Tanaka Mahanya and Maria Chiguvari

A ZIMBABWEAN film ‘Mirage’ is set to première at the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival.

Mirage, which was directed by Malaika Mushandu, was inspired by true events.

The TINFF is a diverse film market held every year in Toronto.

The aim of the festival is to support filmmakers to find audiences.

The film has renowned actors, who include Prudence Katomeni Mbofana, Chipo Bizure, Charmaine Munjeri, Joyleen Mangena, Doc Vikela and Rumbi Takawira.

Mushandu said:

“The feeling is phenomenal, it is a rewarding experience, this feeling of getting recognition as a country and as an individual.

“Our industry is on the rise even though, at times, the hurdles faced can be taxing.

“Recognition from across the borders are a pat on the back from the Almighty for us to keep going.”

She added:

“In this day and age we live in, experience has taught me that it is not enough to just be storytellers.

“My focus now is more towards the business aspects of film and this will help in the sustainability /longevity of my career as a story teller.

“The accolades will, hopefully, open doors for us to be able to commission other deals.”

The film was nominated for three awards – best feature, best picture and best female filmmaker.

The festival will take place from September 17-24.

The film was also nominated for awards at the Zambia International Film Festival (ZAMIFF) for best screenplay, best sound and best feature film in Southern Africa.

On her next project, Mushandu will put her acting skills to test.

“The next project is a limited series based on a beloved local myth.

“This time, we will be putting my acting skills to the test.

“The vision remains the same, to tell African stories from our perspective”

Her manager, Rumbidzai Matinanga, said she has always been ambitious.

“I met Malaika as an ambitious 18-year-old who wanted to be remembered for more than just her beauty and her body.

“Almost 10 years down the line, her dream to tell the girl child that dares to dream, pursue education and tackle whatever industry they desire, is phenomenal.

“She is far from fulfilling all her dreams but these awards are a reflection that she has taken a huge step to achieve them.”

Mirage tells the story of three women’s plot to escape from a maximum-security prison.

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