International Image Film Festival for Women is in its 20th edition and this year SWIFT is there

Owethu Maseko

Zimbabwe hosts this year’s International Image Film Festival focusing on the theme ‘Women of Hope’ with the aim to showcase the resilience and dreams of women determined to succeed in Africa. The festival offers an opportunity for filmmakers to test their skills and form valuable connections with fellow industry professionals, both in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Zanele Mthembu, our SWIFT Acting Programme Manager, sits with Binete Undonque, Malaika
Mushandu, Carine Tredgold and Nakai Matema to name but a few highly skilled, experienced and
awarded practitioners who are chosen to judge a range of 38 domestic and international films, including documentaries, short fiction, and long fiction.

The ‘Pitching Masterclass’ is one of Zanele’s lead roles during the festival. It dares to open up the
discussion for young filmmakers to grab a unique chance at refining their pitching skills, and securing
backing for their various projects. Zanele Mthembu draws on more than 25 years of experience as a
director and producer which counts towards her service in nurturing attendees and developing their
skills. During her masterclass, participants will learn how to:
● Identify target audiences,
● Create compelling stories,
● Demonstrate a project’s potential,
● Deliver an effective presentation and
● Networking with industry peers.

Further festival features include free admission to all event venues. Sihle Hlope, a Swiftie, screens her
documentary, Lobola, a Bride’s Price, on the following dates:
1. Dzivarasekwa, Friday 01 December: 15:00 – 17:00
2. Batanai Gardens, Saturday 02 December: 10:00 – 11:30

The festival, held in Harare and Bulawayo from November 28th to December 2nd and December 8th
to 11th respectively, offers free admission to all event venues and showcases a range of 38 domestic and international films, including documentaries, short fiction, and long fiction.

The masterclass furthers the festival’s mission of increasing empowerment in African media and
promoting African-made films to a global audience. Highlighting the need to improve opportunities for
female filmmakers’ voices, attendees can leverage the class to tell compelling and engaging stories.