Film producers tread cautiously

SHARE   |   Thursday, 13 December 2018   |   By Lame Modise
Thembile Legwaila Ndzinge and local film producers Thembile Legwaila Ndzinge and local film producers

Urged to pitch content ideas for Zambezi channel

With just a few weeks before the closing date of Dstv Zambezi Channel concept proposals for the Southern African region, local producers are yet to understand how the process works.


Members of the Botswana film industry are worried that they might lose the control and the rights to their work after.

The closing date for submissions is 31 December 2018 and appeals to the region’s novice film producers as well as those getting their footing in the industry. The skepticism from the local film and television content producers rang out at a meeting held at the AFDA Botswana campus in Gaborone this week.


The meeting was held to devise strategies to respond to the Zambezi Magic Channel’s call for content.

Despite their concerns, former Multichoice Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager and Public Relations Specialist Tshepo Maphanyane advised the producers to forge ahead try their luck.


She advised them to cast aside fears that their work might get stolen but rather put themselves out there for global recognition.

“Batswana are super talented but are not represented on any platform for the simple reason that we chose not to be represented,” she said, urging the local film producers to at least try to get their foot in the door.


Maphanyane, in her presentation on ‘Brand growth through harnessing networks’, highlighted that film producing companies should align themselves with big local brands who have reached international platforms. She said through the alignments, local producers can and will reach platforms that they might have not otherwise been privy to.

“These ‘brands’, such as Vee, ATI, Zeus and many others can open avenues for a lot of film concepts that have not been explored in our country,” she advised. She talked against the inferiority complex that some talented locals have, saying it is killing the industry. 


AFDA Director Tsholofelo Nchingane said the local industry needs a tripartite alliance between film producers, content consumers and broadcasters to ensure a stable and secure environment for doing business. He said the development would incubate a platform for content that can compete on a global platform, creating jobs and subsequently enabling the industry to actively participate in the country’s economy.

“Competing in the global market will also enable growth of the industry,” he said.


Multichoice Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Thembile Legwaila Ndzinge urged producers to submit their work in spite of their concerns. She said it is only after a project has been chosen that the contract will be scrutinised and agreed upon by both parties, being the producer and Zambezi Magic television station.

Ndzinge said the channel is willing to provide financing of the making of the films and as a financial investor the channel will in most cases have rights to the product.


“With that in mind, there is so much room for negotiating during the contract stage,” she stressed.


The discussion follows the 23rd November 2018 announcement by Multichoice Channel Director - East and Southern Africa Channels for M-Net Timothy Okwaro of the need for five new film concepts that depict the authentic African experiences.  

Related news