By Daniel Itai, Harare, Zimbabwe
Ben Mahaka formerly known as Tom Mbambo in the local soapie Studio 263, has expressed optimism over the country’s film industry.
Although the country hasn’t produced a lot of films that have made it into international cinemas, Mahaka said the time for the country to make its mark on the international stage was imminent.
“I believe the prospects of film are good. The cost of entry into that space has come down dramatically and our universities are starting to deliver graduates who can make films.
What has changed is the distribution landscape. We have woken up to the viability of YouTube as a monetized distribution platform for series and more filmmakers are exploring it, especially after the success of College Central’s Wadiwa wepa moyo.
Moreso, I think there will always be a place for feature films. There are guys like Joe Njagu and Melgin Tafirenyika who are successfully making features. College Central is also working on a feature so feature films are here to stay.
On my side, I have projects planned. I am currently editing a documentary film and I hope to shoot a feature in Chipinge come 2021. I am also looking forward at doing more seasons of Gaza,” said Mahaka.
Moreover, Zimbabwe’s first Netflix Original film Cook Off, which premiered earlier this year has opened up doors for the country’s film industry.