$100K Escape hits the bigscreen

The wait is finally over for many Zimbabweans, and those abroad, who were looking forward to the release of the much hyped feature film, ‘Escape’, as the intriguing masterpiece is set to premiere on Tuesday October 4 at Ster-Kinekor Borrowdale as part of the 2016 Zimbabwe Film Festival (ZIFF).

It’s really sad to note that the organisers decided to open a Zimbabwean festival with a foreign film but none the less the excitement ahead of the premiere has not been dashed.

The just under 90 minutes long film cost $100 000 to produce, which is a first in Zimbabwe as most filmmakers find it difficult to source funding for their projects.

“The nightmare to source funding for filmmakers is not only a Zimbabwean issue but is a global one. All producers go through the same problems,” said producer and director of the film, Agnieszka Piotrowska.

As the producer I struggled to source funding for this film because most people abroad were reluctant to fund a film that was not telling their story as this is more of an African storyline.

“This is why we need local corporations to come on board and fund local films because nobody will tell the Zimbabwean story if we do not do so ourselves.

“Ultimately though, we managed to raise the money we needed via some private funders, friends and relatives as well as striking some smart partnerships with service providers.”

On how they selected the cast she said, “We called for auditions.

“Initially I did not want to do open auditions but my co-director, Joe Njagu insisted that we open it up to everyone and we did.

“400 people came through and amongst them was ,  who I knew as a musician and did not know she had amazing acting skills.

“She auditioned and got a part in the film, though it we had a tricky situation when the script required her to do a kissing scene. Initially she refused raising concerns about her marriage but after liaising with her husband, he gave the green light and we did it.

The scene where Selmor Mtukudzi(right) kisses the main actor Jose Marques in the movie escape PIC: COURTESY OF NEHANDARADIO.COM
The scene where Selmor Mtukudzi(right) kisses the main actor Jose Marques in the movie escape PIC: COURTESY OF NEHANDARADIO.COM

“There are five principal characters in the film with the lead role being played by Jose Marques. This is his first lead role and he really delivers.

“Other characters in the film are the likes of Nothando Lobengula, Eddy Sandifolo, Daniel Tapera, Stuart Sakarombe, and Munya Chidzonga.

“Munya Chidzonga plays the role of a detective who is at first menacing but ends up being a very comedic character, this side of Munya hasn’t been explored yet and those who will watch the film will testify what an awesome actor he is.”

Speaking on distribution of the product, co-director of Escape, Joe Njagu said, “We have a number of strategies we have in place but definitely we will avail the DVD on the streets at $1 and we will also be targeting for it to go on circuit at international festivals and also use our links in Europe and other western countries to find a market for the product.”

Escape is the first production of newly formed company, Thinking Films which is a brainchild of Agnieszka Piotrowska and Joe Njagu.

Zimbo Jam

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