Latwell Nyangu, H-Metro Reporter
US based Nollywood producer Ibidolapo Ajayi has hailed the Zimbabwe’s film industry as pregnant with natural talent.
The Coming from Insanity producer, revealed this upon his arrival in country for collaboration with local film director Sydney Taivavashe on a number of productions.
In an exclusive interview, the African film-maker said:
“I will make Zimbabwe proud by lifting the film industry and put African film on the global market.
“I believe it’s a bold film industry, there is a lot of talent here, there is no doubt about that and I met with Sydney at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles last year and I saw Gonarezhou movie, it just blew my mind, and I felt the talent is undoubting, the talent here is well.
“For me, immediately I knew there will be an opportunity to collaborate with him.
“We talked about it then and it was a done deal because we were connected like that.
“Our films won a joint award at that festival, for me it was a confirmation that we have something special, to work together.
“When he told me about this project, I had to say yes, the talent here is so well, it’s going and my own personal vision is to tell the best African stories wherever they come from.
“I am known as the Nollywood producer and an African film maker.
“I have an opportunity to collaborate with my brother and produce something I feel will be amazing and something I cannot tell now.
“I look forward to work with local talent here in Zimbabwe and I am really excited.
“This is my fourth visit to Zimbabwe and I look forward to coming back and do this production.
“This will be my second production, after Coming from insanity which is on Netflix.”
Sydney also said he was impressed working with Ibidolapo.
“When I was in Los Angeles last year during the premiere of Gonarezhou, our film had a tie with a Nigerian film on the awards, and the film was produced by Ibidolapo.
“We later engaged and I sent him a script on the film I wanted to make which is a township story.
“He fell in love with the script and he said he want to invest into this production.
“He promised to bring investors to make sure that the Zimbabwean film industry start to talk big figures,” said Sydney.
He said the visit is familiarise with the people on the ground.
“So his visit here is to see what we can also contribute to the film industry of the world.
“He is being hosted by Nelned Pictures and we are working on a township story, the film.
“He decided to come before we do the production because we were hoping we could do the film last year, so it didn’t happen unfortunately we lost Moana who was also part of the production.
“So he felt the need to meet the people, how we are passionate about the industry and how Zimbabwean film industry can grow to the level of other film industries,” he added.