Zim film makers to tour USA



Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

18 November 2014 – Harare, Zimbabwe – The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe, in partnership with the Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) International Visitor Leadership Program on Demand Division, announced an entertainment media professional visitor program that will send six Zimbabwean film makers to the United States for one week of dynamic activities as part of the inaugural Media Entrepreneurship Leadership Program.

The Zimbabwean participants to the program are Elton Mjanana, Tongai Makawa, Nqobizitha Mlilo, Samuel Monro, Priscilla Ncube and Zandile Ndlovu.

141118-pmwj29-filmmakers-IMAGE“The artists will visit centers of artistic entrepreneurship and collaboration, particularly in the fields of filmmaking, music recording, photography, and creative writing; as well as explore the role of the creative arts in developing local economies,” said Karen Kelley, Counselor for Public Affairs at the United States Embassy. “We hope the tour will stimulate their continued engagement in the sector and contribute to the development of the film sector in Zimbabwe.”

Six Zimbabwean independent filmmakers have been selected to take part in the professional visit, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State.  Representing various facets of the film-making and entertainment as business entities, this program is set to expose this group to Hollywood film-making and the business of entertainment.

As part of their week-long itinerary, the delegation will begin their tour in Charlotte, North Carolina where they will visit, among other institutions, Area 15, a micro-business incubator that includes studio spaces for techies, artists, musicians, writers, a DJ music academy, and a diverse group of other professionals, and NC Music Factory, which is a designated historic property. This converted textile mill encompasses two concert venues,  large movie studio, comedy club, band rehearsal space, restaurants and nightlife, and office space for several entertainment, talent, and media companies.

They are also expected to visit The Light Factory, which works with area schools to engage students in social projects, expressed through film and photography; and Indievision, which is a creative agency that has two divisions: a corporate division that creates marketing and branding campaigns for companies and a film division that creates independent films and other forms of on-line and interactive content for the entertainment industry.

In Hollywood, California, the group is expected to visit the African Technology Foundation (ATF) / Relativity Media; the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television; and the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Independent Film, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping independent filmmakers. The group will also have networking opportunities with local artists and other community members at events organised by their hosts.