Filmmaking is one of the rapidly booming industries in Zimbabwe currently and one would be interested in knowing who the people behind our Zimbabwean storytelling movement are. We had the privilege of sitting down with one man whose short film has recently gained international recognition.
Marc Greenland’s Magland production company is working in conjunction with U.S. based Main Man Films to co-produce The Last Salute, a short film that will be adapted into a feature length project.
Arthur O. Thomas, the Founder of Main Man Films has a reputable track record, having held the position of Executive Vice President of Programming with CoLours TV a U.S multicultural cable channel. Having travelled to 43 countries, he brings a unique perspective to the television/film industry (31 credits); producing projects in Japan, Belize, England, South Africa and has been featured in numerous US and international publications. Established in 1999, the Colorado based company set out to help facilitate the telling of untold stories for unserved and under-served audiences.
“The Last Salute represents the third project that I have supported on the African continent and given the advancement in content distribution from companies like Netflix, Amazon, Apple and iROKOtv, it excites me to collaborate with Marc on this compelling project”, says Thomas.
When narrating his childhood stories Marc always relates back to his love for filmmaking, it is as if his life story is intertwined to the craft. “As a child I always told stories. I was always seeking an audience to entertain. There was something about people’s reaction to my words that kept me committed to filmmaking”, says Greenland.
The 38 year old Bulawayo born filmmaker started off at Fairview primary and later on moved to Christian Brothers College, where he honed his acting skills. “When I discovered plays it seemed to be the organic way to develop this passion. I acted in many school plays. During my high school days I did two plays and Grease was one of them. I only got to experience a movie set when I was eighteen years old”.
According to Marc the road has not entirely been a bed of roses. After graduating he worked odd jobs to fund his passion. “I taught as a school teacher and at one stage I managed a farm. I finally got to go to a film school at the age of twenty-three. AFDA Cape Town was a great experience, it was full of challenges, but I left with the knowledge I needed to be a better filmmaker.
In the recent years Marc has written feature length screenplays, television pilots and numerous short scripts. This year he directed ‘Intokozo’ a video art piece that was selected for It’s Liquid Art Show in Venice, Italy. “It was a great experience to be a part of the art show. You get to experience the diversified culture of filmmaking under one roof. Filmmakers should always thrive to get exposed to such platforms”, says Greenland.
The Last Salute is a short film that has now been adapted into a feature film. It portrays an army general suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. General Frank Anderson, a renowned battle strategist, has never lost a war and he is not planning on losing a world war. Though his men are few and morale low, his determination seems to always revive when he needs it the most. His wife, a military nurse has ‘betrayed’ her country and she’s trying to convince him to do like-wise. But surrendering, though it seems inevitable, is still not an option. He’s ready to fight until he dies.
The twist in the story is that in reality, the Second World War ended many years back, but the war inside the General’s head never did. Though they are trying to treat him using hypnosis and electrotherapy, he is fighting them back every step of the way. Unfortunately, he must overcome his illness to prevent being lobotomized.
When asked about The Last Salute and working with Arthur O. Thomas, Marc says “I am super excited to have the opportunity to work with Art. I have been following his works for a while now. I first met Art on a website called Stage32. The Last Salute is the perfect project for us to work together in. Upon securing funding, we hope to start pre-production on the film early next year and anticipate going into production by the end of the year depending on the logistics.
To view the short film to be adapted click on link below: