MEET THE 2021 SAFIRIO MADZIKATIRE AWARD RECIPIENTS
Jan 28, 2022
The film Artisans and 1 Director Edition. For those behind the scenes whose names and faces no one knows, but without them films could not be made.
JAMES JEMWA – Camera
James Jemwa is a veteran filmmaker and video journalist. In the late 1990s James trained with the UNESCO Film and Television Training Project of Southern Africa where he specialized in Camera. He has worked on various projects from short films, feature films and documentaries as Cameraperson and Director of Photography, including on numerous ZIFFT Short Film Project films.
A highlight of his career was being the head of the Technical Department in Malawi on the award winning feature film called “The Last Fishing Boat” and was responsible for training technical crew. James has also worked for international news channels such as Aljazeera as a video journalist. In 2016 James was arrested and spent 15days at the Chikurubi Maximum Prisons for covering protests in Zimbabwe.
EVELYN GAMBE-PINGIRIASI – Make-up
Evelyn Gambe-Pingirasi entrepreneur and Film maker. She started her creative journey at age of 14 as an actress and make-up artist for her school’s drama club. She joined the Screen Talent drama club headed by Thompson Tsodzo in 1989 where she learnt a lot working with different actors, producers , and directors outside of a formal institution which did not exist at the time in Zimbabwe.
Under the mentorship of NAMA legend Award recipient Sue Haines, Evelyn worked on becoming a make-up/hair/prosthetic artist. She began working as an assistant on international and local films training under international Makeup Artists and Head of Departments.
She has worked herself from being a Make-up Assistant, to Key Make-up, to Make-up Supervisor and now Make-up Designer, and the highest Black qualified in the region, now based in South Africa.
Over the years she has worked with the likes of Danny Glover and Carl Lumbly, in Liberation Struggle in Namibia and Lupita Nyingo, David Oyelowo in Queen of Katwe. She has worked on big studio projects for the likes of ABC studios, HBO, STARZ, Warner Brothers, Disney World, and Netflix where she has continued to refine her craft. Her most recent high profile project was the SA Netflix series Blood and Water as Head of Hair and Make-up Department.
In 2015 with no sponsorship she established the Set Skills Academy in Cape Town to train young black creatives and designers who are in very short supply in a very white South African industry with very few opportunities for blacks. Although now based in SA, Evelyn is still proudly Zimbabwean, just recently working on a Zimbabwean led project shooting in Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Namibia. Her intention is to have a Zimbabwean wing of her Set Skills Academy.
GREGORY SHAMBARE – Grip and Jack-of-Trades
Gregory is a freelance filmmaker who started working in the film industry in 1991. He has worked on both local films and international productions as Plasterer, Camera Assistant and Grip. He has worked on several international and local productions including (to name a few): A Far Off Place, Sherlock Holmes, Power Of One, Kini And Adams, Lumumba, Yellow Card, Thinking About Africa, Lost World, Studio 263 and Super Patriots.
He has also worked on numerous documentaries and TV Commercials, and is also a member of the Short Film Project crew. Most recently he has also worked on the AMAZING RACE REALITY TV SHOW.
Gregory was inspired by his uncle Slyvester and his sister Elector Garaba who both worked in key positions in the Zimbabwean film industry. Over the years he has learnt a lot from working with different foreign productions and continues to pass on his knowledge to the younger generation.
FARAI CHIMOMBE – Gaffer
Farai Chimombe is Zimbabwe’s Gaffer Extraordinaire, a true lighting guru. Not to be confused with Winky D. His entry into the world of film was by chance and a matter of being a neighbor of another legendary lighting guru, Mactus Bvumbe, in Mbare. In 1994, at a time when numerous international film productions were taking place and there was a shortage of competent crew, Farai was brought on by Mactus to work on his first film as a Spark (lighting assistant) – this was the German production called The Gap. From there on he never looked back and has been a crucial member of the Zimbabwean film industry since.
Initially mentored by Zimbabwean cinematopher Patrick “Murehwa” Lindsell, Farai has gone on to working on numerous local and international productions in the lighting department, learning on the job mainly from international Heads of the Lighting department and moving up in the ranks himself to become a Gaffer of note himself. Farai continues to work on long form and short form film televisions and commercials productions, mentoring the next generation as and when he can. Farai also has worked as a crew member on ZIFFT Short Film Projects.
RUMBI KATEDZA – Director
Rumbi Katedza Rumbi is a dynamic and talented award-winning filmmaker, writer and voice-over artist with more than two decades of experience working in film and TV in Southern Africa. Her company Mai Jai Films focuses on creating a new generation of films through creative collaborations and co-productions. Rumbi is also former Festival Director of the Zimbabwe International Film Festival.
She has directed numerous music videos, films and TV shows, including the award-winning short film Asylum, TV drama Big House, Small house and feature film Playing Warriors. In 2011, her documentary about survivors of election violence in Zimbabwe, The Axe and the Tree, was launched at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.
Her articles and short stories have appeared in several publications including Vertigo, AV Specialist, Hype!, Illuminations, Women Writing Zimbabwe and Our Stories – Winners of the BTA/Anglo Platinum Short Story Competition. She was a member of the editorial teams at leading Zimbabwean publication, Parade Magazine, and Ogojiii, a magazine focusing on African innovation in design, enterprise and current affairs.
Having done Primary and Secondary Education in Harare, Zimbabwe, Rumbi went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English from McGill University, Canada in 1995. In 2008 Katedza received the Chevening Scholarship that enabled her to further her studies in film. She also holds a Masters of the Arts Degree in Filmmaking from Goldsmiths College, London University. To add to her already busy life, Rumbi Katedza is a part-time lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, in the department of Theatre Arts. She has been a judge and monitor for the National Arts Merit Awards, responsible for monitoring new film and TV productions throughout the year on behalf of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe. She has also lobbied the Zimbabwean government to actively support the film industry in a particularly in her role as the Vice-Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Film Industry Development Platform (ZFIDP).
ZIFFT is honoured to have worked with these legends in the film industry, and these awards are a small token to show them our respect for the work they have done and are yet to do. CONGRATULATIONS! MAKOROKOTO! AMHLOPE!