ZIMBABWE International Film Festival Trust (ZIFFT) executive director Nigel Munyati last week urged the youth to take advantage of the new political dispensation and freely express themselves through film.

BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO

Launching the Smartphone Short Film Competition on Thursday, Munyati said the country was going through a critical transformation which has created a free space.
“We are going through a very critical phase in the contemporary history of Zimbabwe. One of the things that the new dispensation brought is an open space. There is freedom of speech that didn’t exist for the past three decades,” he said.

“Why can’t young people take advantage of that? They must take advantage of that opportunity to express themselves and tell the elders what they like their future to be.”
He said young people should use film to tell their stories and share expectations of the future.

ZIFFT, which is working with several partners including Alliance Françaiseand Econet’s Elevate, said the competition challenged youth to produce four-minute films under the theme, Being Zimbabwean.

“We are asking them to sit back and think about what it means by being Zimbabwean. We are also trying to show that there is a better way of using technology,” Munyati said.

Econet Wireless brand officer under the Elevate programme, Kudzai Munemo said his organisation felt humbled and honoured to be a part of this inaugural programme.

“I felt threatened, not because Elevate or Econet cannot deliver but due to the endless possibilities and the limitless opportunities that youths can find in this amazing project. This is an amazing project that we feel humbled and honoured to be partnering as Elevate,” he said.

The deadline for the submissions in the competition is May 23 and top three winners will be awarded cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200 respectively. The People’s Choice will be awarded $100 and the top 10 entrants are going to receive mentorship and content development support