By Bongani Ndlovu
Young and ambitious are words that best describe 19-year-old filmmaker and actor Daniel Lasker who has his eyes set on breaking into the Hollywood film industry.
But first, Lasker – who added another feather to his cap by winning the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RBAA) for the Outstanding Film Director and Outstanding Film (for The Walk) – wants to help build the film industry in Africa.
His short film The Walk, before winning a RBAA, had won an international award as the Best Adventure Film at the New York City Indie Film Awards last year. It also made the official selection for the “Feel the Reel International Film Festival”.
Lasker is not new to making good films as in 2016, he wrote and directed The Way It Is, a short film that was nominated for a National Art and Merit Award.
“I definitely want to go to Hollywood, but at the moment, I’m finding lots of work and opportunities right here in Africa. I’ll basically go wherever the work takes me and for now, that’s right where I am,” said Lasker.
“Maybe next year some opportunities will take me to Hollywood.”
He feels the local film industry just needs to be nurtured for it to realise its full potential.
“At the moment, the local film industry is very small. It’s a very young industry and just like a baby, it needs to be nurtured and led in the right direction. I believe that as more and more Zimbabweans start to believe in themselves and get proactive, the industry will start to see some very positive growth.”
This enthusiasm is part of the reason Lasker pursued a career in film from a young age as he always had a strong passion for creativity.
“I have a vision of Zimbabwe one day becoming one of the leading countries in the world in terms of filmmaking. I feel that film is the most pure, rich and true form of storytelling that exists.
“To be able to captivate an audience and inspire, fascinate and motivate them through your work and possibly change their lives is a beautiful privilege and with great filmmaking, it’s possible to do all of those,” said Lasker. The Chronicle