Local horror flick ‘Bako’ set to terrify audiences at premieres in Harare

Local horror flick ‘Bako’ set to terrify audiences at premieres in Harare

‘Bako’ is a horror movie set in a fictional town in Zimbabwe. Four friends make their way to an abandoned mine that is said to carry large deposits of gold. However, due to some mishaps they end up trapped in the mine and soon discover they are not the only ones in the mine.

The idea of the movie first came up in 2020, “I am constantly in ideation mode. I jot down ideas for movies almost, sometimes even multiple times in a day,” says the writer and director Tafadzwa Ranganai.

Ranganai is a seasoned filmmaker who recently won a ZAFTA (Zimbabwe Annual Film and Television Award) for his work on the film ‘Nevanji’; he won in the category of ‘Outstanding Screenwriting for Film’.

“Quite honestly, I’m not really too much into accolades, they’re cool but I worry more about whether audiences will like my film or not,” Ranganai said, “Awards are still nice though, don’t get me wrong, ‘Award winning filmmaker’ has a nice ring to it”. He has also done work on popular Zimbabwean television productions such as Tangled.

Filming for the film [Bako] was done at Mashava (King Mine). Ranganai mentioned that the locals were very welcoming of him and his team. As for interior shots of the film, production designer, Progress Nyandoro led the exercise of building sets at the InHouse Media offices. The cast comprised of Paul Zibgowa (actor on Intab’enkulu and the upcoming film ‘4KUS’), Zebron Thembo (famous for working with Naiza Boom Productions), Mathias Kureva (film and theatre actor) and Kudzai Kizito Madangwa.

“The thing I enjoyed the most about working with them is they loved the script so much they basically embodied the characters. They’re extremely hard working.”

In order to finance the film, Ranganai sold his car (a 1995 Toyota Corolla) which provided half of the budget while the rest of the financing came from his producing partner InHouse Media.

On the record; film funding is a huge challenge in the Zimbabwean film sector. Most films you see are funded out of producers and director’s pockets.” The filmmaker also notes that in order for the film industry to grow cinemas have to screen local films alongside international features and government regulations to make cinemas meet a certain local film quota.

The film is set to premier at the Jason Mpepo little theatre in Harare, Zimbabwe on the 24th of May. This day also carries significance for Ranganai as it is his birthday (he will be turning 40). The premier will be followed by an after party to celebrate his birthday and the film’s launch. Another screening will be done on the 26th of May under an initiative called Lazy Sunday Cinema which will be hosted once again at the Little Theatre. Lazy Sunday Cinema hopes to increase the viewership of local Zimbabwean films by screening them each Sunday at 3PM at the little theatre. 

Picture4 Local horror flick 'Bako' set to terrify audiences at premieres in Harare
Set of the cave built inside the InHouse Media Offices in King Mine (Mashava)

The film has already enjoyed screenings at film festivals in Botswana and Zimbabwe. ‘Bako’ is in the Shona language which English subtitles with a running time of around eighty minutes. Tickets for the screening are already on sale.

Kudzai Mhangwa

Kudzai Mhangwa is a writer, actor and musician. He writes poetry, plays, essays and short stories. His work has been featured on House of Mutapa, Atrebla Magazine, Ka'edi Africa, Poetry Soup and elsewhere.

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