VUTA N’KUVUTE (TUG OF WAR)

Kijiweni Productions and Big World Cinema are set to release their teaser before its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this year.

On September 12th 2021, Vuta N’Kuvute (Tug of War) directed by Amil Shivji will have its greatly anticipated world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. The film is a collaboration between Kijiweni Productions (TZ) and Big World Cinema (SA) and in co-production with NiKo Film (DE). This will mark the first Tanzanian feature
production to play at TIFF in the festival’s 46-year history. The selection is an achievement for the entire Tanzanian film fraternity that we have been part of for almost a decade.

Vuta N’Kuvute is a coming-of-age political love story set in the final years of British colonial Zanzibar. The film weaves through 1950s coastal culture across the divides of class and racial segregation that were imposed by the colonial regime. Denge (Gudrun Columbus Mwanyika), a frustrated and rebellious Zanzibari young man who is part of the freedom struggle against British rule meets Yasmin (Ikhlas Gafur Vora), a runaway Indian-Zanzibari bride whose equal rebelliousness drives her to seek her own independence. Their romantic relationship is coupled with the daily struggles of finding their place in the resistance movement for independence.

The film features first time actors including famed taarab singer Siti Amina who portrays the powerful and resilient Mwajuma as well as Bongo Movie veteran Gabo Zigamba who plays the notorious Officer Matata. The cast leads our story on a gentle reflection of a hidden chapter in Zanzibar history.

The script penned by Amil Shivji and Jenna Bass is based on the novel by Shafi Adam Shafi published by Mkuki na Nyota. The film’s production took place in Zanzibar over a period of two years and was made possible thanks to the entire Zanzibari community. Making the film took about 100 crew members hailing predominantly from Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania, with a few coming from across Kenya and South Africa.

The film would have not been possible with the support of Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Berlinale World Cinema Fund, Doha Film Institute, Visions Sud Est and our associate and executive producers.

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