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Zimbabwe Film Maker a Hit at Canadian Exhibition

Zimbabwean film maker Rumbi Katedza's short film "Asylum" has been receiving rave reviews around the world. It's made it into the semi-final round of an international competition organized by Radio Canada. Voice of America English to Africa Service reporter Derek Moyo in Johannesburg, South Africa, says the five-minute film was made in 2007, while Rumbi Katedza was studying at Goldsmiths Graduate Film School in London. It's about a Sudanese woman who seeks asylum in the UK. In the process, she's haunted by the horrors of her past.

Katedza says she made the film after watching news in the UK and saw how a good number of asylum seekers were being treated:

"We had been watching news on asylum seekers, and what struck me most about them was how they all seemed troubled about their security in the UK. But the assumption is that once you seek asylum in a foreign nation you have escaped from what the problem was, but its not true. There are always the psychological effects that affect you and I wanted to explore that idea."

The film-maker added that more needs to be done to assist asylum seekers. She argues simply granting someone an asylum stamp on their passport isn't adequate:

"I wanted people to be in a mindset to think about the asylum seeker as a human being and that human element -- what are they thinking about, what decisions do they have to make and what does this mean for the future of their communities and their children."

She's calling on Zimbabweans to go to the Radio Canada International Migrations website to watch her film. The film has also been short listed for the Radio Canada International Jury prizes in several categories including Best International Fiction and Best International Documentary.

"Asylum" has been screened at various film festivals. It's also won Best Short Film at the Images of Black Women film festival in London.