Film, television sector crafts strategy

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Unesco African Film Industry Report,

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
TODAY marks the beginning of a great expedition towards revitalising and expanding the country’s television and film industry.

Local top filmmakers, actors, academics and stakeholders converge this morning at a hotel in the capital to craft the Zimbabwe Television and Film Industry strategy.

The country’s Television and Film Strategy follows the recent successful launch of the Zimbabwe Music Strategy, which is part of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) vision to have different cultural and creative sector strategies in the mold of the National Cultural and Creative Industries Strategy launched by government in 2020.

According to the latest Unesco African Film Industry Report, the film sector accounts for over US$5 billion in revenues and employs over five million people across the African continent, with potential to generate US$20 billion and employ up to 20 million people.

Spearheaded by the arts mother body NACZ, the television and film strategy’s preliminary process began in May with the hosting of a stakeholder’s workshop in Harare.

The film and television workshop, which attracted filmmakers and stakeholders from the country’s provinces, examined the state of the film sector in Zimbabwe, the expectations for the strategy drafting process and nominations were submitted for the 23 national team member positions tasked with the production of the strategy.

Those making up the 23 national team members are prominent filmmakers and academics, namely Raisedon Baya, Joseph Bunga, Knox Chatiza, Munyaradzi Chidzonga, Stephen Chigorimbo, Kudzai Chikomo, Kelvin Chikonzo, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Daves Guzha, Rumbidzai Katedza, Marian Kunonga, Ben Mahaka, Nakai Matema, Ignatius Matope, Nhamo Mhiripiri, Cont Mhlanga, Charles Munganasa, Antony Mutambira, Joe Njagu, Amanda Ranganawa, Priscila Sithole, Richard Tenton and Rino Zhuwarara.

NACZ executive director Nicholas Moyo said after the television and film strategy, other sectors such as the visual and literary would also formulate their own strategies soon.

“Film and television have become the second sector to have a strategy developed following the realisation that the production and distribution of film and audio-visual works is one of the most dynamic growth sectors in the world, with a huge potential for attracting commercial investment and capacity employ a large number of youths and women in high-skilled jobs,” Moyo said.

“The television and film strategy is meant to respond to the challenges bedevilling the local industry, which include the largely informal nature of operations by players, piracy and illegal exploitation of audio-visual content as well as a lack of clear distribution infrastructure.”

He said the television and film strategy was expected to leverage on the increased participation of women behind and in front of the camera, the licensing of new television stations and the ability to monetise online content on social media platforms such as YouTube, Netflix and other prospective local mobile video services.

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