Senior Arts Reporter
Local graphic designer cum film-maker, Tafadzwa Ranganai, has said he is happy with the response of his debut feature film project “Nevanji”, which premièred last week and has been put on pay per view platform (PPV).
Nevanji, which stars the main character 10-year-old Tyler Gurure as Nashe, renowned actress Nothando Nobengula as Lilian, Arthur Antonio (Terrance), Panashe Chikomba (Paida), was shot in some parts of Harare and is on Ranganai’s PPV nevanjimovie.com, which he created.
According to the synopsis, the one hour 30 minutes long feature film talks about a family desperate to find a cure when their son who is terminally ill resorts to traditional medicine.
Things do not go as planned and the son is possessed by a spirit.
In an interview, Ranganai said he shot the film in 2019 and wanted to release it last year, but due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, it was affected.
“This is my first feature long film project,” he said. “I shot this in March, 2019. It spent the next year in post-production. December 2020 is when the soundtrack and audio final mix was completed. I wanted it to be premièred in cinemas, but because of the global pandemic we could not proceed.
“The only hope was on social media through pay per view channels.”
Ranganai said “Nevanji” was inspired by the love of the supernatural.
“I have always been fascinated by the supernatural,” he said. “My grandmother used to tell me folk tales which were scary stories when I was a child and they stuck with me. I have always believed those folk tales and other such stories she told around fires would make for brilliant movies. I decided to put what I grew up listening to on paper and then on film.”
Ranganai, who acquired his Bachelor in Media Studies at the University of Botswana in 2010, said film making was his passion.
“During our university days, I set up a Creative Hub Films (CHF) with my former classmates, where we could teach and empower each other. I then moved back to Zimbabwe in 2014,” he said.
Ranganai said in 2015 he engaged with other local film producers as they started doing some of the popular television projects.
“In 2015, I directed the first season of Battle of the Chefs, a reality television show that aired on ZBCTV,” he said. “I also directed three other short films before embarking on the mission to go solo.”
Ranganai said he was an avid fan of horror movies and was already working on something along those lines.
“Currently, I am at work at Zimpapers Television Network,” he said. “I am also using this lockdown opportunity to perfect and finish my latest project which is centred on horror plot. It is now in pre-production and hopefully by end of this year it will be finished.”
Ranganai said for the film sector to grow there was need for the support and appreciation from everyone.