BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
A LOCAL film, Struggling to Survive on Zambezi River Banks (Nchelela) has been selected to be one of the three productions nominated in the Sadc region for the prestigious NGO International Film Festival award, ahead of the final selection scheduled for October 20 to 22 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The NGO International Film Festival is a unique festival that collates and disseminates human-interest stories that are themed around sustainable development goals, promotes a knowledge-sharing culture and develops a digital media library for future activists, campaigners and policymakers.
Comprising an 11-member jury, the festival selects and nominates ﬁlms that are themed around the SDGs in 17 different categories or goals.
The only Zimbabwean film selected from over 90 submissions from four continents for this festival was directed by Kalulu Mumpande and produced by Zambezi Valleys Films.
It deals with the real life experience of the BaTonga people in the face of climate change in Binga district of Matabeleland North province.
Mumpande said they felt honoured for being nominated, adding that he was grateful to have told a story worth listening to.
“I am happy to be part of the selection and it is my wish that the award finds its way to Zimbabwe. What also makes me happy is that the voice of the people on the kind of resilience they want against climate change is going to be heard,” he said. “Struggling to Survive on Zambezi River Banks is one production that makes me feel pain over the reality of climate change.
“Each time I watch the documentary I tear out. I wish I could do something better for my community, but resources are hard to come by.”
Mumpande said he made the film on a zero budget, and used his smartphone to tell the story as he had no money to hire filming equipment.
“People have the ability to develop resilience and adapt to a crisis when provided with means to do so. Sustainable water facilities help people to improve livelihoods through gardening, livestock rearing and finding a market for their produce,” he said.
“Many communities in Zimbabwe face acute water shortages and this has affected their adaptation to climate change.
“During drought or dry seasons, communities invade Zambezi River banks to cultivate vegetables for survival, but they lose livestock to crocodiles which is one of their major sources of livelihoods.
“This has increased human-wildlife conflict along the river banks.”
The other two nominated films from the Sadc region are Aunty Rebecca, produced and directed by Ellen Banda-Aaku from Zambia and Singabantu (We are humans) directed by Stuart Williams from South Africa. The other selected films are from Lebanon, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Sri Lanka.
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