Zimbabwean director and film producer, Stephen Chigorimbo, knows what to do to resuscitate Zimbabwean film industry. He does it by distributing African film productions to all corners of the world with the help of Afriwood, an audio-visual marketing and distribution company.
Chigorimbo set up Afriwood in 2010 capitalizing on almost 40 years of international experience in film and music industries. He is often part of international film events across the world, including FESPACO, film festival in Cannes and Input.
Soon, up to 300,000 Russian-speakers in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will get a chance to experience Africa filmed by the continent’s talent. Explains Andy Kozlov, “In April, Afriwood partnered with the Kyiv-based Media Resources Management and will be in the Ukrainian capital this September as a seller at the 2012 Ukrainian Content Market.
“My task, as an Ukrainian with a knowledge of African film sector, is to facilitate contracts for the purchase of exhibition rights by TV channels from various regions of the Russian-speaking world. Concurrently, Afriwood intends to enter into partnerships with production studios in Ukraine and Russia to help co-produce films and TV programs both in CIS countries and on the African continent.”
Afriwood seeks to promote and distribute African movies in such a way that the producers make enough money to enable them to work on another production.
“Most of the documentaries that we have done were broadcast by either ZTV or SABC, Danish television [stations] or BBC,” says Chigorimbo. “If they put the money they own the rights. But now Afriwood has acquired the rights back so we will be able to distribute these productions in our own capacity.”
The Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust through programme support funds from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), is supporting Stephen Chigorimbo with his travels to the 2012 Ukranian Content Market. The funding is in line with the Culture Fund’s goal to render technical and financial support to Zimbabweans hence allowing access to markerts for Zimbabwean arts and cultural products.
List of Afriwood titles
1. THE GENTLEMAN – ZIMBABWE LOBOLA/DOWRY – ZIMBABWE
2. INGXOXO – THE NEGOTIATION – SOUTH AFRICA
3. YOU OWE ME – ZIMBABWE
4. THROUGH THE GLASS – NIGERIA
5. A SMALL TOWN CALLED DESCENT – SOUTH AFRICA
7. THE LONG NIGHT – ZIMBABWE
8. FOREIGN DEMONS – SOUTH AFRICA
9. THINK – ZIMBABWE
10. MIND GAMES – GHANA
11. CHI CHI – ZIMBABWE
12. CHOICE – ZIMBABWE
13. DEPRAVED – ZIMBABWE
14. SORES OF EMMANUEL – ZIMBABWE
15. CRY OF LOVE – SOUTH AFRICA
The Culture Fund envisions a thriving Zimbabwe that is confident in its innovation and creativity that is nurtured through a culture of open dialogue and creation of knowledge accessible to all its citizens. The Culture Fund with programme support funds from the Swedish International Development Agency(Sida) plays a leading role in gearing the country towards becoming a creative society benefiting from a creative economy. It supports the cultural sphere through results-based programming.
©2012 Centre of Ukraine African Research