By ZBC Reporter
THE Film, Arts and Creative Industries has the potential to create over 20 million jobs and contribute US$20 billion to Africa’s gross domestic product.
This was said by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the inaugural Varsity Film Expo at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo this Monday where he emphasised the second republic’s commitment to reward and support those with talent in various fields.
Being held under the theme “Vivid: Amplifying Sustainable Development Goals using Film and Digital Media”, the expo is bringing together students, lecturers and film idustry stakeholders to work together and set up film studios, production and distribution companies to the attainment of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“Lessons from film-related companies such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, DSTV and `Showmax among others show the possible economic impact of this sector, concerning empowerment and employment creation, especially for the young people,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa said that as announced in the 2022 National Budget presented recently, the government will continue to resource the Arts and Culture development fund in order to support emerging, young and talented filmmakers and other artists across the creative cultural industries.
“At this stage of our country’s development epoch, film and movies should be deployed to motivate our people to be more, and to do more, through increased production and productivity. The industry must further help to convey the true story of our great mother country by projecting a positive national image,” explained the President.
The President noted that the Varsity Film Expo must play a critical role in the ongoing national building and branding exercise, stimulating the creation and distribution of “Proudly Zimbabwean” film and broadcast content.
He commended the Film and TV Resources company for the content development programme aimed at promoting “Brand Zimbabwe”.
“The “Zimbabwe With Love” initiative which seeks to use film and other media to promote destination Zimbabwe, will undoubtedly go a long way in fostering win-win partnerships and help attract investments into our country. Informed by our mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business” and “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”, the content created must showcase our country’s comparative advantages, vision, aspirations and hopes, as we build our beloved country, brick by brick, stone upon stone.
“As professionals in the sector, never allow your stories to be captured by those with ulterior motives, integrity must remain the sacred responsibility of your field,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President said it is unfortunate that some players in the film and broadcasting space are using their talent and skills to denigrate their own country, its leadership and African value systems and he called upon young people to refuse to use their talents to promote national decadence and self-hate.
President Mnangagwa commended the India-Africa Trade Council for setting up the Indo-Zimbabwe Film Commission to facilitate cultural exchange for the growth of the film and movie industry. He also implored the private sector to work together with the National Arts Council and implement robust programmes and activities for talent identification.