Four Zimbabwean films for Bantu festival

Four Zimbabwean films for Bantu festival

The second edition of Botswana’s Bantu Film Festival (BFF) roars into life on the 18th of October 2023 with all the ingredients of a successful Pan-African cinematic jamboree in place.

With screenings from the host Botswana to Cote d’ivoire all the way up North, the festival is fast growing to be counted amongst Africa’s distinguished film showcases.

Zimbabwe is well represented by four selections from four different independent producers. The four productions are Cavern (Bako) by Tafadzwa Ranganai, Animals directed by Welensky Kaseke, Three Days in March by Inhouse Media, and Death & Other Complications by Rain Media.

For Cavern, it will be the world premiere of the eagerly awaited horror-themed feature. The film would have had its debut screening at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival, but the inadvertent postponement of the festival gave Botswana, a country which the producer calls his second home, a chance to taste the film first.

“I’m excited about Cavern having its world premiere in Botswana. Creative Hub Films, my production company is half based there so I consider the country my second home. I have lots of friends and family there”, the film’s producer-director Tafadzwa Ranganai tells My Afrika Magazine.

One Story, One People

Opening on the 18th and closing on the 21st, the festival will offer more than just screenings as the organisers have topped up several activities to the menu. There will be an Afro-Courte themed opening night, a filmmaking Masterclass, panel discussions and an award ceremony with all the frills of glitzy and glamour associated with an awards night.

“The Bantu Film Festival has rapidly established itself as a hub for showcasing exceptional talent in the world of cinema, particularly from the African continent. With a dedication to promoting diversity, creativity and storytelling excellence, this festival has become a platform where filmmakers, industry experts and cinephiles come together to celebrate the magic of the silver screen”, the festival said in a statement.

In the run-up to the festival, a scriptwriting contest has also been put in place. Supported by Mosadi Grant, the screenplay competition is specifically targeted at women writers from the age of 18 going up. The winning submission will walk away with a P10 000 cheque to fund the production of their script.

Speaking to My Afrika Magazine, the festival director, Lesedi Mphothwe soaid initiatives like the Mosadi Grant are important as they encourage inclusion in the industry.

“My belief is that for women to share their stories they need a platform. This is important because inclusion means us leading as women and we are capable of doing just that”.

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Corporate partnership remains a valuable lubricant that oils the cogs of a big, Pan-African project like the BFF, and Mphothwe is forever grateful for the masive support the festival has recieved from corporates, industry stakeholders and well wishers alike.

“I would like to give special thanks to Ladima Foundation, Kosinima Inc., Upic TV and our other partners and sponsors who saw the need to partner with us in celebrating African excellence”, said Mphothwe.

Elias Muonde

Elias M Muonde is a Writer, Scriptwriter, film Director 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. He's also a Human Interest correspondent with My Afrika Magazine, but often happily encroaches to hard beats like politics and business. 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 , TV series for independent producers and popular satirical shows under Magamba TV. When not writing or reading, Muonde spends his life in the garden helping a swathes of colourful geraniums, hibiscus and roses open up their buds to the sun and bloom.

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