Cinema Society of Zimbabwe is a fairly new organization being established by Zimbabwean filmmakers to chart the way forward, represent their interest and creating a rallying point for strategy. Here are 9 things you did not know about Cinema Society of Zimbabwe as shared to Nyarai Chidzero by CSZ founder, Richard Tentone;
- What is Cinema Society of Zimbabwe?
Cinema Society of Zimbabwe (CSZ) is an association of professional and aspiring filmmakers concerned with developing and promoting a sustainable film industry in Zimbabwe. The organisation is apolitical, not for profit and open to Zimbabwean filmmakers at home and abroad.
- Can you explain your role in the film society?
The role of CSZ is to provide training to filmmakers in order to improve the quality of their productions and industry knowledge, provide a networking and collaborative platform for filmmakers to work together, create employment opportunities, market Zimbabwean productions and bring film industry stakeholders to work together.
- What do you mean that CSZ is only for filmmakers?
CSZ is only for filmmakers because filmmakers realized the need to come together and speak with one voice. CSZ is an answer to the challenges facing filmmakers and the filmmakers’ response to the problems. In order for filmmakers to make headway and create a viable industry there was, and is, need for them to come together and reason together. Unity is key in forging ahead towards a common goal. Filmmakers’ intent is to entertain, educate and inspire audiences all over the world. Who is better to understand the plight of filmmakers than filmmakers themselves?
- We have other film organizations, what difference does CSZ have from the other organisations?
CSZ is motivated by the development of a sustainable industry, addressing the plight of filmmakers and placing Zimbabwe on the global film market. CSZ is concerned with brand Zimbabwe, film as an art and developing an industry that first satisfies domestic demand, regional and then global audiences respectfully. Moreover, we are also collecting information on all Zimbabwean films and television shows, actors, crew and making it available to the world through our websites and apps.
While many organisations talk about representing filmmakers, we are coming in with a different approach based on results than anything else. As filmmakers we understand the need to produce tangible results than fronting talk shows – making conversations that culminates in nothing. Hence the need to set a footprint cast in stone.
- Who can join Cinema Society of Zimbabwe?
Cinema Society of Zimbabwe membership is open to aspiring and professional Zimbabwean filmmakers. Filmmakers are essentially the people who collaborate to produce films and these include actors, directors, cinematographers, casting directors, costume directors, film editors, makeup artists and hairstylists, producers, production designers, animators, VFX and SFX designers, writers and others.
Companies interested in sponsoring or funding CSZ programmes are welcome to join too. Therefore, CSZ has three membership tiers which are Professional, Affiliate and Student. This also helps CSZ in its programming.
- Who is leading CSZ now?
CSZ is currently led by Richard Tentone as chairperson of the interim board until 30 June 2020 when CSZ holds its Annual General Meeting. At the AGM, the Board of Directors will be elected by registered members to lead the organisation for two years. During these two years CSZ will implement a host of activities as envisioned by the Board of Directors.
Richard Tentone is the founder of Cinema Society of Zimbabwe. He is a holder of a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Theatre Arts from Midlands State University (MSU) and a Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations with College of Professional Management (UK). He has worked with ZimOne Entertainment, Eye C Publications, Block Media House, Fraternal Pastors Association and the Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors (ZUDAC). Richard’s passion lies in film distribution, marketing and talent development.
- What benefit does CSZ have if a filmmaker joins?
The more the filmmakers who join CSZ the better. United we stand and tackle challenges impeding industry growth and success. There is no better way to influence change than being part of the change.
- What change are you bringing in the film industry?
We are bringing a lot of change. Filmmakers will be united, collaborating, improving the quality of their productions and rewarded for quality and entertaining us too. We are going to mend or rebuild broken bridges connecting all stakeholders. We understand the need for stakeholders who include audiences, regulating authorities, the government and others to engage in meaningful conversations mapping the way forward.
- What do people expect from CSZ?
CSZ promises quality and diverse content to audiences, unfettered support to filmmakers and a better working relationship with all stakeholders. We are determined in our efforts to make productions that audiences like taking their feedback into consideration.
Any last words
We have lost many filmmakers and many are dying without being celebrated yet they graced our television screens and entertained us. Some are dying as paupers without getting value for their contributions to the industry. This must stop. Filmmakers deserve the dignity befitting them and CSZ must address that. Filmmakers must know there is an organisation representing their needs today, tomorrow and forever more. Copyrights should be protected and contracts honoured.
Joining Cinema Society of Zimbabwe is the first step towards the wonderful opportunities ahead for filmmakers.