“Cook Off” is the First Independent Zimbabwean Film to be Acquired by Netflix. Netflix promised to bring the African heat, and they aren’t backing down.
Most recently, the streaming giant acquired the independent Zimbabwean film Cook Off. While starring Zimbabwean talents Tendaiishe Chitima, Tendai Nguni, and Jesesi Mungoshi, “Cook Off” is a food-centric rom-com set to premiere on Netflix this year. Written and Directed by Tomas Lutuli Brickhill, the film is the first-ever export from Zimbabwe’s film and television industry to land on Netflix. “Cook Off” tells the story of Anesu. A struggling single mother from a Harare township with a talent for cooking. However, she qualifies for Zimbabwe’s top reality cooking show. While on the show, she finds herself not only battling against professional chefs but her own self-doubt.
Although it premiered at the prestigious Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR) back in 2018, it was shot with an incredibly limited budget. This was just after former president Robert Mugabe was deposed in the infamous “coup-not-coup”. Notwithstanding. Cook Off has screened at over fifteen film festivals worldwide and gone on to win several awards. A testament to how the arts continue to transcend even the most trying of circumstances.
Brickhill and producer Joe Njagu both expressed their excitement at the recent deal. While still emphasizing how it will go a long way in shining a light on the largely untapped talent in Zimbabwe’s film industry.
Watch the trailer for Cook Off below;