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'Bulawayo needs to be prime shooting location for films'

by Staff reporter
03 May 2023 at 01:05hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe International Film and Festival Trust (ZIFFT) in partnership with Bulawayo-based Rebel Film Productions brought together 10 production studios for a meeting at the Nust American Space in Bulawayo last week.

The initiative was aimed at showcasing the production process of the city's film studios to the corporate sector so as to subsequently market Bulawayo as a prime shooting location for local and international films.

Hosted by award-winning hip-hop artist Asaph and moderated by animator Mhle Nzima, the event was graced by ZIFFT executive director Solomon Maramba and general manager of Zimpapers Radio Broadcasting Division Comfort Mbofana among several popular names in the Zimbabwean film industry.

The workshop was centred on show-reel presentations that each production studio had to come up with showing how they utilise the resources at hand and other aspects they applied in terms of how they perceive the film sector and the services they render.

Among the list of showreel exhibitors was Priscilla Sithole-Ncube's documentary-centric Ibhayiskopo Film Project, Nzima's animation-centric Rebel Film Productions, Braydan Heart's Visual Effects-centric Hearts FX studios, Mthabisi Onias's Reality TV-centric ONVI TV, Daniel Lasker's outstanding fiction-centric Crossline Pictures and Rasquesity Keaitse's cinematographically masterful Keaitse-Films.

The cast of the Ngoda film which was in the city last week also showed face with Harare-based film producer Joe Njagu giving a showreel presentation on the value of product placement in film so as to engage and educate the film and business community on the vast business opportunities available in the field.

The interactive sessions ended with several ground-breaking connections and projects being put on the table.

These included an online network of filmmakers plotting and executing a way forward for making Bulawayo a prime shooting location for film with hopes for engagements with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Insurance Companies, the Hospitality industry, local Infrastructure Development and the retail sector.

This was the first of a series of film events leading up to the main annual Film Festival that is usually held in September.

The workshop was an ideal platform to give film creators and actors an opportunity to discuss issues based on the possibilities available to create a space for Bulawayo as a destination for film and video production.

Speaking after the event, Nzima said: "The meet and greet was essential as we needed to create a space where not only individuals benefit, but almost everyone is included. There's no stable film industry as yet because these people are marketing themselves individually."

Commenting on some of the things raised in the discussion, Maramba said ZIFFT is building a database of film production services in Zimbabwe to be marketed through its networks.

He said these will be used to present Zimbabwe as an attractive destination for film production with plans to engage with stakeholders regarding listing on the database in the works.

Source - The Chronicle