In the words of Lazurus Long: Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending. Something we can say about the just ended European Film Festival which ran in Bulawayo from Tuesday the 9th – Saturday the 13th of October, which ended on a high note with performances from Bulawayo top acts such as M.U.S.E, Super Geeks Dance Crew, Antivirus and phenomenal Zim Hip Hop Act – ASAPH.

The festival which screened over 11 movies, inclusive of documentaries, gave Bulawayo and Zimbabwe a taste of the European Film Industry. The journey through Europe is characterised by the diverse cultures and facets of the continent, a wide scope of stories that engage and pay tribute to the common traits of human nature –  touching on friendship, love, hopes, dreams, anger, regrets, misunderstandings and fears that are not only European, but universal. Eleven screenings, spread out across five days, provided more than 1000 minutes of entertainment and food for thought through film, staring conversation both at the festival and online.

One of the most controversial movie was I AM NOT A WITCH which caused quite the buzz on social media, as some viewers thought it’s stereotypical while others challenged that as a thought provoking movie. Twitter comments ranged from:

#EUFilmFest18, your movie I AM NOT A WITCH was racist and disgusting the narrative of black people is absolutely wrong

– Zenani Masuku

Which was challenged by another viewer who went on to say:

Really? Wow. Sad that you were disgusted by the movie. I enjoyed the movie. Only sad that Shula died, had hoped that she would breakaway. #EUFilmFest18

– Samkeliso Tshuma

Most of the individuals that attended the screenings on a day to day basis, enjoyed the thought provoking content of the films and documentary, resulting in full house 6pm screenings on a day to day basis during the festival.

As part of the Film Festival, the organisers included LIVE performances from acts such as De Lukes, Mimmie Tarukwana, Djembe Monks, M.U.S.E, SuperGeeks, Antivirus and ASAPH. Cliff Central’s Gilmore Tee, was the host & MC from the opening to the closing of the EU Film Festival 2018, a job he executed swiftly since it’s not his first time being on such grand stages.

Moving forward, the onus has been given to Zimbabwean creatives to go back to the drawing board and strategize on how to cover the gap in the industry, using the sets of movies showcased at the film festival. Looking at Bulawayo in 2018, not much has been going on in the film sector yet there is so much content and opportunities to tap into both on grassroot level and national level. I should also mention that you need to watch out for a movie from Bulawayo titled Teenage Trail which premieres on the 3rd of November.