Sunday, November 21, 2010

Munyaradzi Chidzonga to star in feature film

Munyaradzi Chidzonga, Big Brother All Stars housemate is to star in Zimbabwe’s newest feature film titled Lobola which will premiere on November 25.

The film which is a comedy will be Munya’s debut on the big screen and will be available on High Definition (HD format). Lobola is the latest local big screen production after Souls of Emmanuel, which was released earlier this year.

Munya aka the “Diamond Boy” finished second in the controversial finale of the reality show on DStv early this month.

“The film will be released on DVD and distributed throughout Zimbabwe before it goes regionally as well as internationally, We have agents in countries like Ghana and Tanzania who will take care of our interests from that end,” said Munya who runs his own film company called Ivory Pictures.

Asked how he intends to counter piracy he said: “We will be distributing encrypted DVDs to protect them from piracy and we also want to release a lot of DVDs so as to flood the market at US$2 a copy.”

He said the first screening will be held in Harare followed by Bulawayo and then finally in Mutare.

Lobola will usher in a revolution in local cinema as it was produced using the latest technology using HD cameras in a digital format similar to 35 millimetre film currently making waves in Hollywood. HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard definition video and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1 280×720 pixels.

“We decided to take it further than Nollywood by producing something of higher quality. Not only is the production of the film of high quality in picture but also the execution,” said Rufaro Kaseke, the producer of the movie.

Kaseke said everything had been put in place for the pioneer HD local movie to be screened at Rainbow Cinemas around the country next month.

Four production companies — Decent Arthouse, Mighty Movies, Fireside Stories and Ivory Pictures — invested quite a lot in the production of this movie, which is centres on the dynamic behaviour of Zimbabweans. Writer and director of the film, Joe Njagu, who also co-wrote a short film Bitter Pill with Ben Mahaka, brought a cutting edge to this story which was shot inside 14 days in Harare and Chitungwiza.

“It’s a comedy satirising African culture as seen through Sean Muza’s (played by Munya) quest to get married in one day so as to prove to his father (played by Joe Pike) that he is responsible enough to run the family business. The problem is that he and his brothers have no clue whatsoever on how to go about lobola negotiations,” said Njagu.

The star-studded movie stars the likes of Edmore Sandifolo, the lead actor in Souls of Emmanuel, Pretty Xaba and Charity Dhlodhlo among others. The movie also focuses on clashes between western values and traditional beliefs.

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