By Lerato Ndlovu
Zimbabwean company, Gesh23 Productions is collaborating with Uganda’s King Paul Media Entertainment (KPM) to produce a short film titled “Find Me”.
The film which is a product of the inaugural NACZ/PIFF Africa 2021 Film Festival, was penned by Uganda’s Paul Ssebata and directed by comedian, Madlela Sikhobokhobo.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, (NACZ) Midlands Provincial Arts Manager and Piton International Film Festival (PIFF) Africa Coordinator, Ms Farai Kupfavira, welcomed the partnership and said she expected more collaborations to come out of the continental film showcase.
“This is a steppingstone not only for both NACZ and PIFF but also for the country at large. We hope this partnership will grow and spur further success for the Cultural and Creative Industry not only in Zimbabwe and Uganda, but the whole of Africa as represented by participants in the festival,” she said.
The producer of the film, award-winning filmmaker, Marshal Mpofu of Bulawayo based Gesh 23 Productions said the collaboration is the beginning of many such enterprises which will see his company producing films written by Ssebata.
“The NACZ/PIFF is the one that made us meet with Paul. It provided a platform where we shared our experiences on filmmaking and from those discussions we came up with this strategy where he writes films and we cast and produce them in Zimbabwe”.
“We believe that the collaboration will work on the strengths of the Ugandans in scriptwriting and storytelling while Gesh23 will utilise its strength to cast and produce the films,” he said.
Ssebata said the partnership will help in promoting culture between both countries and attract tourists to visit Africa after watching content from filmmakers that tell stories of Africa.
“Furthermore, this will also allow us to connect with the international market, increase the education and level of film production in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Africa at large,” he said.
The president/founder of UCCI the parent company of PIFF Global and PIFF Africa, Ed “Umoja” Herman said he was overjoyed to see the collaboration efforts between companies from different countries in Africa moving forward positively.
“The collaboration that is now underway between KPM Entertainment in Uganda and Gesh 23 Production in Zimbabwe shows that the work we set out to do is having positive results as PIFF Africa. We hope this is the first of many to come,” he said.
“Find Me,” tells the story of a couple that experiences a bad beginning to their marriage, the wife mysteriously disappears leaving everyone thinking the husband had something to do with her disappearance.
It chronicles the story of the husband’s investigation to find out the truth about what happened to his wife.
The short film will be shot in and around Bulawayo featuring a cast of Award-winning Actors including Antonate Sango, Marshal Mpofu, Ben Chest, Bhekimpilo Makhwelo and other supporting actors.