‘Vampire Diaries’ star comes to Zim

Takudzwa Chihambakwe
Zimbabweans are making it big in Hollywood. Think Danai Gurira, Tongayi Chirisa and Chipo Chung.

To that list, add “Vampire Diaries”, “Quantico” and “The Flash” star, Rick Cosnett.

Those three television series are among the most followed around the world at the moment. And their Zimbabwean-Australian star, Cosnett, is coming home to be part of this year’s Zimbabwe International Film Festival in Harare from August 26 to September 2.

Cosnett, a cousin of English megastar Hugh Grant, will be screening his short film “The Letter Carrier”, and will lead a workshop discussion under ZIFF’s film forum.

His visit has been made possible through a partnership between Zimpapers Television Network and ZIFF.

“We are really excited at the prospect of Rick sharing his experiences and thoughts on how acting and the film industry in general can be monetised to make real business.

“He will touch on his experiences in Hollywood with success at ‘Vampire Diaries’, ‘Quantico’ and ‘The Flash’. Recently he completed his first independent film project and also invested his talent in Tatenda Mbudzi’s film, ‘ZIM HIGH’,” said producer at Zimpapers Television Network Elton Mjanana.

Meanwhile, ZIFF has also joined forces with the International Images Film Festival.

However, ZIFF will run its programme under the theme “The Business of Film”, while IIFF is theming its segment “Of Women, For Women, For The People”.

ZIFF executive director Nigel Munyati said: “The idea of a collaboration only came through four months ago, and – to avoid causing confusion with the different partners that support each festival – we decided to just let the two entities run with what they had already started planning for this year,” said Munyati.

He said there was a lot of work that needed to be done before a concrete collaboration takes shape.

“A collaboration takes a bit of time to set up because these two trusts have different boards and different objectives they have been set up for hence all these things need to be ironed out before we can have a complete collaboration.

“However, I am certain that next year we will be able to have the structures set in place and run one festival with one theme and pushing in the same direction. For this year we have mainly merged resources, and are working from one centre, here at the ZIFF Hub.”

IIFF director Rudo Chakanyuka said the collaboration has been a learning curve for her.

“The journey in our partnership with ZIFF so far has been a learning curve for all of us. Indeed, we encountered challenges along the way, but each challenge has been a lesson to us and we will all emerge from this experience with a lot of wisdom and foresight,” said Chakanyuka, adding: “We hope that our combined efforts can be appreciated and that everyone will enjoy the selection of films we will be representing.”

Talking of selection of films “Winnie”, a foreign film will be opening the film festival programme.

The film looks at the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Many local filmmakers are looking forward to the year the festival opens with a local production.

IIFF has decided to go local and will be opening with “In My Father’s Village”, which was produced as part of the 2016 African Women Filmmakers’ Hub.

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