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Katedza leaves Ziff

Itai Mushekwe

EFFERVESCENT filmmaker, Ru-mbi Katedza’s romance with the Zimbabwe International Film Festival (Ziff) has come to an end, albeit on a good note,

can reveal.

Katedza, who has been with Ziff for the past four years, is set to further her studies by pursuing an MA in filmmaking at Goldsmith College, United Kingdom, next year.

The filmmaker said she had decided to bolster her career by advancing academically as she lays the ground to become an independent feature film director some day.

“I’m leaving because I’ve achieved the goals I set for myself when I joined Ziff. Now I’m taking time off to achieve my own dreams and aspirations.

“I know it’s not going to be a walk in the park, but one thing I know is that I never run away from challenges.”

Katedza joined the Ziff in 2002 as a film coordinator tasked with selecting films and trafficking.

In 2003 she was elevated to festival coordinator before landing the post of festival director in 2004. She is largely credited with marketing Ziff and contributing to its mass appeal among Zimbabweans. It was under Katedza’s directorship that Ziff became an internationally-recognised film showcase that lures film producers and directors across the globe through her network and contacts in the sector.

A short film technocrat in her own right, Katedza is no stranger to directing films after having produced three renowned short films in a space of two years. Her debut project was Danai produced in 2002. In 2003 she was on-fire and directed twin productions — A Paris and Water.

Zimbabwe’s film industry is currently starved of feature film directors hence the long time it takes in between productions. Most of the country’s talented filmmaking brains have left for greener pastures.

Katedza said the industry has enormous potential and would soon become a force to reckon with at continental level.

“We’ve since undergone a rebirth and have passed the toddler stage and we’re close to adolescence,” Katedza said, adding that she will return home upon completion of her Master’s degree. She read for her first degree in Film and Communication in Canada and has helped other people to venture into film.

“I would like to make features, but I would also like to enable other people to make whatever they want to make. If you provide a person with a window of opportunity then you’ve provided them with the platform to express themselves and navigate their own way in the film business.

“I feel I’m on a journey and will do what I can to further the cause of local filmmakers. I’ve been blessed to be able to get where I am today. Some people work for the rest of their lives but never get to become film festival directors, so I’m indebted to the industry and will play my part in flying high our flag insofar as film is concerned.”

Katedza initially enrolled for an economics degree at McGill University in Canada’s Montreal in 1992 before deciding to jump ship into film school hardly after a semester.

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