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Zim films dominate Zambian festival

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BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO

THREE local films top the list of the 14 feature films set for screening at the Sotambe International Film and Arts Festival scheduled to start tomorrow until Saturday in Zambia.

The films are Kushata Kwemoyo, Nevanji and Death and Other Complications.

Zambia and Malawi have two films each selected while Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania and United States have one production each for screening.

Death and Other Complications produced by award-winning filmmaker Shem Zemura has also been nominated  for the Best Feature film (southern Africa) award competing with two Zambian films, South African and Malawian films.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Zemura said the festival had given them an opportunity to prove that the local film industry was not dead.

“Having many films carefully chosen for screening at the biggest Zambian festival is a clear sign  that our quality is good. We are the oldest filmmaking African country and we remain the best,” he said.

“Regardless of discrimination by regional channels, lack of financial support from our ministries and lack of incentives from the local channels, independent Zimbabwean producers continue to make exceptional content that has been applauded by festivals in Africa and the rest of the world.”

The 32-year-old filmmaker said although having films nominated at some international festivals had not been of great benefit as of yet it was a step in the right direction.

Nevanji producer Kuda Bwititi, who is having his first production screening beyond Zimbabwe’s borders described, his film’s selection as a great achievement.

“It is such a milestone achievement. Festivals are very important to any filmmaker for they help them grow their skills, network and possibly connect with potential markets,” he said.

“Zambia’s film industry has grown significantly in southern Africa and having my film screening in a fast-growing industry presents more opportunities to me and the Zimbabwean film industry at large.”

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