By Takudzwa Chihambakwe
The last time a movie with an estimated cost of US$100 000 was made in Zimbabwe, there were mixed feelings from the audiences with regards to production costs versus the final product.
That movie, “Escape”, never caused a buzz and many wished for such investments to be made for productions such as “Sabhuku Vharazipi”, which lacked funding but whose storylines resonated with the masses.
On March 16, the movie “Chinhoyi 7”, estimated to have cost US$100 000, is set to be released at Ster-Kinekor’s Sam Levy’s Village movie houses in Harare.
The movie took three years to make and after many failed attempts to launch it, many will be eager to see what has come out of all the effort.
“I am very happy that the movie is finally out,” said writer/director Moses Matanda. “It has been a very long journey but great movies take years to make. I am very relaxed now waiting for feedback from the audience.”
Matanda says his movie matches international standards and the reasons for postponing a premiere several times last year was in order for them to “seal some important deals”.
“Our movie matches international standards because it was edited by the same guys who worked on blockbuster South African productions ‘Tsotsi’ and ‘Sarafina’. We delayed launching it because we wanted to make sure that we lock deals with international festivals first before releasing it locally. We also wanted to make sure that it will show across the SADC region in all Ster-Kinekor cinemas,” he revealed.
Matanda said that despite the high production costs, he does not make movies for money.
“When I make movies, I don’t do it to make money but to sell a story. Yes, the budget was over US$100k but the spirit behind everyone who committed to it was to unite the people of Zimbabwe through a powerful story.’
“A story that connects us with our inner being, a story that makes us proud of being Zimbabweans, a story of sacrifice, love and determination, a story full of hope – hope that one day we will see blacks and whites working together to develop our country, Zimbabwe.”
But how does Matanda hope to produce more films if he does not place emphasis on profits?
“When I wrote the script it was never about money. It was for much bigger reasons. Yes, we all want money but passion comes first. It will be (a bonus) if we rack in millions.
“Our industry needs money for it to develop. I need money for shelter, food and day-to-day living but there are certain stories that just drive you to create without thinking of money. This is one of them.
“Our producer, Tawanda Sarireni, is working with some international distributors to make sure the movie is watched across the globe. The movie is in digital cinema package (DCP) format and will not be released on DVDs soon. This is to cut off piracy. It’s being distributed to cinemas only.”
Matanda, who is already working on another action movie with the assistance of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, is set to drop another feature film this year.
“I have done a movie produced by Rudo Mudavanhu of Nhaka TV titled ‘Eagles in this Hut’. It’s based on a true story of a father who was sleeping with his daughter. We should be releasing it later this year,” he said. The Sunday Mail