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Zimbabwe Censorship Board Grants Arts Theatre Film Production License

Members of Umkhathi Theater group, which visited America a year ag0

The Zimbabwe Censorship Board has granted a license to local theater company, Rooftop Promotions, a license to screen and distribute local film productions at its newly constructed Theatre in the Park cinema venue in Harare Gardens.

Rooftop Promotions director, Davies Guzha, said the new 600-seater theatre in the park being constructed with the support of various embassies in the country would also offer live streaming of all its productions and shows while offering free rehearsals to Harare-based theatre companies.

“This theatre has now been licensed as of 10 days ago as the cinema venue that focuses primarily on local productions, only local productions. The Censorship board was very kind to us to give us that certification.”

He said the venue that opens next month would have a kiosk stocked with Rooftop Promotions productions and various artists’ works dating back to more than two decades.

Apart from theatre and cinema, the venue would boost the growth of theatrical products and musicals within Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community region.

Guzha said a regular program called “State of the Nation” that will explore the weeks’ news and topical issues providing space for dialogue between citizens and policymakers, would be offered every Friday.

Theatre writer, Stephen Chifunyise, said the arts industry was very vibrant but could be better with more marketing.
“What is required and the pricing system that allows for a better methods of encouraging more people to consume the arts.”

Renowned musician Oliver Mutukudzi said the new Theatre in the Park was a necessity which must be replicated in other towns and cities.

“It’s a necessity. It is a necessity, we need more of these. I wish we could have such things in every city of our country.”

National Arts Council director, Elvas Mari, said the new venue was a game changer as it comes at a time when space for arts is limited in all parts in the country.

“We are of the view that more spaces of this nature can and should be created not only in Harare but in other parts of the country.”

The new one million dollar theatre would use solar energy and its productions are set to focus on productions that work to close gaps between policymakers, inventors and citizens in adopting renewable energy.

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