By Nyarai Chidzero
The Zimbabwe film industry calls for Zimbabweans to support local content and help fight numerous challenges crippling the development of the sector in the country.
The sector is facing challenges such as poor economic performance, a dwindling film market, rising cost of production, piracy, harsh legislation and multi-tiered censorship, as well as monopoly on the part of traditional broadcasting.
Film maker Billy Kabasa said the film industry lacks funding and paying broadcaster and urged the government to support the sector.
“The government, through the Ministry of Arts and Culture, should support the local film industry,” he said.
Kabasa added that the censorship and entertainment board is affecting the industry.
“The censorship and entertainment board is limiting creativity and this is stifling the development of the film industry in Zimbabwe. In fact, some film makers end up distributing their works to other broadcasters and platforms where censorship is not multi-tiered,” he added.
Founder of Cinema Society of Zimbabwe Richard Tentone said the people in the film industry are not just waiting for the Ministry of Arts and Culture to act, but are also doing a lot to address the challenges threatening the establishment of a viable film industry.
He, however, noted that the problems affecting the industry needs a multi-sectoral approach and there is a need for all stakeholders to work together for the common good.
“Without an iota of doubt, our industry is bedeviled by a plethora of challenges; conversely, we are doing our best to sustain the industry,” he said.
Tentone added: “On policy issues, the ZFIDP, Matsinye/Jibilika/Zambezi Film Classes and others have done much, yet still it is not enough. We are also doing our best as the Cinema Society of Zimbabwe.”
He urged the government and media practitioners to accelerate the digitisation programme, which should culminate in the plurality of television channels.
“More television stations, rising demand, competition and profit within the content sector is what the film industry needs at this moment and above all Zimbabweans should support local content and be proud of their own products,” said Tentone.
By Nyarai Chidzero