ZIMFLIX FOCUS: Unleash Your Inner Spielberg at Dream Hous Pictures


FOUNDED in 1992, The New York Film Academy is one of the most prestigious film schools in the world, nurturing talent from all over the world in Filmmaking, Animation, Broadcast Journalism, and Theatre. 

Some notable stars that have passed through its corridors include Insecure creator Issa Rae, South African actresses Natasha Thahane and Amanda Du-Pont, the Wayans brothers, and Bollywood filmmaker Rohit Gupta. 

This is where Jonathan Samukange, aged 35, acquired his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking in 2019. Unlike most Zimbabweans who leave and live abroad forever, Samukange decided to immediately come back to his homeland and play a part in changing the reality. 

“I can go anywhere I want because of my career. I had job offers in Los Angeles and New York, but I left because I have an opportunity to build a film industry in my home country, which will bring so much wealth to our country.” 

Jonathan Samukange Dream Hous Pictures
New York Film Academy alumni's ambitious plan for Zimflix—Jonathan Samukange wants to teach you Hollywood-level filmmaking in eight weeks

These are the first words that Samukange boldly proclaims, as he sits down with ZimSphere to let us in on his journey so far, as well as his ambitious plan for ZimFlix. 

It is a plan he could have executed as soon as he touched down five years ago, but fate decided to be the scriptwriter and director. Barely six months after his return to Zimbabwe, the entire world was brought to a halt by the Covid-19 pandemic, which scuppered plans of even governments and businesses. 

The best that Samukange could do was endure the lockdowns and facemasks like everyone else, whilst cooking up blueprints for what he has managed to achieve over the past three years. 

Indeed, delayed is never denied. As the world opened up in late 2021, Samukange founded Dream Hous Pictures, a production house which has gone on to deliver world class tv commercials and produced films that have scooped awards worldwide. 

Jonathan Samukange Dream Hous Pictures
Dream Hous Pictures—Worldclass production, proudly Zimbabwean

Dream Hous Pictures has produced over five films including gripping drama Nhaka, horror thrillers All American Psycho and The Crazyz; and action thriller Honest, which won Best International Film at Venice Shorts and Hip Hop Film Festival Chicago as well as selections at Los Angeles Live Score Film festival, FLICKFAIR Film Festival, and Silicon Valley African Film Festival.

Jonathan Samukange Dream Hous Pictures
Multi-award winning Honest, produced by Dream Hous Pictures 

The transition from Hollywood to ZimFlix hasn’t been all rosy for the talented filmmaker though. In fact, almost the opposite. He says, ”The transition has been very difficult. I came from an environment where I had Hollywood professionals hiring me and appreciating my level of skills, to here in Zimbabwe(sic).” 

Jonathan Samukange Dream Hous Pictures
Gripping drama Nhaka

Understandably, Samukange gives a harsh analysis of the reality of ZimFlix. “It’s safe to say we don’t even have a film industry. We have film enthusiasts and very few professionals,” Samukange admits.

Jonathan Samukange Dream Hous Pictures
Horror thriller The Crazyz

While most have lauded the introduction of new TV channels in Zimbabwe, Samukange sees it as nothing but a long overdue drop in the ocean for what is required to turn ZimFlix into a viable, exportable product, saying, ”It’s good that we have new tv stations but that won’t change anything.”

So, what will bring the change we all seek?

“What we need are fully equipped and knowledgeable educational system to produce filmmakers who can create international standard quality films. We need to build from the ground up and educate our young filmmakers on how Hollywood operates.” 

And who else to do it but the man who has worked in the most successful film industry in the world. Jonathan Samukange’s big plan for ZimFlix is Education. He believes he has acquired enough knowledge from the Global North and enough experience in ZimFlix to be a teacher to any eager aspiring filmmaker in the country. 

To this effect, Dream Hous Pictures has launched an eight-week Filmmaking Program designed to equip aspiring filmmakers with the same knowledge that took Samukange four years and a sojourn across the Pacific to hold. 

Jonathan Samukange Dream Hous Pictures
The Dream Hous Program

Forget stuffy classrooms and textbook theories, the Dream Hous Program is an immersive excursion into the world of filmmaking, guaranteed to turn you into a Hollywood-level professional.

The Dream Hous Program isn't just about learning; it's about unlocking your inner Scorsese, unleashing your Tarantino-esque flair, and sculpting your own unique cinematic touch. 

We're talking masterclasses in cinematography, screenwriting so good it'll make Shakespeare jealous, directing skills that'll command any set, and acting workshops that'll have you transforming into characters like a chameleon on Red Bull.

Imagine soaking up knowledge from professionals who have navigated the maze of studios, dodged diva meltdowns, and emerged with stories more thrilling than any blockbuster, in just under two months.

“Imagine how many lives I can change just by sharing what I know. Being home and starting a business no one really understands in Zimbabwe is a challenge I welcome,” Samukange concludes.

And with these final words, Samukange throws his name into the hat for ZimFlix’s Moses, the one we have all been waiting for to take us to the promised land. 

The diaspora played a crucial role in our struggle for Independence. Fifty years later, in this here information age, we find ourselves as a sovereign state, only lacking the right people with overflowing passion, who know the standard. 

This is why Jonathan Samukange’s story matters, and what Dream Hous Pictures is doing for ZimFlix can be considered as the catalyst needed to take our productions to Hollywood-level.

If becoming a filmmaker is your cherished dream, don't let your cinematic masterpiece gather dust in your head. Ditch the popcorn and grab the director's chair. Gain hands-on experience, learn from the best, and watch your story come alive on the big screen.

Head on to Dream Hous Pictures studio at 24 East Road, Belgravia, Harare and start your journey to ‘acclaimed Zimbabwean filmmaker’.

You can also reach out to Dream Hous Pictures via Instagram, or talk to the head honcho of Dream Hous Pictures directly on WhatsApp here.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for inspiration or just entertainment, head on to the Dream Hous Pictures website to get a peek of all the beautiful stories they have created so far.

Zimsphere is fast-becoming the foremost publication on all the lights-camera-action updates in Zimflix. Keep your eyes glued to Zimsphere for captivating features, the latest updates and the glitziest premieres of Zimflix content. 

You can also get updates on your fingertips on our Whatsapp channel and in our Whatsapp group.

If you are a filmmaker, director, actor or screenwriter and you’d like to have your story told, reach out to us via email


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