Monday, March 11, 2019

Zambia's TV and film industry establishes the Professional Filmmakers Guild of Zambia; new industry body will try to standardise actor pay, content pricing and contracts and help producers to work together.

Zambia's growing but struggling TV and film industry has established the Professional Filmmakers Guild of Zambia to try and avoid exploitation, headed up by Lawrence Thompson as interim chairperson.

"We as producers have found it imperative to come together, united and create a body that will help us achieve much more but also address the challenges we face currently or imminent to the individual producers as well as collectively," says Lawrence Thompson.

"It is our hope that with the guild in place, the industry will be able to pay writers, actors, crew members, producers and directors exactly what they deserve in a timely manner."

Recently Zambia's draconian censorship government department, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, as well as Zambia's censorship regulator, the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the banned the apparently "gay" Lusaka Hustle reality show on M-Net and MultiChoice Zambia's Zambezi Magic (DStv 160) TV channel, with the show that is now back on air.

Last week The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) also banned and censored the Prime TV station for a month after it did critical reporting and coverage of Zambia's dictatorial government of president Edgar Lungu.

The Professional Filmmakers Guild of Zambia will try to create employment, as well as to protect and sustain Zambia's TV and film industry.

Oddly, the Professional Filmmakers Guild of Zambia is seeking the endorsement of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, one of the exact censorship extensions of Zambia's government responsible for attacking Zambia's original and locally created video content and wanting some of it off the air.

The Professional Filmmakers Guild of Zambia reportedly wants to try and standardise the pricing of content throughout the content value chain, regulate actors and actress remuneration, regulate producer cast engagement terms and conditions, and create a policy around operating standards within the industry.

"The guild will endeavour to standardise the rules of engagement, pricing of content and create a sustainable collaboration between producers and buyers of our content," says Lawrence Thompson.

"To all my fellow producers, it is time for us to work together. Fighting and trying to outdo each other will only draw us backwards. The industry is growing but let us all support the guild for a better and more organised industry. If we fail to work together we fail to succeed," says Lawrence Thompson.