Home Entertainment 30-Year Old Political Film ‘Chief Zabu’ Finally Makes Debut

30-Year Old Political Film ‘Chief Zabu’ Finally Makes Debut


Is it art imitating life?  Or visa versa?

On the eve of the Presidential election, the 31st Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLiFF) aptly presents the East Coast Premiere of the “audacious socio-political comedy,” Chief Zabu.

Co-directors Howard Zuker and Neil Cohen will attend two screenings of the film on Nov. 7, 6 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso, 2008 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, FL and 7:45 p.m. at Savor Cinema, 503 SE 6 Street in Fort Lauderdale, which is followed by “The Zabu Stomp Party” in the John Mager Courtyard.

General admission is $11 per person and FREE to those who wear an “I Voted” sticker.

Faith Based Events

In 1986 Howard Zuker and Neil Cohen directed their first and only film, Chief Zabu, about some New York real estate operators who scheme to take over a Polynesian country while its leader is in New York seeking admission to the UN.  As the businessmen imagine a life of tropical ease and wealth, the testing of French nuclear weapons in the South Pacific ensures that things do not go as planned.

After a series of snafus that paralleled the film’s madcap plot, and despite featured coverage of its production in Life Magazine, Chief Zabu was never completed, distributed, nor publicly shown.

Now, 30 years later, inspired by the rise of Donald Trump, the first-time directors have finally finished their film about a realtor with a dream of political influence: the never-before-seen Chief Zabu.

Set in Manhattan, The Hudson Valley, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and the fictional island nation of Tiburaku, CHIEF ZABU was shot almost entirely on a college campus, in 15 days, for under $187,966 (with the cast, crew, and student interns all living together in the dorms).

“Compellingly relevant to the present and eerily resonant with the inanity of current Presidential politics, [Chief Zabu] the tale of a sleazy real estate developer over-his-head in an international scam is funny and satirical but never over the top.”   – says KCRW film critic and Professor and Dean Emeritus at UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Robert Rosen.

Tickets for The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival are available to purchase in advance at www.FLiFF.com


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