Hamadi Mwapachu is a Tanzanian film director, actor and scriptwriter. He graduated from the London International School of Acting and decided to go back to his home county, Tanzania, and make films as an actor, scriptwriter and director.
He started off his filmmaking career as an actor and high concept horror writer. He acted in different plays and feature films including dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist(2005). He wrote over 10 screenplays before finally making a decision to write his own film and direct it. Mwapachu made his feature film directing debut in 2015, with the film Dar Noir. The film explores the shift from the ‘Uhuru na Ujamaa’ philosophy (Julius Nyerere’s brand of socialism), to the thirst of decadence and wealth at any cost. The film earned him major recognition since it was a shift from what the Tanzania audience was used to. He claims to have written the script for this film in five days.
According to Hamadi, the film industry in Africa can be improved if writers received more education and training on the art of scriptwriting. This would help create better stories which would as a result translate to better films.
As a screenwriter, he has also written Aisha, a feature film that was released in 2015.
“What we need is more education, especially with respect to writing. Finding your voice can take a while. I have only just found my voice and I have been writing screenplays for 14 years.”
Beatrix Mugishagwe is a Tanzanian film director, writer and producer. She began her career as a TV journalist for twenty years in Germany, before she took on a role as a TV documentary director. This is how she found her way into the filmmaking industry. She did not receive any filmmaking training or education and she attributes everything she knows to learning on the business.
She made her debut as a feature film director in 2005, when she wrote and directed the Tanzanian Swahili movie, Tumaini. Tumaini is a film that aims to sensitize people on the plight of HIV/AIDS amongst orphans. She wrote the films after realizing how HIV positive children were neglected after their ailing parents passed away. With the film, she hoped to act as a voice of the children who are still very young to have their own voice.
This film was followed by Unsung Heroines, a series documentary about African female leaders. She remains one of the oldest women filmmakers in Tanzania.