THE inaugural Matamba Immersive Festival kicked off yesterday at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
It serves a curious audience which has been dabbling with the idea of experiencing films, games and content through immersive new media.
Matamba Film Labs for Women supports this initiative.
The festival is both physical and virtual and it allows phone users and virtual reality headsets to experience 360 films and digital content from all over the globe.
According to event organisers, the films and experiences are curated from Zimbabwe, and the Sub-Saharan region as well as from global content makers.
Topics range from educational, entertainment, and children as well as social impact content.
Speaking to H-Metro, the creative director, Siza Mukwedini, said the festival offers workshops for those who want to venture into new media-related careers.
“Matamba Immersive Festival will facilitate talks from local industry leaders, from across the continent as well as from European partners who have also been using virtual reality across platforms like tourism, medicine, agriculture, entertainment, and gaming.
“It is pertinent that we expose Zimbabweans to the future of creative industries through festivals such as these, and it is also important that we connect Zimbabweans to their regional and global peers who have already started making headways with new media.
“Industry giants from the region like Black Rhino VR and Electric South are in full support of the festival with some present and holding events.
“Some of the main productions that will be showcased at the festival include ‘Nakhodha and the Mermaid’ by Mozambican female Yara Costa Pereira, ‘Tweens Masterclass’ by Mbangiso Mabaso from South Africa, interactive drumming session by Drum Cafe Zimbabwe and the Matamba Incubator Showcases (Karinge Woye, Forward Ever and Imba Yokubikira),” she said.
These activities are premiering at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe German Society spaces.
Matamba Film Labs for Women aims to equip and empower the new generation of women film makers/ storytellers with original Zimbabwean and African perspectives to produce compelling films and digital content in a male-dominated industry.
“The Matamba Immersive Incubator programme is one of the big projects that will feed into the festival.
“Local experts, as well as renowned figures from across Africa and Europe, will share their insights and experiences in utilising virtual reality across various domains, including tourism, medicine, agriculture, entertainment, and gaming.
“This convergence of minds promises to ignite inspiration and open doors to new career paths in the exciting world of new media, “ Mukwedini said.