DStv targets more local content

HARARE - DStv channel Zambezi Magic has commissioned over 10 Zimbabwean television programmes and films as part of its efforts of increasing content from southern Africa.

MultiChoice Zimbabwe publicity and public relations manager Liz Dziva revealed this during two recent local content summits held in Bulawayo and Harare.

“This (the commissioning of 10 Zimbabwean television programmes)  was described as ‘just the start’ of what could be one of the best showcase openings for the Zimbabwean film and television community,” said Dziva.

In Harare and Bulawayo, local film-makers and television producers have met with MultiChoice executives in a first-time workshop series aimed at setting in motion an increased level of Zimbabwean content on the DStv platform in coming months and years.

More than 200 personalities from the Zimbabwean film and media community participated in two local content “summits” designed to create dialogue and set up a means by which Zimbabwe will gain greater visibility on various channels on DStv.

The first was held in Harare, while the second took place in Bulawayo, and at both events there was constructive dialogue as well as frank and open discussion on problems encountered in the past.

“The aim was to look ahead at greater use of Zimbabwean-produced material on DStv, and there was a commitment from all parties attending to work more closely and to eliminate obstacles to progress.

“Local film-makers were critical of the amount of Zimbabwean material being used and the MultiChoice executives talked of challenges faced in facilitating such exposure. What was agreed is that all relevant and necessary steps would be taken to get more content onto DStv, and the follow-up will be greater levels of more open communication, as well as efforts to take content quality within Zimbabwe to even higher levels,” said Dziva.

The summits were opportunities for debate, discussion and determining problems and their causes, and information was given to all participants on how best to create suitable content, market it and get it ready for DStv showcasing.

It was also announced at the summits that up to 10 Zimbabwean TV programmes and films have been commissioned or acquired for broadcast on Zambezi Magic channel, which was established two years ago to provide a platform for content from southern Africa. This was described as “just the start” of what could be one of the best showcase openings for the Zimbabwean film and television community.

“For our part, we saw the problems of the past as a learning curve and we felt that what must now be focused on is the means by which a win-win situation can be created. This will result in Zimbabwean content increasing significantly, thus raising the standard and frequency of work from within the country, including films, TV series, individual programmes and non-fiction content,” said Dziva, adding:

“The new and more positive atmosphere in Zimbabwe was reflected in the summits and while there is still some work to be done it is clear that the future looks promising for Zimbabwean content in the overall DStv context. Among the future co-operation and collaboration initiatives will be training, coaching, greater liaison and increased interest in Zimbabwean productions of all kinds.”

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