Local content producers, film makers and anyone with a concept worth making its way into telly have an opportunity to submit their works to a Southern African platform that is committed to telling the stories of this part of the mother continent.
While Zambia and Zimbabwe have been quick to take advantage of the new platform available on DStv (Channel 160) and submitted stacks of content, the same cannot be said about local producers.
This was revealed by Zambezi Magic’s Channel Head, Addiel “Dzino” Dzinoraeva this past week in Gaborone. Dzinoraeva was in the country to sensitise and brief locals about how they can get their works onto DStv, the sort of content that they are looking for as well as explore possible partnerships and how to go about writing proposals.
His visit comes seven months after the channel was launched. And to date only one story has made its way from the shores of this country to the channel. The story is none other than Situational Comedy, the brainchild of Decent Ngwenya and product of Chaf Top Films. In his address, he explained that the channel was dedicated to telling the stories of other African countries other than the two powerhouses in the continent - South Africa and Nigeria.
The content they are looking for ranges from music, reality, drama, soapies, and film. “Over the seven months since the channel was launched, I have been travelling through the region looking for as much content as possible. We have put out calls for content and to date, Zimbabwe and Zambia are aggressive when it comes to sending content,” he said.
“Botswana hasn’t sent a lot. People here might not be getting what type of content that we are looking for and the steps to follow,” he added. He also pointed out that they were looking for movies, drama, long series, reality, sitcoms and lifestyle programmes.
He said that they get content through two main channels namely acquiring and licensing as well as commissioning to produce on their behalf. “We are also open to joint ventures and looking for advertiser funded programmes,” he explained. One of the reasons why it might take a while for them to respond or even review content he observed could be a result of incorrect labelling and missing contacts.
He said that failure to adhere to these set requirements sometimes leave them with no choice but to do the producer’s job all over again. He also explained that the procuring process takes up to three months.