THE Sotambe International Film and Arts Festival (SOTAMBE IFAF), organised annually by the Sotambe, arguably the biggest film festival currently in Zambia, is scheduled to take place next week online.
Organisers Sotambe Film Institute (SFI), in a press release made available to the Weekend Mail, stated that the seventh edition of the festival will take place from Tuesday to Saturday under the theme Arts for a Living.
The theme emphasises the need for artistes to realise financial benefits from their work, according to the organisers.
The submissions are open to all filmmakers world-wide, but the filmmaking competition applies to the filmmakers based in the Southern African region only.
SFI says during the seven years of organising the festival, which necessitated interactions with filmmakers, they noticed that there are very few supporting structures in the country available for filmmakers such as casting agencies, film distribution agencies and film funds. “Aligning it with our theme for 2020, we decided to go a bit further and establish a Sotambe National Film Fund that would help filmmakers to access funds and make their productions easier,” SFI managing director Martina Mwanza said.
“Further the fund would help them with the film distribution strategies in order to generate money.”
This is a first project of its kind in Zambia and certainly a pilot project for the Sotambe Film Institute that will be
launched at the awards ceremony.
This year the film festival received over 200 movie submissions from all parts of Zambia and Southern African region and an additional 378 short film scripts for the competition which was announced in February this year, and 26 of the Zambian scripts were legible for the competition.
SFI says these numbers clearly demonstrate the interest and passion of the filmmakers to keep producing their
content, and also the trust they put onto the Sotambe platform.
“Unfortunately, in this period of the global pandemic, the Sotambe Film Institute was negatively impacted just like other businesses, artists and filmmakers,” the press release reads.
“As a result of these events, we have had to deal with a drastic reduction in sponsorships for this year’s edition.
Almost all activities associated with the creative industry in the country were cancelled or postponed due to the same.
However, we feel that filmmakers are putting lots of hope in the Sotambe Film Festival and we wouldn’t like to
disappoint them by entirely cancelling our event.”
The online edition of the festival is being supported by Garden Court Hotel Kitwe, Circle 7 Media (SA),
MultiChoice Talent Factory and Visualise Solutions among others.
“The Festival will consist of online Masterclasses available for free to all filmmakers in Zambia and southern
African Region, and an online awards ceremony at the Garden Court Hotel, Kitwe that will be aired on Saturday
26 September 2020 on social media platforms @sotambefestival,” the organisers add.