SOME local actors, who starred in the recently premiered war movie, Chinhoyi 7 are yet to be paid since filming started in 2014 despite that more than $50 000 was reportedly poured into the project as sponsorship.
BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
While some actors were afraid to comment on the issue, Zimbabwe Arts and Culture Industry Association president, Boniface Chimedza confirmed the development, saying he was first approached by the affected actors in 2015.
“The issue about non-payment of the Chinhoyi 7 actors was officially brought to our organisation in 2015,” he said.
“In fact, to date there are actors who have not been paid.
“We even wrote to (the movie director) Moses Matanda about the matter, but he was not co-operative. We also had a meeting with some Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) officials,” he said.
“The film was shot in 2014 and we are now in 2018, so it has been a protracted journey for those that are still waiting for their payment.”
Chimedza expressed disappointment, claiming the movie’s white cast had already been paid “handsomely”.
“Chinhoyi 7 was produced using a multi-racial cast, whites and blacks.
“The whites have all been paid and were paid handsomely.
“They were actually paid when they came for the shoot and they left,” he said.
“Most of the people complaining are black actors, so what does that say about the way we treat each other.
“We are not after victimising anyone, but we want this industry to grow, we will also not watch our artistes being victimised.”
Matanda could neither confirm nor deny that the actors had not been paid.
“Payment is not claimed from newspapers, whoever is owed has only one way to recover their money, through the appropriate office.
“Chinhoyi 7 is not the first entity to owe people money. It’s very normal.
“Even multinational companies owe and debt shall be paid when the production can afford,” he said
“That is not my department. I don’t handle finance and I don’t even know how much they are owed.
“You may want to talk to the producer. Why are you coming to me on this sensitive issue when you left me in a glorifying story?”
The ZDF public relations officer, Overson Mugwisi said payment was only partly done to international actors and all actors will be fully paid from the movies’ profits.
“We are here to pay them. We were thinking of doing that with the revenue from the movie.
“First and foremost, we are going to pay our actors with the first returns.
“Foreign actors got part payment. As we get money, we will pay them all,” he said.
Matanda agreed with Chimedza that more than $20 000 was used to produce Chinhoyi 7 adding that it also received support from the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services and Honde Valley TV.
Sources said ZDF injected $20 000, while ZRP poured in $30 000 for the production of the movie.
“ZDF contributed more than $20 000, but Chinhoyi 7 still remains a low budget movie despite that.
“A movie is considered high budget when you spend over millions.
“Anything under a million is a low budget.
“ZDF, ZRP, ZPCS, and Honde Valley TV all contributed in making this movie a success,” Matanda said.
Mugwisi confirmed that ZDF contributed more than $20 000 to the production.
“That amount is very little, that’s a high quality film it’s much more than that. I remember that editing doubled that figure, but let me double check that so call me after an hour I think I will have checked the figures,” he said.