United States of America based Roy Dean Foundation has short listed YEZI Arts Promotions and Productions, feature-film project for possible awarding of a financial grant. The feature-film is an adaptation of Professor Fackson Banda’s authored book entitled “MIXED LEGACY – OPERATION KATIMA MULILO”, which the Zambian film making entity has adapted, among other locally authored books into prospective motion picture.

According to a letter dates 17th January, Carole Dean, President of the Form the Heart Productions, which is behind the financing opportunity, writes:

“Congratulations on being selected as a finalist for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Fall 2022! Thank you again for your submission and for allowing us to review this excellent film. Your project will now go to our panel of judges who will have the difficult task of choosing a winner. We will notify you when a selection has been made”.

YEZI Arts adapted the book into a feature-film, commissioning veteran Kitwe-based artist, Barney Kanjela to bring the book into a prospective motion picture.

“We are glad to be among the privileged few filmmakers and producers to have been shortlisted for this financing opportunity. We understand it is very competitive. The From the Heart Foundation, have given us the confidence that the literal part of this production, the project is viable, and the major reason for it making the mark out of over a hundred entries”, says Abdon YEZI.

The film could see, Kalonje Ndhlovu take a leading role as Mtolankhani, the investigative journalist, a rare switch of the many a time film director taking an acting role in front of the camera.

“there is something unique about our approach to film making at YEZI Arts. We love confronting and producing issue-based productions, and we see that prospect if this film is financed. It is an investigative piece, which may speak to very contemporary issues around Zambia’s economic cash cow, the mining sector in Zambia, and it is for this reason, we seek support both local and international”

This, like many other film prospects that we have, sadly, have hit a snag in terms of attracting local financing. That is the major disappointing aspect to our efforts in breathing another approach in the growing film industry in Zambia.

“As some of you may know, we pitched a feature-length documentary on the late third Republican President, Levy Mwanawasa, and it drew international attention. We didn’t get funded but it remains a reminder of the type of appreciation that comes externally. We have scripts for adapted books like Andrea Masiye’s Before Dawn; 54 Days in Luano (focusing on the Mailoni Brothers), 1970 Mufulira Mine Disaster among others. The missing link is the momentum on accessing the required financial support to bring these true and close to reality productions to fruition. We hope for a better 2023”.

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