by female filmmakers that illuminate our lives through the personal stories they tell. Audiences from all over will be able to connect to the cast and crew live via social media to join the discussion and truly be part of the festival," said Beyer.

The mega event will also celebrate the power of cinema in increasing the understanding of society while infusing positive social change and the expansion of the creative space for film citizenship.

This year's edition of the IFFR themed "A History of Shadows" seeks to investigate cinema's powers to re-evaluate and revisit the past and will showcase approximately 500 films from around the globe.

Tanja Lubbers, Regional Director of Hivos Southern Africa said the festival presents an opportunity for interaction and dialogue between filmmakers and audiences in Zimbabwe hence their decision to partner with IFFR.

"Hivos is a proud partner of IFFR in The Netherlands, I am delighted that we are now also part of this unique and first ever event of live streaming the IFFR in Sub Saharan Africa. This is a historical event that presents us with an opportunity for interaction and dialogue between filmmakers and audiences in Zimbabwe and the Netherlands through a virtual medium," said Lubbers.

Daves Guzha, Director of Rooftop Promotions who hosts the Theatre in the Park welcomed the global collaboration as key in raising the profile of the arts in sector Zimbabwe.

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