CROWD PLEASERS AND TEAR JERKERS LINED UP FOR IIFF 2015
By Yvonne Jila, festival director
If it's good, it's at IIFF! From crowd pleasers to tear jerkers, August sees the 14th edition of IIFF taking place in venues in and around the city of Harare from the 14th to the 22nd.
WOMEN ALIVE: WOMEN OF HEART is this year’s theme and over 60 narratives selected from 30 countries will feature in the festival program. I am sure you will enjoy this year's selection of films that will bring you to tears while others will make you laugh to the point of breaking your ribs. Discover on your own the exceptional quality of films presented at this year’s festival in our Wild Track newsletter special edition next month. Worth mentioning is that whilst the previous edition of IIFF was particularly criticized for technical glitches, this year’s submissions have been receptive to the festival's transition from analogue to digital cinema. IIFF this year is proud to have recorded over 12 entries in Digital Cinema Print, and these are the most recent productions from around the world.
As usual, film screenings will be accompanied by the awards ceremony at the closing night. The awards aim to honour outstanding works that portray the festival theme WOMEN ALIVE: WOMEN OF HEART. IIFF exists to raise the visibility of works promoting positive gender relations, and works by women filmmakers. On the other hand, the recently introduced awards, the Best African Film and Best SADC Film aim to encourage the production of feature films and more content from the African continent and sub-region respectively. Local content will be awarded in the Shasha Ingcitshi Zim Experts (SIZE) Category. Other festival categories include the New Man and World View.
Apart from winning awards at this year’s IIFF, filmmakers can look forward to getting their films viewed by diverse audiences, and reviewed by cinephiles. By submitting your film to IIFF, you have also helped us to quench the thirst of audiences of more than 10,000 recorded in Zimbabwe and our other festival outreaches in Bulawayo, Binga, Gwanda, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda last year. IIFF will return to these places after the main festival in Harare.
For some of our audiences, this may be your first, and sometimes only, opportunity to see new work from around the world. A heartfelt thank you from IIFF to filmgoers and film lovers, for attending the festival year after year. It is only through your continued support and appreciation that we thrive. Thank you for embracing IIFF with open arms and we look forward to seeing you at our venues!
Other festival highlights include the Documentary Filmmaking Workshop to be conducted by former BBC Reporter and Ghanaian-British Documentary filmmaker Yaba Badoe. She has over 30 years experience in radio and television. The workshop will cover two days of theory of documentary followed by a practical sessions running throughout the festival.
This year's festival is benefiting from the EU- ACP Cultures support spread over three years. Other confirmed festival partners include the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, the African Women’s Development Fund, the British Council, Old Mutual and the Embassy of Germany in Zimbabwe.
Although I will be away physically during this year's edition of IIFF participating at the Mandela Washington Fellowship, my co-programmer Karen Mukwasi is the Acting Festival Director. She brings in four years of festival coordination and programming experience to use.
For more information about the festival, visit www.icapatrust.org/iiff. You can also follow us on twitter @wfozicapa or by using hashtag #IIFF2015.