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Zimbabwe Film Festival Celebrates a Decade in Cinema


This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Zimbabwe International Film Festival, which kicked off in Harare last Friday. The theme for this year's showcase is "Celebrating a decade in cinema." Voice of America Zimbabwe Service reporter Derek Moyo tells us the festival opened at the 7 Arts in Avondale on the August 24th, with the screening of the award-winning Spanish language film "Pan's Labyrinth". It's directed by Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.

Isabel Manuel is the coordinator of this year's festival. She says preparations for event went well, despite the trying economic times and difficulties obtaining support from corporations, "This year we have received some very, very interesting fantastic entries all in line with our celebratory a decade in cinema. We have a documentary ÔÇťAbsolute Jiti on the Bhundu Boys. It's something to look forward to."

Like previous festivals, this year's showcase also features various workshops including one tackling music video production. Manuel says the latter aims to teach Zimbabwean filmmakers how to produce top quality music videos, on a low budget, "We have workshops running at the [Zimbabwe International Film Festival] offices. We have a music video production workshop with Marian Kunonga that will run for a week. So it's just taking participants on how to make a good video production on a low budget"

Additionally, Alex Lindsey from Pixel Corps will be hosting workshops discussing the importance of visual effects and online video production. She told VOA that this should help cinematographers produce content for the Internet and get paid for it.

Two new feature films, produced in Zimbabweans, will also be screened. One is titled "Bitter Pill", and its directed by Ben Mahaka. The other, directed by Charles Mawungwa, is called "The Perfect Match".

Several local short films will also be screened, as part of the festival's Short Film Project.

Organizers say they chose to partner with Africa University, which will be showing some film projects as well. Other screening venues include the Elite 100, Vistarama, the Alliance Francaise and the National Gallery in Harare as well as Bulawayo.

Big screen buffs will be able to enjoy an array of international hits, including "The Queen" starring academy award-winning actress Helen Mirren and George Clooney's "Good Night and Good Luck".