HARARE – Award-winning South African actor Vusi Kunene and Burkina Faso film director Idrissa Ouedraogo are star guests at this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) which kicked off yesterday.
The Burkinabe director won an award for his film Tilaï The Law at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, the Fipresci Award for his 1986 film Yam Daabo The Choice.
Ouedraogo’s 1993 film Samba Traoré won the Silver Bear at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival.
Ouedraogo is returning to Zimbabwe where he filmed his award-winning Kini and Adams in 1997.
Kunene, who started his acting career around 1996 and has been nominated for several top South African awards, won an Avanti award for Best Actor in 1998 for his role in the drama series Justice for All.
Kunene probably owes most of his popularity to his role as the villain Jack Mabaso in the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) soapie Generations.
The South African actor is currently playing the role of Jefferson Sibeko in another popular South African soapie called Isidingo.
The presence of the celebrated Burkinabe film director Ouedraogo and top South African actor Kunene is expected to add colour to this year’s ZIFF which is bouncing back after a year’s absence due to financial problems.
ZIFF 2013, running under the theme “A Retrospective Looking Back Thru Independent Eyes,” hopes to escape the criticism that rocked the last edition.
The 2011 event was criticised by many film followers for failing to showcase locally made films and for issuing awards to foreign films mainly from South Africa and Ghana.
Elton Mjanana, one of the ZIFF coordinators told the Daily News that one of the main highlights of the festival would be the screening of Ouedraogo’s Kini and Adams.
“Kini and Adams is going to be screened on Thursday December 12 between 8pm and 10pm with a discussion coming up after the movie, mainly from the director himself Ouedraogo and one of the actors Vusi Kunene,” said Mjanana.
Kini and Adams was filmed in Zimbabwe, France and Burkina Faso in which some Zimbabwean artistes such as Zimbabwe’s folk singer Netsayi Chigwendere also featured.
“This year’s festival is going to be beautiful. Though small, this year’s edition is very rich in content and highly entertaining” said Mjanana.