A call for corporate support to improve Zim films…as Ranganawa premieres Depth of Emotions

(From left) Jessica Murevanhema, Amanda Ranganawa, Precious Mzulu and Yeukai Soliath

EXECUTIVE director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) Nicholas Moyo has challenged the corporate world and independent funders to channel financial and material support to the local film industry to help it match international standards.

Moyo made the remarks last week at the premiere of a romantic film titled Depth of Emotions in Mutare, Manicaland province.

Depth of Emotions, shot in Mutare, was written and produced by celebrated filmmaker Amanda Ranganawa’s Mclara Multimedia Productions in association with Tatenda Studios and Pikicha Afrika (Harare and Mutare film companies).

“Depth of Emotions is a good cultural and health education screenplay which if given more resources has room for global limelight,” Moyo said.

Mutare-based award-winning recycling artist and businesswoman Beauty Hughs echoed the same sentiments.

“I recommend that the government, through banks and financial outlets, provide loans to women in arts so that they realise their full potential,” she said.

In her remarks, Ranganawa, who stars as Grace in the film, noted that arts play a pivotal role in corporate branding and image building.

“You might be wondering what is our value to your business as artistes? We offer a lot to our community and societies. We are marketing managers, tourism and brand ambassadors by default because we advertise business brands everywhere we go,” she explained.

“Our followers know you because we speak about you. We are not just artists, we are the country’s most wanted and demanded best advertising weapon. I pray that Zimbabwe as a whole notices the value of artistes and invests in us.”

She continued: “From musicians, actors, comedians, models, dancers, poets, producers and writers, among others we advertise through our art and people know you (business) because of us. If you kill art, you kill advertising. Therefore, when you starve artistes, you starve businesses.

“You can never make a banner, advert, voice over, jingle, pamphlet, poster, radio drama, billboard, or do roadshows without artists. It is not possible and will never be. You need us just as much as we need you. So please support us when we approach you for assistance and business deals.”

Ranganawa said she was compelled to produce the film by the need to promote health gains among women and girls, while also presenting cultural norms and values that needed urgent correction.

The film’s synopsis tells a romantic story based on the life of Grace, a young woman who loses her womb due to a fibroids removal surgery that went wrong.

Grace’s boyfriend, Ryan decides to stand by her and marries her, much to the dismay and disapproval of his family.

“I wanted to write a beautiful love story with serious (real life) trials and tribulations. Depth of Emotions looks at the issues of fibroids, love, barrenness, adoption, surrogacy and our African perspective towards marriage and children in a home,” she explained.

“The movie questions the depth of love of two lovers and hence poses the same question to society, how deep does your love go? I wanted to see two lovers fighting for each other in the most difficult situations.

“Most importantly, I wanted to bring to light a serious health issue called uterine fibroids which affects most women and in most cases prevents them from having children. By bringing the issue of barrenness and one of the reasons that causes it to light, I wanted to see how society would react. Most importantly how a man would react if he loved a barren woman.”

At the premiere, Mutare-based gynaecologist Miriam Kanyenze gave a short lecture on fibroids, a common problem to most women which needs early diagnosis and treatment to avoid damage which can lead to advanced surgical operations.

The doctor reiterated that love and sexual hygiene are key, to not only prevent infection by fibroids, but as a solution to the aftermath when the worst condition of uterus removal is experienced.

Ranganawa said she always dreamt big about the arts industry.

“I always say that I come from a small city (Mutare), but that does not mean I dream small. I am a small city girl dreaming of the big world. I am not a local brand, but an international one and I am confident that with God I will reach that status,” she said.

NACZ Manicaland director Caroline Makoni, who was part of the audience, expressed gratitude for the artistry shown on Depth of Emotions, with arts champion Nosipho Maraire urging the youths to emulate Ranganawa — who she said had crafted a masterpiece that communicated several cultural and ethical values that communities needed to scrutinise in order to live as loving people.

Depth of Emotions features Simbarashe Chapola, Joseph Dereck Hakurimwi, Lynette Harahwa, Everjoyce Mahachi, Barbara Vhengedza and Precious Mzulu.

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