Shem Zimura – Closing The Gap In The Film industry

South Africa and Nigeria are African countries whose film industry continue to bloom. In Zimbabwe, the growth has been slow and we still seek support and appreciation from companies as financial constraints amongst other things hinders growth. Well, lets dive a little deeper into Zimbabwean artistry, as we take a look at our slowly revitalizing filming industry through the eyes of a Zimbabwean icon. Shem Zemura is a director, producer and media entrepreneur; one of Zimbabwe’s phenomenal film producers who has won several awards and nominations for his brilliant works such as the very well-known Muchaneta. Here is what Shem had to share with Exposè Magazine.

“I have always wanted to tell African stories the African way. Growing up, my parents wanted me to become a chartered accountant, so they sent me to business school. But, unfortunately, I fell in love with film.

We are changing the way people view Zimbabwean media. The fans and the corporates lost faith in the film business years back and we are trying to win them back. It’s my dream that through the success of our movies like Kushata KweMoyo, we can encourage corporations to partner with us in reinvigorating the industry.

Our newest production is called My Prodigal Man and it’s a gospel film. It’s a universal story that will be shot here in Zim and in the States and we hope to change the way the world looks at African Cinema; prove to the world that Africa can tell its stories in its own way. We had a very successfully premiere. People enjoyed the movie and have begun to appreciate the work we are doing as filmmakers. Working with university students and graduates has also helped us improve the technical side of our productions; a side that fans were complaining about. With these improvements we hope Zimbabweans will start to follow local content more than they follow Hollywood, Korean and South African productions.

We’ve already produced a number of films: My Lady, Muchaneta, Muzita RaBaba and The Fall Of Esau to name just a few. We do have numerous challenges in the industry to deal with. The challenge we are facing as we speak is resources. We lack resources and support from the corporate world. We are also still lacking on skilled crew because of under-resourced universities and colleges. And locations are a huge problem. Locations Locations Locations!

My words to the youths who are still doubtful about breaking into the industry: Like any other business sector, filmmaking is not an easy road, but it’s getting there. Many doors are beginning to open. We can’t let circumstances dictate what we can or can’t do in this country. The likes of Danai Gurira and Tongai Chirisa are proof that even the sky is not the limit to what we can achieve in this industry.”

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