National Arts Council has commended Zimbabwe International Film and Festival Trust for successfully hosting the 18th Zimbabwe International Film Festival 2016 saying that it has remained consistent despite challenges facing the arts sector.
National Arts Council director Elvis Mare officially opening the festival themed Reel, Sound & Music said the council was very proud of ZIFFT.
“We are very proud of ZIFFT. They have been consistent in face of challenges. Film combines all art forms therefore it requires much funding,” he said.
ZIFFT which is celebrating 19 years of existence has through its programmes such as the Short Film Project (SFP) has groomed many people who include Hollywood Arnold Tongayi Chirisa regardless of challenges.
“It hasn’t been an easy journey. We had 17 festivals so far and now we are having the 18th but it has been difficult. It is because of the support we get from you (funders and audience) that we have made it. We are so proud of this,” said ZIFFT Executive director Nigel Munyati.
“We have trained over 300 filmmakers, over 35 producers and directors. Some are major personalities in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Hollywood who have used film to showcase our culture and have given significance to it,” he said.
ZIFF director Elton Mjanana was happy with the increase in locally produced films submitted for this year’s festival which reflects the growth of the industry.
“This year we have 68 films from 22 countries. 28 of these films were locally produced. This is so impressive since the figure is far beyond 16 submitted last year. This has never happened, thus, showing the growth of the industry despite hardships,” he said.
Submitted films include the much awaited Escape Directed by Agnieszka Piotrowska & Joe Njagu.
British Council director Samantha Harvey pledged to keep on supporting the festival, “We will continue supporting you.”
ZIFF2016 began in style with a Music video production workshop facilitated by Tatenda Jamera.
Outreach screenings will be done in Mufakose, Dzivarasekwa, Epworth and Chitungwiza.
Opening night film Amy screened on Saturday chronicles the life and career of British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse The festival will end on October 8.