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IIFF 2023 to spotlight women's stories of resilience

The theme portrays stories of women who make choices about the paths they take at the crossroads of their lives, it spotlights their journeys towards fulfilment and societal impact.

THE International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF) 2023, themed Women of Hope, unfolds in Harare from November 28 to December 2 and in Bulawayo from December 8 to December 10.

The theme portrays stories of women who make choices about the paths they take at the crossroads of their lives, it spotlights their journeys towards fulfilment and societal impact.

According to a statement released by the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) Trust, the theme represents women who choose an optimistic future over fear. “Such women work to realise their many different and complex dreams in ways that benefit them and society. 

“IIFF believes that hope for humankind can only be realized when individuals work to achieve goals that include, but at the same time, go beyond the self”.

IIFF 2023 continues its tradition of celebrating global cinema that tells women’s stories. Films from South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Algeria right up to the United States, France, Spain, Australia, India, the Netherlands and beyond, present a diverse and exciting programme of long and short fiction films and documentaries.

The festival opens with a powerful new perspective on African realities through a 117-minute feature titled NOME a film directed by Sana Na N’Hada, from Guinea Bissau. The film tells the story of a young man who joins a freedom movement to free his country and people from tyranny. He survives to witness the outcome of their independence.

The festival will offer a series of masterclasses that present an opportunity for practising and aspiring filmmakers to improve their storytelling and production skills. Zanele Mthembu, the chairwoman of Sisters Working in Film and TV (SWIFT) in South Africa, will lead the pitching masterclass. This masterclass provides inside knowledge on how to sell a film project to broadcasters, producers, and financiers.

IIFF 2023’s directing masterclass is led by Sana Na N’Hada director of Nome the opening film. The West African director N’Hada has directed 5 Bissau-Guinean centred films and will impart his expert knowledge to local film practitioners. The festival’s third masterclass, in producing will be led by the prize-winning producer Carla Sospedra from Spain. This masterclass guides participants through the processes involved, from a film’s inception to its successful completion.

The festival is presented by ICAPA Trust. The organisation advocates for gender equality in the African film and TV industry, and in African society. This year the festival is made possible through financial support from Culture Fund through the Creative Actions 2 funded by the European Union in Zimbabwe.

Films will be showcased for free at various venues, including Batanai Gardens B2C, Alliance Francaise de Harare and Dzivarasekwa Community Hall 1, and will run from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm.

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