BY KUDAKWASHE TAGWIREYI
AN international documentary featuring MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa’s 2018 election campaign has been nominated for an international award.
The documentary titled: President, follows Chamisa’s travails in the disputed 2018 polls won by President Emmerson Mnangagwa by a narrow margin.
It was directed by award-winning Danish filmmaker Cammilla Nielsson.
“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced shortlists for the 94th Academy Awards. 15 films will advance in the Documentary Feature. 138 films were eligible Members of the Documentary Branch voted to determine the shortlist. The Documentary ‘President’ was voted in,” Nielsson announced on Twitter on Wednesday, adding this is “time to tell the Zimbabwe story”.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded in 1927 and is the world’s preeminent movie-related organisation, comprising more than 10,000+ accomplished individuals working in cinema.
MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba told Standardpeople that the documentary shows the journey taken by the opposition party during the 2018 electioneering period
“It documents how MDC Alliance led preparations towards the election, the mobilisation and the events that happened during and after the elections and the challenges and opportunities that the year 2018 presented to MDC Alliance,” said Siziba.
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Chamisa has accused Mnangagwa of rigging the 2018 elections, and has refused to recognise his legitimacy.
Siziba said the documentary was important to “unpack and articulate the Zimbabwean story and the need for democracy in Zimbabwe in the geopolitical space and international arena.”
In a review of the documentary, the Los Angeles Times on December 16 wrote: President boasts remarkable access to the inner workings of Chamisa’s push. It starts with energised crowds at his jampacked rallies in rural areas, where we hear from people who are eager for their lives to improve but also unsure they’ll get the transparent election and peaceful transfer of power they’ve been assured will happen, should Chamisa win.
“With every bracing scene — whether in public spaces that start simmering uncomfortably or private confabs with the increasingly worried Chamisa campaign — Nielsson’s observation-only vérité approach preserves the immediacy of what we’re witnessing.
“She doesn’t conduct interviews. The spare on-screen text is kept to names and timeline clarity. President is in-the-moment documentary storytelling of the highest order, and what it’s showing is what the threat to democracy everywhere looks like and will continue to look like.”
Nielsson has several socially conscious films under her belt, often about the plight of children in Afghanistan, Darfur and India.
The President is a follow up to her 2014 documentary, Democrats, covering the country’s constitution-making process.