Helsinki date for film makers

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VETERAN actor Steven Chigorimbo will lead an eight-member Zimbabwean delegation of broadcasters and film-makers to participate at the annual International Public Television Conference (INPUT) to be held next month in Helsinki, Finland.
Chigorimbo, who is the national coordinator for the event, said the conference is aimed at finding ways of developing broadcasting services in the world.
He said the conference would discuss modern trends of improving broadcasting and film activities worldwide.
“The main purpose of the event is to critically analyse the scenario of broadcasting, programming and programmes from all genres at international level,” said Chigorimbo.
“The conference aims to bring together more than 600 media professionals from all over the world and all fields of the global media industry.”
“This is a platform where all world top television stations converge to discuss the whole broadcasting business at professional perspective.”
“The INPUT discussion topics will vary from inventive editing methods to previously unseen formats or new broadcasting strategies, but they are always based on the programmes screened at the event.
“Special focus in Helsinki will be new ideas for television events, formats and hybrids, investigative television journalism and reporting, productions targeting younger audiences, television fiction and cross multi media products related to public service media.”
Chigorimbo said the delegation would include young film personalities so that they understand modern trends of broadcasting and be able adopt them in their productions.
“Youths constitute a large number of our viewers and we have to make productions that meet their needs and that are in line with global standards,” he said.
“Therefore, we have included young film makers such as Munyaradzi Chidzonga so that they learn and exchange notes with other film producers in the world.”
Chigorombo said the conference would be mainly characterised by viewing and scrutinising various broadcasting productions from different film makers in the world.
“Delegates will have an opportunity to watch screenings and discuss the most innovative television and online contents in all genres,” he said. 
“Programmes presented at the conference in May are currently being selected by several INPUT Moderators coming from many corners of the world for the INPUT International Selection.”
Chigorimbo, however, lamented the reduced number of broadcasting productions that the delegation would present at the conference.
“Due to lack of funding in the local film sector, we have not been able to produce and send adequate number of film productions for this year’s event,” he said.
“The most available funding was coming from donors and cannot afford to fund all film projects in the country.
“We have the potential of competing at global level in film production as most of our projects are better than those of many countries in the world,” he said.
“Resources are the only limiting factor in boosting our local film industry.”
In a related issue, Chigorimbo expressed concern over management challenges at the country’s official broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
He said the challenges have affected the local film sector as most local productions were sponsored by the organisation.
Recently, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo appointed an 11-member board to spearhead restructuring and turnaround of the ZBC.
Prof Moyo had dissolved the old board following revelations of fiduciary shortcomings that led to, among other issues, payment of mega packages to some executives and non-payment of salaries to ordinary staff for seven months in 2013.
“The poor performance of ZBC affects the local film industry as most of our projects were screened and funded by the organisation,” Chigorimbo said.
“The recapitalisation of ZBC will translate to increased demand of broadcasting programmes on television and more jobs for us.”
Last year, the conference was hosted in Central America by El Salvador’s national television Canal 10 and the Secretaria de Comunicaciones.
The INPUT conference hosted in Central America was a unique opportunity to share experiences and challenges in a changing media landscape, to strengthen the relations between the Public Broadcasters in the region and establish new ones.
More than 300 programmes from around the world were submitted to the International Selection by the National Coordinators.

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