Feature Film ‘FOCUS’, a story that needs to be told

Feature Film ‘FOCUS’, a story that needs to be told

Love, friendship, and drugs will be at the center of the sizzling drama of a new Zimbabwean feature film set to premiere in February 2024.

The film is titled ‘’FOCUS’’, and is being produced by award-winning filmmakers Billy Kabasa and Alex Robbins. The cast, all with notable careers in film and television, include Takura Murapa, Kundai Nqobani Mabviko, Vicky Maphosa, Pearl Ngwenya, and Paul Zibgowa. The producers also roped in the talent of musician-cum-actor Blessed Kudzie Shayamano.

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‘’Focus is a story that needs to be told. As the director, I’m committed to bringing its important messages to the screen with authenticity and impact. I hope this film will not only entertain but also provoke meaningful discussions and contribute to positive social change,’’ says Billy Kabasa, the film director.

Snapshot reels of the production viewed by this writer point to a tantalizing and soothing visual gourmet in the making. The performances are frighteningly powerful, especially from the lead female cast whose characters are emotion bombs.

The story is driven by the character of Princess, a young and determined girl who is passionate about her studies and dreams of a better future. We follow her as she takes us on a journey of personal growth, family and friendship dynamics. She is focused on remaining strong in the face of a bulwark of challenges ranging from sexual exploitation, substance abuse, and addiction, not for herself only, but for her peers and best friend Brenda.

‘’Princess opened me to a world I didn’t know I could handle. I am someone who can’t cry on camera, but Princess’s journey touched me personally and it took me in,” says Kundai Mabviko who portrays Princess in the film.

Her ‘’BFF’’ in the film, Pearl Ngwenya, who plays the character of Brenda, reckons hers was the most challenging role.

‘’This role was very challenging. I was required to put in every single emotion I had and trust me, it wasn’t easy. As an actor, I felt challenged because I had never played an emotionally wrecked character. But I learned a lot from Brenda and I hope a lot of people who are in the same situation as Brenda learn something from her,’’ said Pearl.

Focus adds its voice to the ongoing conversation of drug abuse especially within the youth population, as film asserts its position as an influencer of behavior in society.

Premiere dates will be announced soon.

Elias Muonde

Elias M Muonde is a writer, poet, scriptwriter, and journalist based in Harare. His writing has been published in a handful of anthologies as well as in The Standard Newspaper, The NewsHawks, various international journals, blogs, and online platforms. A film enthusiast, Muonde has worked on several film projects in different capacities: from production management to assistant directing. He also wrote over a hundred episodes of radio drama aired on Radio Zimbabwe.

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