Leonard Ncube, Online Reporter
AUDITIONS for the upcoming Zimbabwean film featuring Zimbabwe-born Hollywood actor Tongayi Arnold Chirisa will be held in Hwange and Binga districts as the storytellers want to keep it local.
Dates for the auditions have not been set yet, but the film writer and director Jessica Rowlands says they will be held in Victoria Falls, Hwange and Binga soon.
“The production will hold auditions in Victoria Falls, Binga, Hwange and surrounding areas in the hope of finding budding new talent within our communities,” says the Victoria Falls-based screenwriter cum director.
Rowlands, an accomplished Hollywood screenwriter cum director wrote the screenplay and is going to be the director, while Harare based filmmaker Joe Njagu, who is famed for the Netflix film Cook-Off, will be the producer.
She has teamed up with Zimbabwean filmmakers Njagu and Chirisa to bring this story to life.
The film is set to be short in Victoria Falls and Harare this year.
It is based on the life of Tobias Mupfuti, an incredible individual who owns the Victoria Falls Boxing Academy, and seeks to tell his story of hope and joy with the aim of telling the Zimbabwean story.
Tobias Mupfuti will be played by Chirisa.
Chirisa and Njagu were in Victoria Falls recently to scope the environment and meet with Mupfuti.
Rowlands says she wants to show the world the rich creating potential of Zimbabwean artists and encourage international audience to engage with the vast array of stories and amount of talent here in Zimbabwe.
“All I want is to bring the incredible story of my friend to the world,” says Ms Rowlands.
“I really want to involve the local community as much as possible in the making of this production both in front of and behind the camera.
“This is not just the story of one man but a story representing Zimbabwe and Matabeleland specifically so I am really passionate about showcasing local talent in the production.”
Njagu said: “the idea is to grow and improve the small film community in Zimbabwe to become an industry that is professional and viable. Jessica and Tongayi are coming from an industry that functional-so what better way to bring their skill to tell stories at a high standard while imparting knowledge to the local sector.”
Chirisa is also excited about the project.
“When I read the script I knew I had to be part of it because of the story telling where it’s located and the message of hope, survival and forgiveness,” he said.
Chirisa has featured in several top films including the comedy Mr Bones, Crusoe, Sleepy Hollow, Antebellum and the AMC horror Mayfair Witches and this will be the first time he is doing a local film since breaking into Hollywood.