It started as a dream most ridiculed, as filmmaker Marc Mandisoul took to social media crowd-sourcing funds for Zimbabwe’s biggest budget movie.
The dream is now materialising into reality, with almost half the job done in the production of a movie with a budget of over $100 000 titled “State of Malambia”.
This is at a time local movies are produced for as little as $1000, with some costing even less.
Though international movies beam in bigger budgets, some costing hundreds of millions, it was not easy to get money invested in the movie.
Crowd funding sourced $25 000 while other investments came from Nash Paints director Tinashe Mutarise, Woodgate Lodge and Grand View Leroux.
Mandisoul also worked with associate producers Tafadzwa Chimbetete, Miesha Nyirenda, Jayson Mangena, Jefferson Muserera, Ngoni Vere, Elroy Chatsanga and Nonsikelelo Ndebele as well as co-executive producer Stuart Jarvis took to raise the funds.
Written, produced and directed Mandisoul, “State of Malambia” is a tale of an African kingdom, hidden from the rest of the world but with information and access to global developments.
It is then discovered by foreign mercenaries and gangsters, a storyline that sounds a lot like “Black Panther’s” kingdom of Wakanda.
Justifying the budget Mandisoul said most of the money was gobbled by location, makeup and special shots.
“Costume designs, visual effects, a big cast with over 45 speaking parts, crew, locations, travel, make up, set design, accommodation, dancers, and administration took up some of the budget. The visual effects are the most expensive
“We have an underwater sequence that is taking up close to $5 000 just to get the elements in play and the specialist handling them.
“This movie has action sequences, supernatural stuff and we created three creatures, Shangari, Nyami Nyami and Luntuntu. That needs extensive make up and effects,” he said.
On location, the movie was shot in Harare, Chinhoyi, Kariba, Masvingo, Victoria Falls, Nyanga and the United Kingdom.
“I think production value will be evident, people will feel they have been taken on a journey, and the picture and sound quality plus all elements of this movie will speak.
“It’s time for us to step outside the box of the usual home based drama feel and captivate audiences with creativity and stories that are global and universal,” he said.
To enhance a local feel Mandisoul engaged a cast from different parts of the country and dancers from Murehwa.
Mandisoul outlined his marketing strategy.
“We have marketing vision that includes billboards, partnerships with corporate brands. Cinema release is the focus but we also have international television distribution deals and these are renowned channels with good budgets for great content. Also the key to any production is having clear distribution platforms to generate income
“We have covered that ground well and our concept has attracted many platforms besides cinema across the world and within Africa,” said Mandisoul.
The movie is due for release in December. Herald