Mirage film, directed by Malaika Mushandu, as her debut film, has been nominated at the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival (TINFF), that celebrates diversity in film from local filmmakers in Toronto and across Canada, USA, and Internationally.
“The nomination speaks to the quality of the film and story, that we managed to make a product that resonates with people not only of Zimbabwean descent but world at large” said Malaika Mushandu
The film has been nominated in three categories that include; Best Female Filmmaker, Best First Feature, and Best Picture Film. Mirage becomes the first film from Zimbabwe to be selected at TINFF and in three categories.
Malaika noted how important this opportunity presents for the film community in Zimbabwe to be on other major streaming platforms like Netflix.
“Tinff has managed to secure aggregators from leading streaming platforms such as Netflix,Amazon, Sony ,Apple TV to mention a few with that in mind it is my hope that with the showcase of films such as ours these networks will start considering commissioning in developing countries. I am quite aware that it is a numbers game hopefully a consolidation/ collaborative commissioning can happen within Southern African countries with small population
A good story is a good story no matter where you take it . This has been evident through films such as Parasite and the series Squid Game. Korea is one of the smallest countries within Asia yet out of that area the film industry was shaken” added Mushandu
Mirage’ is a movie set in 2017 during the historical coup in Zimbabwe. The movie tells the story of three prison inmates who escape the prison for their own personal reasons.
Tambu (played by Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana) hopes to escape in order to get to her daughter Diamond who is now under the shadow of abuse and insanity. Zoe (Charmaine Mujeri) hopes to get back to a person she once lost. Memo (Chipo Bizure) a woman who believes she was wrongfully convicted.
The script was written by award-winning writer Virginia Jekanyika while production was handled by Joe Njagu, MMX Productions and Malaika Productions.
The TINFF AWARDS & GALA will be held in Toronto, September 23 – 24, 2023.
Speaking to Joe Njagu, he expressed his hopes for a Zimbabwe film industry future from its current shortcomings.
“I think for us being on this journey of reviving the film industry in Zimbabwe its a nod that we are walking in the right direction. Mirage is a Zimbabwean story that was made for the world so when we get recognized at festivals like TINFF 2023 in Canada it shows that we did something right. This is Malaika’s debut feature film and already she has bagged 2 best director awards and these 3 nominations so the future is indeed bright for her rising star.” said Njagu
TINFF’s focus is to excel in creative, independent film direction through innovation, multicultural, and uniqueness that captures the series of movements and experiences in a single film. Every year filmmakers will take part in the TINFF Red Carpet, Interviews, and Media coverage event and Winners from each category will be recognized with an award during TINFF’s awards and gala event.
The movie was nominated for Africa’s biggest movie awards the Academy of African Movie Awards (AAMA) in three categories. The movie also won Best Actress (Katomeni-Mbofana), Best Film Director (Mushandu) and Best feature film at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival in 2022.
Malaika’s journey in film continues and she promises more productions in the horizon.
“Definitely more content is coming. So far I have played a hand in two feature films that have done exceptionally well by the grace of God I was a Producer on Ngoda which won a NAMA this year. Next will be trying my hand at television productions. We have slates with several projects that are at different stages, so what might come out next from me is a limited series.”