CO-DIRECTOR of Bulawayo production house, Rebel Film Productions, Mhle Nzima is over the moon following his National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) nomination for the short film The Calling.
Nama would be held this Saturday at the 7 Arts Theatre in Avondale, Harare.
The film produced by Nzima with the help of Gani Phiri and Percy Soko was produced as a collaborative effort with Harare-based Invision Studios, which sought support from local partners for its short film project dubbed In-Short.
“I am extremely grateful for the nomination; it means the film can reach more people on a national scale through this recognition.
It feels like a testament that the work we are doing as Rebel Film Productions to develop the arts and use them as a tool for social development is catching on and that means a lot to me than the glitz and glamour that comes with the nomination,” Nzima told Southern Eye Lifestyle yesterday.
Nzima’s debut feature film, Moonlight Cross, shot in February 2014 was hailed as Zimbabwe’s first horror movie.
The Calling is an unconventional film following the story of a depressed young woman, relentlessly pursued by the Grim Reaper also known as The Angel of Death, who is out to claim her life.
The film stars Bulawayo socialite and ZTV’s Up Close and Personal host Nyasha Diva Mtamangira, who delivers a spine-tingling performance expressing the raw emotion of inner struggles faced when death comes calling.
“The message of the film leaves one with a bitter-sweet undertone of understanding that no matter how lonely one feels in the battle that is life, they are never truly alone as help is just a phone call away,” Nzima said.
“On a social level, The Calling was inspired by the alarming rates of suicide which I was reading in the media, driving me to the exploration of feelings one goes through in the struggle with this demon, which was personified in the form of the Grim Reaper.
“Being a fortunate survivor of suicide, I had a personal understanding of the darkness and perceived loneliness leading one to such extremes and sought to give those faced with such struggles the understanding that truly no one is alone and death should never be an option.
“On an artistic level, The Calling was inspired by the thirst to push boundaries.
Like the feature Moonlight Cross, the film tackled a genré which remains untapped in Zimbabwe owing to the complexity of production on such films as well as the demanding visual effects and elements.”
Nzima is no stranger to daringly venturing into unknown territories having been responsible for animating the very popular 2014 Youth Games mascot Jumbo and five animated short films, among them Silent Wishes, which have through the years earned him directing awards and several other various nominations at different international film festivals.