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ZIFF focuses on African cinema

An African Election, a Ghanaian film sponsored by Trust Africa, Hivos and the Royal Norwegian Embassy will this year be the opening film for the festival that will be shown at the ZIFF Main Screen at the Harare Gardens.

The film depicts a close-up look at the 2008 presidential elections in Ghana, West Africa, where the two major political parties were battling for power, making huge promises of change and improvement to the people in a very stiff battle.

The elections serve as a backdrop for the feature documentary that looks behind the scenes at the complex, political machinery of a third world democracy struggling to legitimise itself to its first world contemporaries.

At stake in this race are the fates of two political parties that will do almost anything to win. “We have now moved from screening big international films to a strong African cinema focus in a bid to contribute towards the widest circulation of African films and enhance the utilisation of consumption of African films by Zimbabweans,” said Ziff acting director, Charity Maruta.

Maruta said Nollywood films, popularly known as Nigerian films, were also under African cinema but would not qualify for the Ziff because they lacked high- quality standards, thus were a very bad example of African cinema.

She said this year’s festival would run under the theme Finding Common Ground because for Africa to realise its own development, vision and images of the vision needed to be shown as people could not create a future if they could not visualise it.

“Film and television are instruments for a new visual folklore. Filmmaking in Africa and the Diaspora not only portrays images of Africa to the rest of the world but also conveys images of Africa to Africans,” she said.

Maruta said the theme was meant to connect Africans from across the continent and around the globe.

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