What artists said about the film sector strategy re-engagement meeting 

Source: What artists said about the film sector strategy re-engagement meeting –Newsday Zimbabwe

The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe is doing an amazing job spearheading this project. We are on to something and I am very hopeful about the outcome. What we need is to start policy conversations and get to a stage where our sector can evolve to an industry.

THE National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) last week engaged the film sector on the film strategic development. Presentations were made by Nicholas Moyo permanent secretary in the Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation ministry, NACZ officials Nosipo Maraire (board chairperson), Napoleon Nyanhi (director) and Babra Gotore (assistant director arts promotion and development) and film stars Munya Chidzonga and Rumbi Katedza. NewsDay Life & Style spoke to artists on the film strategy.

Joe Njagu

The film strategy formulation has been long overdue. The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe is doing an amazing job spearheading this project. We are on to something and I am very hopeful about the outcome. What we need is to start policy conversations and get to a stage where our sector can evolve to an industry.

Richard Tenton

The presentations were highly promising. Government has reiterated its commitment to achieving more in the next six months. What is left is for the government to deliver. The onus is on Nicholas Moyo to set a new standard considering that the past 20 years were marked by promise after promise. We now have hope.

 Kalài Balo

I am excited to see what we, as the Zimbabwean film community, can do with the support of our government. We have a long way to go but as Dr Maraire says, this is a rare moment for us to take action. It is up to us practitioners to rise to the challenge and work together to build a sustainable industry.

I agree that training and equipment are a critical first step. I believe the best place for a filmmaker to learn is on a film set. If we have a skilled international crew coming to shoot in Zimbabwe, we should look at implementing a non-negotiable policy that local crews are given active training on these sets. Similar to South African film regulations. Lastly, I would love to see funding distributed for local films to be made by local crews. For us to have the opportunity to tell our own stories.

Collin Nyamuyaruka

There is need to create a platform for discourse such that we are on the same page. There is no clarity as to the meaning of a film studio. Is studio referring to infrastructure or is studio referring to vertical integration of production, marketing through distribution. It is now easier than ever to make a production but to distribute and make profit out of it is something else.

Studios are important for film because they give control over the mise en scene due to over head lights and set manipulation as compared to an Italian neo realistic style.

We should look to policy such that productions don’t four wall in the cinema; there should be an open screen for local productions as a policy mitigation. Individuals have to be sent to functioning film studios to have an understanding of how things are done.

There is need for training as this was one of the ways in which South Africa was able to dominate African film space. Studios create leeway for international stardom.

Troy Reid

Zimbabwe’s filmmaking industry brims with talent and passion, but a skills gap hampers its ability to compete globally.

A well-structured apprenticeship programme can bridge this gap by fostering expertise in cinematography, sound design, set design, costume design and other crucial areas.

This skilled workforce is essential not only for competing internationally but also for building a financially sustainable industry. Partnering with international film leaders solidifies this programme, making Zimbabwe a magnet for training film and television personnel across Africa.

I have already spoken to industry leaders in specific sectors who are enthusiastic about coming to Zimbabwe to develop a robust apprenticeship programme and other training initiatives.

Their collaboration, if streamlined, has the potential to position Zimbabwe as a magnet for training film and television personnel across Africa.These skills will also attract international film and TV productions to Zimbabwe, once these skills are established potentially making Zimbabwe the film hub of southern Africa.

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