The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) and the Piton International Film Festival (PIFF) have launched an online mentorship programme that focuses on celebrating filmmaking and seeks to work collaboratively with filmmakers who are based in Africa.
The programme entitled the PIFF "Africa 2021" is a 12-month initiative will benefit ocal filmmakers.
PIFF director Ed Herman "Umoja," said the initiative is a unique opportunity for filmmakers in that it focuses on education, collaboration, and celebration, instead of competition.
"Filmmakers will be able to work together to inspire and influence the global community in a positive and uplifting manner", he said.
Herman said the opportunity is aimed at assisting independent filmmakers with opportunities to expose and monetise their creative artworks as well as celebrating filmmaking in its various forms
"PIFF-Africa 2021 is a family-friendly event that encourages unity within families, allowing them to watch, discuss, learn, and enjoy the films together", he said.
NACZ provincial arts manager for Midlands, Farai Kupfavira concurred that the PIFF "Africa 2021" is one of the programmes which fall under the Memorandum of Understanding between NACZ and PIFF based in the United States.
"The partnership aims to create and foster relationships amongst artists not only in Zimbabwe but also to have them engage with fellow artists beyond. Its programmes are aimed at promoting African artists based in Africa to see their works showcased beyond their countries and the African continent. The programme intends to push the essence and value of black culture and have it appreciated", she said.
The focus of PIFF "Africa 2021" is to address the various aspects of the billion-dollar industry known as filmmaking as well as understanding filmmaking from "in front of the camera to behind the camera" through workshops and seminars.
Several Zimbabwean artists have used the annual PIFF to premiere their productions.
During the 2020 edition, which was hosted virtually due to the travel restrictions imposed by countries due to Covid-19, the late Thola "Osman" Banda premiered his short film "Disturbed" while visual artist Keith Zenda had a page created on the main festival website which showcases his work.
The NACZ/PIFF also held an international online Poetry Jam in November where over 15 participants from Nigeria, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe showcased their talent. Through the Poetry Jam, a collective anthology of poets who participated is currently under production and will be published shortly.
However filmmakers who want to take part in the mentorship programme can log on to https://filmfreeway.com/piffafrica for more details.