Low budget, high achievements. . . $380 movie bags international awards A scene from “Mind Games”

Vongai Mbara Arts Correspondent
After successfully touring different continents, multi award-winning local feature film “Mind Games” finally premièred at SterKinekor, Eastgate, Harare.

The film, which has a total cast of 10 people, is a psychological thriller set in the modern day Zimbabwe that unravels the complexities of human thought and emotion. Apart from remuneration of the cast, which was negotiated in different ways, the movie’s production cost reached $380.

“We wanted to make a film with resources available. Locally, there have been a lot of complaints about lack of money and other resources to make good films. I then decided to specifically write a film that is designed to use very little resources. Our initial budget was $500 but we ended up using $380,” said Charles Mawungwa, the film director.

The film has been showing around the world at various festivals where it has also grabbed accolades.

“I am really humbled with the way this production has been received at various festivals in different continents. It shows how we have improved as local film producers and come up with productions that match international standards,” said Mawungwa.

In December last year, the movie scooped the best narrative feature award at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival in India.

From there, it bagged the Best Edited film award in Columbia at the Five Continents International Film Festival

It was also a finalist at the Stars Hollywood Film Festivals and Los Angeles Film Festival.

Locally, the film won Best Feature Film and Best Actor awards at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival.

It stars Kevin Hanssen who plays the lead role of Ex, a genius psychopath who takes Sam through a series of tests that accidentally force Sam to revisit his dark secrets and resolve his personal demons.

Mawungwa has been in the film industry for over a decade and worked on a number of award-winning films among them “The Search” which won Best Short Film Project in 2006.

He has also been involved in the production of over 50 documentaries and awareness videos for United Nations organisations.

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