With a distinctly African focus, Ziff 2011 offers film lovers an exciting array of primarily new, provocative feature films, short films and documentaries, to which we as Africans can truly relate.
The primary venue is in the Harare Gardens. The additional venues at Alliance Française, Embassy of Spain, Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, the Young Africa Skills Centre in Chitungwiza and The Bulawayo National Gallery, will ensure that the festival has an extremely wide reach.
The festival includes a week of workshops for budding film-makers, to be held at The Mannenberg with the focus on conscientious film-making, some of them led by visiting renowned film-makers Djo Munga of the DRC and Ramadan Suleman of South Africa.
Running through to October 7, many of the top-quality films have been carefully selected for their focus on our own continent’s concerns, addressing Africa’s social, cultural, economic and political realities.
While the primary focus is on films about Africa, or made by Africans, or both, Ziff will as usual offer an excellent selection of festival quality films from North America, Europe and Asia.
The theme of this year’s festival is Finding Common Ground. The organisers hope to bring Zimbabweans together at Ziff to enjoy films which are likely also to lead to much discussion and debate and promote mutual understanding, as we explore many burning issues we face as Africans, continent wide.
HIGHLIGHTS AT THE FILM FESTIVAL
A few highlights to whet your appetites include; An African Election which follows the 2008 elections in Ghana, on opening night; The Redemption of General Butt Naked, telling the story of Joshua Milton Blayhi, a Liberian warlord who murdered thousands but later atoned for his crimes and sought forgiveness from his victims and Viva Riva, a gangster thriller from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
There will also be Mama Africa, a new, collaborative documentary by film-makers from South Africa, Finland and Germany about Miriam Makeba and Blood in the Mobile, Finnish-DRC collaboration about the dark side of how cellphones are made. This powerful film connects our cellphones with the civil war in the Congo.
Rwandan film Kinyarwanda, which returns to the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the untold story of how Moslem leader, the Mufti of Rwanda, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from participating in the killing, and how the mosques became places of refuge where Muslims and Christians, Hutus and Tutsis came together to protect each other, will also be shown.