PRINCIPAL director in the Rural Development, Preservation of Culture and Heritage ministry, Paul Damasane has said films are important mediums that help in the promotion and preservation of culture and heritage and his ministry seeks to the encourage the growth of the creative industry, so it can make a unique contribution to the cultural expression.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Damasane made the remarks in Harare last week at the opening ceremony of the ongoing China Film Exhibition in Africa hosted by the Chinese embassy and the China Film Group Corporation to promote cultural exchange through arts between the two nations as a part of the Belt and Road initiative.
“Film is an important medium that promotes and preserves culture and heritage and in that it is a reflection of the country’s history, a reflection of the country’s culture as well as a reflection of the country’s heritage and we encourage such documentation, so that our history and cultures are preserved,” he said.
“As culture can be expressed through film productions, the ministry seeks to grow this creative industry, so that the film value chain may increase to give unique contribution to the cultural expression for our community as they demonstrate the amazing ambitions and dreams.”
Damasane said the government appreciated the film exhibition by the Chinese embassy, as the Zimbabwe-Chinese relations and the cultural corporations remain strong.
“This film exhibition is one of the many ways that the People’s Republic of China has engaged with the people of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwean government to make sure that the people of China and people of Zimbabwe find themselves as one,” he said.
“Chinese film is a very important aspect of our Chinese-Zimbabwe co-operation because it shows how the arts can actually improve in the marketing of culture between the two nations and the two peoples.
“We see that the Chinese film industry is a very large one and for them to come and exhibit in Zimbabwe makes us understand how it is important for us to learn from them and through our agreement platforms we certainly we learn from you.”
Damasane said such exhibitions must continue in the future to promote the creative and cultural industry, as they contribute immensely to both the Zimbabwean and Chinese economy in reciprocation.
“The Chinese film industry has shown how women can take a very strong part in the art of film making and we see them not just as actors, but also as producers and directors of all sorts. So hosting such an exhibition by the Chinese embassy is greatly appreciated by our ministry and the arts fraternity at large,” he said.
“The development of film is an avenue that provides also skills and expertise by a sense of direction to the youths. We in Zimbabwe value the youths a lot because they are the largest number of people in our community and, therefore, it is critical that what so ever we develop in the form of art can also attract them and make them part of it,” he said.
Six films from China — The Ghouls, My Lucky Star, Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, The Taking of Tiger Mountain, Monkey King: Hero is Back and Who Am I? — have been selected and will be shown to the local audience during the week-long exhibition that ends on Thursday.