Stephen Chigorimbo, The NEW Head Of The Jury

Stephen Chigorimbo, The NEW Head Of The Jury

The King Moshoeshoe Film Festival which will be launched on 11 March 2023 in Lesotho and South Africa appointed its head of jury, Mr Stephen Chigorimbo, a veteran filmmaker based in Zimbabwe. His appointment was revealed by Aubrey Silinyana one of the founders of the festival.

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The appointment of Chigorimbo will be followed by announcements of people to serve under him who will adjudicate over the films and decide on which films should win awards.

Stephen was born on April 5, 1951 at Chegutu, a small mining and agricultural town 100 kilometers west of Harare. He is a descendant of Mashayamombe, one of the leaders of resistance to imperialism in Zimbabwe in the late 19th century.
The socially and politically conscious Highfield High in the late 60s groomed Stephen in the arts particularly theatre, literature, music and movies when he wrote a screen play at sixteen.

During and after high school Stephen acted and took part in Shakespearean plays including Othello and Macbeth, and others like Kongi’s Harvest by Wole Soyinka, Athol Fugard and many more. After school he found himself studying insurance after a stint at the potter’s wheel as a hand thrower. He became a leading life assurance manager and trainer until 1984 when he quit and went into filmmaking fulltime.

A German feature “Whispering Death” was the first movie he worked on as an actor and subsequently assistant director. After that Chigorimbo took part in many films including Slavers, Month of the Doctors, House of Hunger, Tuxedo Warrior, Jake Speed, King Solomon’s Mines, Richard Attenborough’s Cry Freedom, Mandela and many others. He also worked as an Insurance trainer, actor, writer, Assistant Director,Production Manager, Producer, Director and as a Trainer on the UNESCO/Zimbabwe Film Training Project. Stephen has worked as a filmmaker in Denmark, France, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, United Kingdom, United States and Zambia. He has attended workshops in countries including Australia, Germany, Mozambique, Lesotho, South Korea and Egypt.

Chigorimbo co-produced and directed his first feature film in 1991 called Pfuma Yedu funded by Danish Film Central. He has directed many documentaries on ecology, environment, religion social commentary and sports programmes especially golf.
Stephen line produced “The Big Time” became a household name in Zimbabwe as John Huni a leading character in the runaway Zimbabwean soap “Studio 263”. He also wrote, acted, directed or produced other productions like “Estate Blues”, ‘Mhembwe Rudzi’ lasting memories and others.

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Currently Stephen is working on a basket of projects at varying stages of development.
Ever since 1984 when a workshop was held in Zimbabwe on filmmaking Stephen became very much part of the development strategies of the industry in Zimbabwe, the region and Africa. He has been a founder member of the film workers’ association in Zimbabwe, a founder member of the Southern Africa Film Festival, was elected and is an ex officio member on the board of FEPACI – the Pan African Association of Filmmakers.

During his tenure on FEPACI several projects were muted and became reality with his involvement to a greater or lesser extent. Among these are Southern African Film festival (SAFF) which hosted a Mini INPUT, Southern Africa Broadcasters Association (SABA), The film and Television Market (SITHENGI), ZIFF Zanzibar, ZIFF Zimbabwe and numerous others. Chigorimbo believes that the Audio-Visual industry has very big potential for eradication of poverty and is a powerful tool for communication and development both at local and international levels.

The Awards will consist of the following categories:
Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture/Cinematography, Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Production Design, Lesotho Produced Tv Programme (Best ), Best Short Film, Best Feature Film and Best Student Film.

Film submission is currently opened, and awards are expected to be handed over from the 10th and the 11th of March.
The King Moshoeshoe Film Festival derives from the name of the first, Basotho King’s name who was the founder of Basotho Kingdom, king Moshoeshoe.

Tapiwa Rubaya

Tapiwa Rubaya is the current affairs, fashion and sports reporter at My Afrika Magazine.

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