This brings the number of awards this locally- made film has won in the East African Community (EAC) to eight, since it’s launched, at last July’s Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).
Please to remember, this achievement is apart from it having gained 13 official selections, at a string of other international festivals and the Best African Feature, at the 19th Zimbabwean International Film Festival Trust.
Needless to say, its makers – Kijiweni Productions (KP) – who are based here in the Upanga section of Dar es Salaam, are proud of having received awards from four out of the five EAC countries, so far. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise to hear that the writer, producer and director of the 2017 T-Junction, Amil Shivji, is also pleased with such a track record.
In a chance meeting yesterday (Monday) he made it clear that they are still hoping to get more awards and admitted that winning “Best Cinematography”, at the Festicab in Burundi last week just “caps” T-Junction’s “amazing run in East Africa”.
The awards started coming in here in Tanzania, with three coming their way at last July’s ZIFF, then two at the 4th Udada Women’s International Film Festival in Nairobi, Kenya, followed by one at the 4th Mashariki (Eastern) African Film Festival, last February in Rwanda,” Shivji explained, with much visible delight. He expressed his joy at what he referred to as “doing well” in the festival’s circuit, of which unfortunately there has not been one in Uganda as yet for the film to be screened.
However, they did a free screening at the Maisha Film Lab there in Kampala, when asked to.
No wonder he refers to it as being an East African success, which they at KP are “very proud off”. Apart from its success in the EAC region, this film has been screened in many countries worldwide, from Russia, Egypt and Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Most recently, it’s being screened in New York, USA, then is scheduled to be back on the continent, in Nigeria and a number of other West African countries.
When asked as to what he believes is the reason behind this film’s acceptance by so many festivals, he took some time to think then replied the one obvious answer must be it being considered well-made, with a strong story, in a language that is becoming the East African’s choice in communication.
Added to this, is T-Junction being told from the hearts of people, who’re based on the Continent and has no hidden foreign agenda in it. “I wrote, directed and produced it, therefore, can honestly say there’s no foreign agenda to it and it really hits home.
One of the things a lot of people tell me, be it from Burundi to Rwanda, is that they understand the story of the street vendor, on which the film is based,” Shivji, who also lectures at the University of Dar es Salaam’s (UDSM) Creative Arts Department (CAD), said.
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