By Nchimunya Miyoba
Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Dora Siliya says Government recognises that the film industry in the country has lag behind because Government has failed to put in place defined policies in the film industry.
Ms Siliya said Government recognises that there is need to provide clarity in terms of policy on who is responsible if the film industry is to thrive.
She was speaking during the opening of the 5th Copperbelt Sotambe Festival last night held at the Kitwe Little Theatre under the theme “These are the days to celebrate Zambian film makers.”
Nigeria has managed to produce 1, 600 films a year because the Nigeria government took the film industry so seriously and included film production as a real economic activity that propelled the economy to be number one in Africa.
Ms Siliya said there is currently no film or theatre department in her ministry that is responsible for the operations of the film industry.
“In the past months the Permanent Secretary in the ministry has been tasked to do consultations within Government, the Ministry of Tourism and other stakeholders to stream line activities of film development and clearly anchor it to one ministry.
“We as government must do our part, one of the reasons that has made the film industry to lag behind is that there is no clarity in policy, while the gazette provides that the ministry will be responsible for film and theatre development in the country, ” she said.
She said the construction of production studios in the six provinces in the country will help reduce the cost of doing business for filmmakers.
Ms Siliya said once the studios are done they will create jobs opportunities for young film producers adding that filmmakers should take advantage of the the investment that government is putting in place.
Ms Siliya further called on the private sector to emulate companies such as Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) and Multi Choice Zambia who have come on board to sponsor local film productions.
And Multi Choice Zambia Managing Director Ngoza Kasunga-Matakala said multi choice is working closely with local film makers and is providing a platform to show case their talent.
Ms Matakala revealed that 20 young people will this October enter the Multi Choice Talent factory that inspire and nurture talented people to work in local creative industries.
Ms Matakala said given an opportunity, the young empowered new generation of film makers and TV professionals will take their place at the local creative industries hence producing the best content that customers roll desire.