This feature film is set to have its ‘international premiere’ at the International Film Festival Rotterdam which runs from the 24th of January to the 4th of February in the Netherlands. Tomas Brickhill, the director of Cook Off was invited to the festival and will also be participating in Q&A session on this project.
Cook Off is going to be the first Zimbabwean movie to make the cut for IFFR after almost 22 years since the legendary picture Flame. This a huge achievement for Tomas as their film struggled to get screenings in local cinemas.
“Well, obviously we were disappointed that there is no system to screen a local film through the cinemas here (unless you hire the whole cinema ever time), especially seeing as a lot of the Hollywood movies struggle to attract the audience. But the actual local appreciation of the film had been fantastic. Obviously, we’re super happy to be selected for the festival but it remains to be seen how well the film us really received there,” Tomas told #ENTHUSE.
The film premiered in December at the Ambassadors Hotel to much delight of local movie enthusiasts who found it to be a good project which capped the local film industry’s year on a high note. Its entrance onto the international platform with three guaranteed screenings will hopefully open doors to new markets via IFFR’s CineMart initiative.
In also other interesting developments connected to the film festival, Theatre In The Park, a popular theatre spot nestled in the Harare Gardens has secured a deal to live stream the festival with support from Hivos. This breakthrough is a first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa and TITP director Daves Guzha described it as an opportunity to show the rest of the world that Zimbabwe is still part of the global community and that it is a force to reckon with in the film industry. This is despite the lack of notable films in long while and the unfavourable conditions Zimbabwean filmmakers have had to operate in.
In addition to the live stream, legendary local films like Flame and Neria will also be screened in a bid to allow the younger generation a chance to see Zimbabwe’s rich film history. All shows will be for free and the screenings will run from 26th to the 29th of February.