The rising stars of Zimbabwe cinema Daniel Lasker

Mbulelo Mpofu, [email protected]

IN the world of cinema, it’s all about lights, camera, action and cut! These four words hold the power to transport audiences to new worlds and emotions, and they are the mantra of film directors striving to create exceptional motion pictures that can compete on the global stage.

Over the years, Zimbabwe has steadily asserted its presence whenever conversations turn to films of international calibre. Recently, the organisers of the renowned annual Bantu Film Festival in Botswana made an exciting announcement. From 18 to 21 October in Gaborone, a selection of films is set to grace the screen, and proudly representing Zimbabwe are four outstanding productions.

These films, namely “Death and Other Complications,” “Cavern,” “3 Days in March,” and “Animals,” have all earned their spot among the chosen few.

“Animals,” a remarkable short film directed by the talented Welensky Kaseke, is at the forefront of this cinematic showcase. This production has already made waves, securing the prestigious title of Best Narrative at the European Film Festival Zimbabwe. Its storytelling prowess has also been recognised at Zambia’s Sotambe International Festival.

The genius behind “Animals” extends beyond the director’s chair, as it was co-written by the dynamic trio of Welensky Kaseke, Leo Ericks, and Fadzai Gwenhe. Together, they have woven a narrative that captivates audiences and showcases Zimbabwe’s emerging talent on the global cinematic stage.

In an interview with Saturday Chronicle,  Ericks expressed gratitude to the organisers of the festival and conceded gradual growth of the film sector in the country.

“It fills me with joy to be selected for exhibition. I feel much appreciated and such recognition really shows that we are on the right path as a sector. People are slowly warming up to how we tell our own stories,” he said.

Leo Ericks

The Covic-19 brought a new dimension to how people lived life and three Days in March, product of Inhouse Media, directed by Kuda Bwititi was set around the era when Covid-19 was causing havoc worldwide. The film was written by Admire Kanhenga.

“Cavern” takes viewers on an expedition of the yellow metal where a group of illegal artisanal gold miners, venture into a long abandoned mine in search of the biggest haul of gold rumoured to exist. It was directed by Tafadzwa Ranganai under the film production company Creative Hub Films.

The last of the quartet, “Death and Other Complications” exhibits dark humour lead by , popularly known as Bhutisi. He plays John, a spoilt young man who is self-centred.

The story revolves around the shenanigans of this particular individual who decides to bring a girl over but things take a nasty turn when she dies in his bedroom. The film made under Mirazvo Productions was written by Bernard Sande.

Indeed, Zimbabwe is on the rise and selection into the Bantu Film Festival is just the tip of the iceberg. Recently, the Zambia Sotambe Film Festival 2023 Edition witnessed the nomination of two outstanding Zimbabwean films: “Ngoda” and “Mirage.”

These nominations further solidify the reputation of Zimbabwean cinema and highlight the diverse narratives and exceptional craftsmanship showcased by the nation’s filmmakers.

Daniel Lasker’s “The Signal” won accolades abroad and the combination of Lasker and veteran actor and budding film director, Eddie Sandifolo has filled local film lovers with joy. The pair are set to premiere a thriller, “Hidden Within” on October 6 at the Academy of Music in Bulawayo.

Nomagugu Ndlovu

Nomagugu Ndlovu, a film lover said it’s upward and onward for local films.

“Our movies are thriving and being nominated for awards which shows that we are making an epic mark in the industry.

The movies we are producing are worthy of the standard that deserves recognition. Case in point, Daniel Lasker’s The Signal, a local production which got the recognition it  deserved! It was nominated for an award with the other films from different countries, catapulting us to the top,” she said.

Gone are the days when local filmmakers where seen as mere people with cameras.  –@MbuleloMpofu

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