By GWEN CHIPASULA –
ZAMBEEF Products yesterday unveiled a K1.5 million sponsorship deal to support an award-winning new movie that captures the achievements of the Zambian football team.
The fortunes of the national team that starts from the lows of the 1993 Gabon Air crash to the highs of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) victory are chronicled in the film, e18hteam.
Zambeef joint chief executive officer Carl Irwin said at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka yesterday that his company decided to sponsor the film because it documents important aspects of the country’s football history.
“This movie goes to the heart of the nation’s love of soccer and documents an important part of our history, and for this reason Zambeef is proud to be supporting the project, encouraging a young Zambian film maker and ensuring that this story is and preserved for future generations,” Irwin said.
Irwin said Zambeef has provided the funding to enable the producers of the movie, Ngosa Chungu and Juan Rodrigues-Briso, to acquire the world rights to archive footage of historic Zambian football matches.
He said Zambeef’s decision to dig deep into its pocket during the difficult economic times has paid off as the film has already won two awards, and in May it will be screened at the prestigious Cannes Cinema, a celebration of global film alongside the Cannes Film Festival in France.
“It is a measure of our commitment to this project that we have dug deep into our pockets at this time in the economic cycle. Sometimes you have to think big, take the long view and just go for it, and this is an approach that Zambeef has taken right from the beginning of its own history,” he said.
Zambeef will be launching the e18hteam Dibili tour that will see the film screened around Zambia in the run-up to an official launch in Lusaka in October.
Chungu said the concept behind the movie is to show how a country managed to rise from the setbacks to win the coveted trophy.
“Zambeef has exposed what we have known all along, that the Chipolopolo story of tragedy and triumph mirrors every Zambian’s experience. We have been able to bounce back from the many setbacks we have faced as a young nation,” Chungu said.