Dangarembga’s new film ‘Nnenna’ on cards

Talent Gore Arts Correspondent
Award-winning filmmaker and author Tsitsi Dangarembga is set to direct a new film titled “Nnenna”, which will be shot in Nigeria early next year.

“Nnenna”, which was adapted from a Nigerian book “Trapped in Oblivion” is about a 14-year-old girl, who seeks to explore love and sex with her best friend.

In an interview Dangarembga said she had already begun conducting trainings in some African countries for casting and production.

“So far we have conducted several trainings in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Senegal. I’m passionate about bringing great African stories to the screen, so when I read the novel ‘Trapped in Oblivion’ I was hooked.

‘‘The mother, who can’t discuss sex and relationships is everywhere on our planet, not just in Africa. Nigerian novelist Ifeoma Ezeobi is eager to see her book adapted to the screen, and I have already spoken to her about it.

“I have reached out to my networks to find young Nigerian women to write the script, co-produce and direct the movie, and today here we are ready to go with this amazing collaboration,” she said.

Dambgarembga said they had created a platform in which people can donate towards the making of the film.

“We have created an international platform for people to donate.

‘‘We have raised a bit of money on the platform. Any contribution to that cause is welcome. We are going to spend about a year after raising the required funds,” she said.

She said the move is part of efforts to empower women and create an enabling environment for female actors.

“This is a watershed moment for women film-making on the African continent. We are women working together with no governments or other institutions involved – truly independent filmmaking.

“Everything is evolving and so is our culture. We no longer have those old aunties and uncles, who used to give advice to the young people.

‘‘Traditional structures are no longer there, yet we don’t have new structures replacing the decaying old structures and this has caused a big problem in society,” she said.

Dangarembga said the country’s film industry was not friendly to women.

“Zimbabwe is one of the countries that is very difficult for women, who would want to rise or do well in the film industry. The industry is not well-developed at all, and has not been women-friendly,” she said.

She said the story was ideal for film, adding it was a good way to teach women how to do film scripting and directing.

“I worked with three young Nigerian women during scripting, and I will work with a young Nigerian director also.

‘‘There are many women working for male producers, directors and DOPs producing short documentaries, but are not occupying those top positions,” she said.

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