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Local films for Zambian fest

THREE local films, including Melgin Tafirenyika’s latest offering, 5th Anniversary, have been selected for showcasing, among several African films to be screened, during this year’s edition of the annual Sotambe Documentary Film and Arts Festival set for September 21 to 29 in Zambia.

The festival — whose name means “come and watch” — was established in 2014 in the Copperbelt province of Zambia, to educate and raise awareness on social issues through film and the arts.

The other two films are journalist Hopewell Ching’ono’s State of Mind and Binga teacher Kalulu Mumpande’s Mwenzule Uupya.

Tafirenyika told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that he was happy to be flying the country’s flag high through film.

“It came with joy that our film, 5th Anniversary, was two months ago selected at the “We are Africa” film festival that took place in South Africa. This time,
it is in competition on the Zambian film festival. I am happy because there are three Zimbabwean films that were selected, so it means growth to our local film
industry,” he said.

“When we are talking about the growth of the film industry, we not talking about shooting many films that we will keep in our hard drives, but we talking about
shooting movies that have an international appeal and are able to compete with other films.”

The filmmaker-cum-actor said the festival will encompass film-making and art workshops for children as well as art exhibitions, outdoor screenings, film
entrepreneurship conferences and filmmaking laboratories.

Another film, based on eye specialist Solomon Guramatunhu’s work, Restoring Focus done by United States-based Sue-Ellen Chitunya will also be beamed.

According to the festival’s website, there will be awards and prizes in the following categories: Best Documentary, Best Feature, Best Short Film, Best
Animation, Best TV Series and Best Use of Music In Film, all under the southern African region. For the national category (Upcoming Filmmakers), awards will
be for Best Documentary, Best Feature, Best Short Film, Best Animation, and Best TV Series, while the non-competition category will be open to filmmakers

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