Local movie ‘Escape’ at European festival
Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
Highly publicised award-wining movie “Escape” yesterday got a slot at Gdynia Film Festival in Poland.
The Noir Fairytale movie initially premièred at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIIF) last year, earning nine nominations and finally winning two awards for Best Actor and Actress which went to Eddie Sandifolo and Nothando Nobengula.
The movie is a joint project between Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska of University of Bedfordshire in UK and award-wining producer Joe Njangu.
“Escape is being screened in the Polonica section which has only seven films, selected out of almost 100 submitted.
“For me it represents a continuing commitment to working in post-colonial collaborative contexts in Africa and elsewhere,” said Piotrowska.
Though having commercial ambitions, the film touches on important issues in Africa including child marriages, power and gender issues.
“Escape” was banned at a festival in Zanzibar for its mildly erotic content but won a big prize for its screenplay at the Los Angeles Neo Noir Film Festival.
It has also screened internationally at various conferences and is being distributed in Africa in cinemas, online platforms and DVDs.
For Piotrowska, a Polish-born British academic and filmmaker this will be taking her production home as she hails from Sopot, not far from Gdynia where the festival will be taking place.
“This is an amazing distinction and a great opportunity to return to my roots not only as a Visiting Professor at the Gdansk University, but also as a filmmaker who believes in exploring different cultures in order to build bridges in the world,” said Piotrowska.
The film tells a story of a young man born and bred in London who is of mixed heritage and whose white mother tells him about his origins in Zimbabwe.
“The theme of looking for the father is a classic theme in many world stories.
It is also a film noir re-telling with a femme fatale and a possibility of a crime against the background of unfamiliar surroundings.
“The fairy tale part of it connects to African oral traditions as well as European fairy tales and with witches, princesses and deathbed confessions,” she said.
Piotrowska is currently completing a new film written by award winning local writer Stanley Makuwe.
Her new monograph on power and gender “The Nasty Woman” is to be published in November.