Entertainment TV

NAMA welcomes film policy directive

NATIONAL Association of Media Arts president Patrick Salubusa

KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
THE National Association for Media Arts (NAMA) has welcomed the directive by President Lungu to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to take to Cabinet a film policy before the end of February next year.
NAMA chairman Patrick “Sauloshi” Salubusa told the Weekend Mail in Lusaka the President’s directive is an indication that he wants to see more job creation and diversification of the economy.
Sauloshi says while the digital migration provides for 35 percent local content, the film policy sets it at 60 percent.
He says the only worry is that the national broadcaster has not been able to meet the 35 percent threshold and one wonders what will happen when the film policy comes into effect.
“The only local production on ZNBC [Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation] is Ulendo. So, if they’ve failed with the 35 percent, the question is will they manage with the 60 percent?” Sauloshi asks.
“We’re asking the [Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services] to direct all television stations to provide 35 percent local content. They should go the Zimbabwe way where the stations air the programmes and then share the sponsorship money with the filmmakers.
“But why are we happy with the film policy? It provides for among other things, the Film Development Fund and also gets the involvement of the security wings which means they are able to avail certain buildings to filmmakers.”
During the MultiChoice 20th anniversary celebrations at Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka a fortnight ago, President Lungu said the film industry is vital for the preservation of culture and heritage, and as such, he would like to see significant investment in the industry.
And to enhance the investment, he wanted a film policy that will provide clear guidelines aimed at developing the sector presented to Cabinet.
He also said the government is determined to roll out terrestrial television broadcasting network to cover the whole country. This will significantly reduce the cost of establishing television broadcasting as broadcasters will only be expected to establish studios.
He also encouraged the youth to mobilise themselves with the aim of forming cooperatives to establish community broadcasting stations.

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