KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
THE National Association of Media Arts (NAMA) has eulogised the late President Sata for giving them their own ministry â€“ the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Meanwhile as a way of honouring THE late President Sata, NAMA has postponed the Zambia Film, Television and Radio (ZAFTAR) Week from this which could have got underway last week to next month.
In a statement, national chairperson Patrick â€œSauloshiâ€ Salubusa said: â€œAs an association, NAMA will remember President Sata as the President who gave us our own ministry, the Ministry of Arts in the year 2012; 48 years after Zambia got its independence. During his three-year tenure we saw the implementation of the hologram and the launch of the digital migration policy for the benefit of the Zambian content producer.â€
â€œIt is because of his demise and of course the national mourning that our association has postponed the ZAFTAR Week which was scheduled to take place in Lusaka from Sunday 2nd to Friday 7th November, 2014.â€ The festival period will now run from Sunday December 7th to Friday December 12th.
Earlier, NAMAÂ had only postponed the awards night but Sauloshi now says even the ZAFTAR week, which is being supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, ZNBC, Muvi TV and Prime TV, is also postponed.
However, everything else about the ZAFTAR Week, whose primary purpose is to bring film stakeholders together and popularise indigenous films, train local filmmakers and radio drama actors and scriptwriters, remain intact.
â€œMarketing 50-Year-Old Zambia through Media Arts is the main theme for the first edition of the ZAFTAR Week and the theme is in line with the commemoration of Zambiaâ€™s Golden Jubilee and our belief that filmmaking is the quickest way to market the country and its tourism potential.â€
Sauloshi says the ZAFTAR Week will be the final stage for film, television and radio excellence in Zambia and will give Zambian audio-visual producers a child of their own to call a film festival and an awards ceremony.
He says the Zambian filmmakers have relied on foreign film festivals and awards ceremonies which, unfortunately, do not take the Zambian culture into consideration.
â€œWith productions like Play Circle, Zambia has proved to be one of the oldest countries in as far as producing of audio-visual content is concerned but the country has found it very difficult to adapt skillfully written dramatic stories for cinema as its films are considered to be of lower quality than those produced by its competitors within the sub region.
â€œAttempts by Zambian filmmakers to market their content have been met with challenges over the years mostly due to lack of a platform like a key stakeholders gathering, a local film festival and an awards ceremony. The lack of corporate involvement coupled with little appreciation of locally produced films by our cinema houses has negatively affected the development of the â€¦local film industry,â€ he says.
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka