Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
UNITED Kingdom (UK)-based production house, BJB Films (Billy Jeremiah Brown Films) founder, Leo Brown has set his eyes on reviving the Zimbabwean film industry.
Brown last visited Zimbabwe in 2018 intending to produce a film featuring internationally acclaimed singer Demarco and Zimbabwean songstress Ammara Brown. Socialite Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure’s luxury house and cars were set to be featured.
Speaking from his UK-base, Brown said he made progress when he was in the country but his plans were affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
He said he planned to resume working on the project as soon as the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
“I last came to Zimbabwe in 2018 and I intended to produce a film featuring the Jamaican famous singer Demarco as well as Ammara Brown and Awilo Longomba. I had a meeting with Philip Chiyangwa and we discussed the way forward and he advised on a few things to get movies produced in Zimbabwe,” said Brown.
He said he also met Ginimbi and requested the use of his nightclub, cars and house and he agreed to assist.
“President Mnangagwa has said Zimbabwe is open for business and we decided to come to Zimbabwe to do business in the film industry,” said Brown.
He however, said he was waiting for approval from Government for shooting the film as well as securing sponsorship for the project.
The 43-year-old artiste who was born in Congo and grew up in the UK, said he wants to see a progressive Zimbabwean film industry as he is passionate about the arts.
“After the pandemic, we’re planning to start movie productions in Zimbabwe where we’ll use tourist attractions such as the Victoria Falls, Kariba and other inner-city attractions countrywide. We want Zimbabwe to be the centre of African Hollywood style movies,” said Brown.
He urged creative Zimbabwean artistes to come forward and be part of the project to revive the country’s film industry which he said had great potential to market Zimbabwe as a tourist destination.
“We welcome those who are already in the movie industry and want to work as well as learn from us,” Brown said.
BJB Films was formed in 2015 and focuses on producing musical videos and movies among other products.
Their last work was the production of concert videos for Ashanti during her UK tour.
The company has also done videos for artistes including Sean Paul, Akon, Joe Thomas, Sisqo, Mario, 112, Demarco and Beenie Man. – @mthabisi_mthire.