The African Filmmaker’s LA experience

TALENTED filmmaker Sydney Taivavashe says it is his dream to have films that compete on a global stage and rub shoulders with internationally-acclaimed filmmakers.

He said it is every filmmaker’s dream to be in Hollywood and he got to experience the feeling during his visit for the world premiere of his first feature film Gonarezhou The Movie in Los Angeles last month.

Gonarezhou The Movie, an anti-poaching film, was nominated and came first in the Pan African Film Festival where movies by international stars such as Nick Canon where also showing.

“LA was an experience for me personally. Every filmmaker dreams about going to Hollywood the land of filmmakers and for me to get a glimpse of that world really motivated me to work harder. Nick cannon and Chris brown’s film was also showing but I didn’t get the chance to meet them because of the commotion they caused when they arrived,” he said.

Taivavashe said the LA visit was an eye opener to how things are being done across the globe. He said the win by his film is a huge stepping stone for him to come up with other productions.

“What I learnt is that no matter how big or small a film might be, marketing is important to push a production. The win was great and it is just a step towards the big picture. My dream is to put Zimbabwe firmly on the global map in terms of filmmaking and I’m sure together with the other filmmakers we can do it and that would be a proper win,” he said.

He believes the country’s film industry is growing but on a snail pace, lacking the support of stakeholders in the arts.

He said this should discourage filmmakers but serve as motivation for them to eye other markets until they convince local partners for support.

“The film industry is growing but slowly because of lack of support. Not many believe in film yet in Zimbabwe but it’s up to us the filmmakers to keep making these films so we can grab the attention of potential funders.

“We also have to tell unique stories and that way we can easily penetrate the international audience who crave for fresh foreign stories,” he said.

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