A ZAMBIAN actress has won the Best Female Performance Award at the Festival International du Film Pan Africain in Cannes, France.
Josephine Kachiza, 24 won the Dikalo Award for her lead role as Damyna in Damyna The Musical, the first African musical film to be produced in Zambia.
The film debuted during the 14th edition of the festival, which pays tribute to African-American Independent Cinema.
In a statement, Kachiza, a musician with the Zambian Army Orchestra, explained that the film was a team effort.
“…I love what I do and I am so determined to achieve positive and best results. I treasure relationships built on interests and good morals,” said Kachiza.
“The movie would not have been possible without the dedication of the whole cast and crew, led by Dr [Peter] Langmead, and musical director Joseph Muyunda. I would also like to especially thank co-star Mubita Ling’ope, who played Por Phiri.”
A delighted Dr Langmead described Kachiza as a talented actress, singer and performer.
“She lights up the screen when in front of a camera and has a natural talent combined with a professional approach to her work that makes it a privilege to work with her,” he said.
Shot on location in Zambia with a local cast and crew, Damyna the Musical is based on an operatic stage work written by Dr Langmead and which premiered at the Lusaka Playhouse in 2014.
The romantic drama weaves a story of family secrets and the spells of a witch doctor (Tom Chiponge) that conspire to confuse the life of an orphaned girl (Damyna) whose quest for love brings her traditional African village into conflict with the sophisticated world of international development agencies.
The film was supported by renowned BBC lighting cameraman Denis Borrow as director of photography and Kalenga Mwansa as editor.
Festival organisers say all the films which have gained Dikalo Awards have gone on to receive international recognition.
“Damyna the Musical captures the essence of African society, both rural and urban, and we believe that this film will also capture the hearts of the African diaspora worldwide,” said Dr Langmead.