Yeukai Karengezeka-Chisepo Arts Correspondent
Zimbabwean classical movies “Neria” and “Flame” are set to be screened at the inaugural edition of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) set to run from January 26 to February 4 at Theatre in the Park, Harare.
IFFR which is one of the biggest festival in Europe for the first time is being hosted in Sub Saharan Africa and will run concurrently with the main 47th edition in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The event will run under the theme “A History of Shadows”. The movie “Neria” a 1999 production features superstar Oliver Mtukudzi and Jessesi Mungoshi who plays the lead role as Neria. Neria takes the views through a touching story of a widow who suffers at the hands of her cruel and greedy brother-in-law Phineas (played by Dominic Kanaventi) after the death of her husband.
The classic feature film “Flame” of 1996 was the last local film to première at the IFFR in Netherlands over 22 years ago. This unique event comes at a time when Zimbabwe’s film industry is breaking new ground on the international arena with the screening of the film “Cook Off “ directed by Tomas Brickhill and produced by Joe Njagu at the festival in Harare and Netherlands.
In partnership with Hivos Southern Africa, the festival organisers in Harare will live-stream proceedings from Netherlands. A line up of six international films by filmmakers will be screened during the festival.
IFFR offers a high-quality line-up of cautiously selected fiction and documentary feature films, short films and media art and the festival’s focus is on recent work by talented new filmmakers from around the globe. In an interview with Rooftop Promotions director Daves Guzha — he said they were happy to host such a prestigious event for free to film lovers.
“This is a historical event that presents us with an opportunity for interaction and dialogue between film makers and audiences in Zimbabwe and Netherlands through a virtual medium. It is clear testimony that our country is ready to engage robustly with the rest of the progressive world,” he said