Bedfordshire filmmaker’s first film met with acclaim in Zimbabwe

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The first feature film by a Bedfordshire academic was nominated for ‘Best Picture’ at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival.

‘Escape: a film noir fairy tale’ is the first feature film by Thinking Films, a joint venture by Doctor Agnieszka Piotrowska from the university’s school of media arts and production, and one of Zimbabwe’s premiere filmmakers Joe Njagu.

Dr Piotrowska and Joe were also nominated for ‘Best Directors’.

The film was met with praise and acclaim when it premiered at the festival, where hundreds of people had gathered to watch it.

“Hundreds of people turned up to watch the film. The festival organisers had no option but to hire another cinema to accommodate the crowds but many people were still turned away,” said Dr Piotrowska.

“Even some members of the production team and the cast and crew had to sit on the cinema’s stairs it was so packed. People clapped during the film and we got a standing ovation at the end.”

Zimbabwean critics described the film as “a revelation both because of its content and style” with local media also praising the film for its bold storyline and excellent performances from the cast.

Escape follows Charles, a mixed race man in his twenties who discovers that his mother lied about his father’s true identity.

On her deathbed, she urges him to go to Zimbabwe and find his father and the audience follows him to Harare, where he becomes caught up in an intriguing tale of love, lust, mystery and murder.