Sarajevo Film Festival 2024

In anticipation of August elections, ‘President’ documentary makes waves online in Zimbabwe

Filmmaker Camilla Nielsson defied a ban on her documentary President by launching it on The Why Foundation’s YouTube channel (available in Zimbabwe and Denmark). The film, which delves into Zimbabwe’s 2018 presidential election, has quickly gained traction, amassing 55,000 views in just one week. This release provides Zimbabweans with a timely and invaluable firsthand account as the country eagerly awaits the upcoming elections in August.

President closely follows Nelson Chamisa’s campaign to unseat Emmerson Mnangagwa, the leader who emerged after the coup that ousted longtime dictator Robert Mugabe in 2017. The documentary exposes the corrupt election process and provides viewers with a deeper understanding of the unrest that unfolded during this critical period in Zimbabwe’s political history.

The timing of the film’s release is significant, as it comes just two months before the upcoming elections. Previous attempts to distribute President in Zimbabwe faced bans, with concerns of inciting violence cited as the reason. Even an effort to broadcast the film through the South African television station SABC was thwarted by a nationwide power outage. Despite these challenges, Nielsson and producer Signe Byrge Sørensen were determined to reach the intended audience ahead of the crucial voting day.

By releasing the film on YouTube, the aim is to promote the spread of accurate information about Zimbabwe’s electoral process. Since its launch, the documentary has sparked a social media storm and has been widely shared on platforms like Twitter and WhatsApp, reaching Zimbabweans from all walks of life.

Director Camilla Nielsson’s remarkable storytelling in President invites viewers to reflect on the dynamics of power and democratic engagement. With the elections just two months away, this documentary serves as a powerful tool for Zimbabweans to gain insights into the past election and make informed decisions as they prepare to cast their votes.

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Modern Times Review
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