By Sharon Muguwu | Daily News |
Selmor Mtukudzi, who featured in the film Escape that is set to premiere during the ongoing Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF), says her husband Tendai Manatsa was initially uncomfortable with a kissing scene on the movie.
The 90-minute film was co-directed by British academic and filmmaker Agnieszka Piotrowska and Zimbabwean Joe Njagu.
It also features Munya Chidzonga, Jose Marques, Harare International Festival of Arts general manager Maria Wilson, Nothando Nobengula and Eddie Sandifolo.
The daughter of music legend Oliver Mtukudzi told the Daily News she only took up the role after some lengthy negotiations with Manatsa, who is also a musician.
“I obviously had to get permission from him. He finally agreed to us doing it,” said Selmor.
Piotrowska, who was with Selmor during the interview, weighed in on the matter.
“This is a great story; we had to negotiate for a long time. And he (Manatsa) read the whole script and we waited for him. He was like I like the script but can’t you do it without the kissing scene?”
Despite his initial misgivings, Manatsa finally gave Selmor the permission to feature on the highly-anticipated movie which will premiere at Ster Kinekor Borrowdale tonight.
However, her husband and fellow musician Manatsa had to be thoroughly persuaded in order for her to play the role.
Selmor plays the role of a strong African girl called Anna.
“I could relate quite a bit to Anna; she is a modern African girl. Being an African girl myself and appreciating the modern world, it wasn’t too much of a stretch for me to get into character,” she said.
The Nguva Yangu singer explained how she was able to go through the erotic scenes in the movie.
“As for the erotic scenes, you just switch your mind. I told myself that this is no longer Selmor, it’s Anna and she has to do this,” said Selmor.
Though Selmor conceded that Escape was her biggest role to date, she was quick to point out that she is not a greenhorn in the world of acting.
“I did a movie called I am the Future which was directed by Godwin Mawuru as well as numerous dramas that came out on ZBC. I have always been an actress,” she said.
She added that she found her role on Escape very exciting.
“Working with different directors was interesting in that they would agree on certain things and disagree as well. You would find that Joe would want certain things, while Agneiska wanted different things. But at the end of the day, they would agree . . . I enjoyed myself during the production,” said Selmor.
Piotrowska hailed her collaboration with Njagu on Escape.
“Collaborations are important in every sphere of life. The idea of opening your mind and interacting with different cultures can present interesting pieces of work. It’s important to open minds rather than say I don’t know these people so I will ignore them,” she said.
The British filmmaker commended local artistes for the effort they put in their work.
“The artistes are so much talented but they need to work on organisation skills. As an educator, we spend a lot of time teaching people how to organise things . . . but the talent is there to be honest,” said Piotrowska, adding that Escape exposed her to a new filmmaking experience.
“I have worked with National Geographic before, doing documentaries. I have worked all over Africa but I was working for an American organisation, but now I am working with African filmmakers.
“Escape has commercial value but for me it was about different cultures merging. The main character is of mixed race, whose mother on her death bed revealed that the father is Zimbabwean.
“The heart of it is what happens when you are mixed like this and you have to find stuff about your identity,” she said.