The organization behind the Zimbabwe International Film Festival, ZIFFT (Zimbabwe International Film and Festival Trust) launched a Smartphone Film Competition this year. Under the theme ‘Being Zimbabwean’ the Competition teams up with telecoms-giant Econet Wireless through Elevate, EcoCash and the French Cultural Centre Alliance Francaise. The opportunity is open to participants aged 16 to 34 who are expected to generate a four-minute short film focused of young narratives. This comes at a time of growing free speech and creative freedom in Zimbabwe just a few months after the iconic ant-Mugabe marches and resignation of long ‘serving’ former President. In the official announcement Director of ZIFFT said;
“This is an opportunity for the youth to express how they feel about being Zimbabwean and also express ideas that help shape their future because a lot of the decisions being made today will affect them in the future…this is a critical stage in Zimbabwe’s History”
Despite there being strict rules of a-politicalism and non-religion there’s been positive uptake. In a more recent Press Release, the organizers confirmed with renewed optimism, that potential participants were calling and emailing in for inquiries, with one full submission already made. ZIFFT Consultant and renowned Filmmaker Miss Nakai Matema said there is great hope for the local film industry.
“The quick response to the Smartphone Short Film Competition is interesting and enlightening in terms of just what the youth of Zimbabwe feel about the journey and the direction in which Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole are going as they take a more profound space within the world”, she said.
Although Zimbabwe’s Film fraternity has had its fair share of ups and downs – scandals of gender inequality, higher quality of visuals which unfortunately are yet to translate to the equivalent of income; young filmmakers like award-nominated 18-year-old Daniel Lasker are on the rise. We’re hopeful that a few more stars will rise fro this opportunity. The Smartphone Short Film Competition will close on the 27th of May. You can check out the Terms & Conditions of the Competition here and to apply you can get the Application Forms for your submission here.