Govt backs local talent
Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
THE Government will sponsor productions by independent content producers and then buy some of the material in a move aimed at motivating and growing the industry, a senior Government official has said. Local budding film-makers, production houses and artistes involved in filmmaking for 12 broadcasting channels that will be established once the country fully digitises are set to receive a major boost from the expected content production programme.
This was said by Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr George Charamba during the ZimDigital Broadcast Content Creators meeting in Gweru on Thurs- day.
He implored independent content producers to embrace digitisation and produce content that will be bought without hesitation by ZBC TV, which will have six channels as well as new players who will get the remaining six channels.
“The Government is going to sponsor the production of the first three contents and will also buy the material. “At the same time, if you have already produced your content, your expenditure enroute to the final product will be considered. We will also give you cameras for making the content.
“We are preparing for more programme diversity. We will have more programming and that’s why we called this meeting. “We have a lot of work to do in terms of content production. Channel capacity is going to increase and so demand for programmes will also increase,” Mr Charamba said.
He said they were also working on changing laws, so that content producers get what is due to them. “We want to change laws so that the content producers benefit. Gone are the days when broadcasters had their way and manipulated the content producers. So, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) will be your weapon to use in negotiating with broad- casters.
“BAZ is now the police for artistes because if you are not paid, you can’t go back and produce. Therefore there is need for a win-win situation between content producers and broadcasters,” Mr Charamba said.
He said content producers should bear in mind that they need to use all the 16 official languages in the country for diversity.
“Zimbabwe should be a market hub that sells programmes. We will create a body to take the programmes abroad,” Mr Charamba said. Apart from creating employment for thousands of people in the country, he said, digitisation was also going to drive socio-economic development.