Success story: Alumnus scores film deal with Netflix
Godwin Jabangwe (left and above, center) says life’s put him in the right place at the right time, taking him from his native Zimbabwe to an NMC classroom to another in Grand Rapids to Los Angeles.
Now the former visual communications student-turned-screenwriter will bring that serendipity full circle, taking Netflix audiences back to Zimbabwe after closing a “monster” sale for his first feature film, Tunga, inspired by the mythology of the Shona culture in that African country.
“Even now, it doesn’t feel real. It’s so crazy and unexpected,” said Jabangwe, 35, who attended NMC from 2007-2010 and discovered screenwriting while working in the Beckett Building computer lab.
“That’s actually how I started writing. I would have eight-hour shifts,” he said. “You reached the end of the Internet.”
Jabangwe’s deal is the first to come out of Imagine Impact, a talent incubator founded by Hollywood heavyweights Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (top, right) and headed by Tyler Mitchell (top, left) in 2018.
“They bring in talented writers who are seeking a breakthrough,” Jabangwe said. He’d been working on the Tunga idea but joining the Impact class, which paired writers with mentors, allowed him to focus. The experience ended in February with a pitch day to potential buyers, which Jabangwe called both “very exciting” and “terrifying.” Netflix won Tunga in a four-way bidding war. (Watch video of Jabangwe celebrating his deal.) Read more »
Greeting the governor
NMC students Isaac Dedenbach and Emma Moulton met Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (center) at a Lansing reception in March. Both members of the Student Green Team, the students went prepared to discuss topics such as the Line 5 pipeline, protecting the Great Lakes, the Flint water crisis, and student debt.
Sexual assault awareness week
As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, NMC’s Office of Student Life will host a series of on-campus events the week of April 8–11:
- Tuesday, April 9
Take Back the Night march and rally, 5:30 p.m., Hagerty Center. 995-1118
- Wednesday, April 10
Can I Kiss You? interactive presentation 6:30 p.m., Milliken Auditorium. 995-1118
- Thursday, April 11
Solace & Solidarity: Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence, presentation by Miss Michigan Emily Sioma. 6 p.m., Milliken Auditorium. 995-1118
Read more here »