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'Cook Off' Becomes First Independent Zimbabwean Film to be Acquired by Netflix

'Cook Off' Becomes First Independent Zimbabwean Film to be Acquired by Netflix

Starring Zimbabwean talents Tendaiishe Chitima, Tendai Nguni and Jesesi Mungoshi, 'Cook Off' is the food-centric rom-com set to premiere on Netflix this year.

Netflix promises continues to bring the African heat. Most recently, , the streaming giant acquired the independent Zimbabwean film Cook Off. The food-centric rom-com was written and directed by Tomas Lutuli Brickhill and stars Zimbabwean talents including Tendaiishe Chitima, Tendai Nguni and Jesesi Mungoshi, among several others. The film becomes 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 flair for cooking. However, after she qualifies for Zimbabwe's top reality cooking show, she finds herself not only battling against professional chefs but her own self-doubt.

Since its international premiere at the prestigious Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR) back in 2018, Cook Off has screened at over fifteen film festivals worldwide and gone on to win several awards. Shot with an incredibly limited budget just after former president Robert Mugabe was ousted in the infamous "coup-not-coup", Cook Off is a testament to how the arts continue to transcend even the most trying of circumstances.

Speaking about having been cast in the lead role, Chitima (who plays Anesu) says, "When I first read Cook-off I thought to myself 'wow, what a unique story, what an intriguing story'." Chitima goes on to add that, "We haven't had a lot of Zimbabwean stories told in that way. The writing was brilliant, it was funny, there was a bit of drama, there was tension. The writing really encapsulated all kinds of themes and different genres altogether. I was really excited about the script and actually that's what really drew me to the role."

Brickhill and producer Joe Njagu have both expressed their excitement at the recent deal and emphasised 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:

Cook Off OFFICIAL TRAILER (2020) HD youtu.be

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Photo by Monirul Bhuiyan via GettyImages

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