With the growing distribution of the internet and DSTV, it is becoming more difficult to access local productions especially on local television stations. Zimbabwe generally doesn’t have much mileage on DSTV which leaves the internet as our biggest asset of accessing home grown productions. The Zim film industry is one of the less documented compared to other artistries. For one, it is hard to break into the industry despite any qualification or otherwise and on top of that it is dependent on donors especially for equipment. It also makes it hard to navigate due to the lack of organizational structure and lack of reference points, hence most talented individuals end up giving up on their dreams and settling on other forms of creative arts if lucky, or at worst abandoning the creative arts spectrum.
To start and keep the ball rolling, the workshop participants will be afforded the chance to star in short films that will be scripted and shot during the course of the workshop. These short films will be distributed via Ya-sibo? Media’s platforms with the hope that the actors will gain confidence and also showcase their acting talents to the world.
Speaking on the self-financed approach taken, Ya-sibo? Media’s creative director Lenni Mdawini Sibanda said “Unlike some of our older industry colleagues, we grew tired of waiting for foreign organizations to fund our dreams, so we took the initiative with our partners Lalani Hotel and Conference Centre and other film producers to create a workshop that would help the film industry grow. This is a sign that Zimbabwean art can make it without carrying a begging bowl.”
Ya-Sibo? Media are no strangers to such bootstrapping initiatives after previously successfully launching Qwaya, a well-executed low budget webcast which left people wanting more due to the curiosity in the script, and Gabela, a silent motion picture production. Ya-sibo? Media has numerous accolades and achievements to their name, from outstanding male actor nomination for lead actor Philani Amadeus Nyoni in Qiniso the movie, winning NAMA 2016 outstanding short film award for Jane The Ghost and having had screenings in Stuttgart Germany 2013 among others. The company’s technical producer Ntjengeti Sibanda spoke on the workshop “This is a nationwide initiative which will end with 3 micro budget films from new directors and actors found during the workshops by the end of 2017. This we hope will help grow 263 films.” Props should be given to Lalani Hotel and Conference Centre which is slowly becoming a favorable hub for hosting creative arts initiatives.
For more information about the first workshop, contact Tatenda on +263 778 622 527 or Luckmore on +263 737 914 233, or check facebook.com/yasibomedia for updates. You can also download the press kit [here].