ZAMBIA'S renowned actor, Owas Ray Mwape says Zambia's film industry is still not well established compared to other countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, such as South Africa and Kenya.
Owas says the industry is not competitive enough in the region because the supply of local movies is not adequate as there is no sufficient funding to make local movies in the country.
"Zambians are generally supportive and would like to see more movies being made locally, but the supply is low," he says.
The Zambian film luminary observes that this has led to the high demand of movies from other countries in Africa, as these are similar in content to the Zambian culture.
He says the few movies that have have been made the country in the recent past have either been collaborations with international companies or the producers have had to fund the movies from their own pockets.
"There is need to create an environment that would result in a sustainable business within this industry, based on good source funding and good telling of local stories through film," he says.
In this way, many Zambian stories have a chance of being told.
Further, this industry will be established thereby empowering youths, adults and other members of the community as a result.
Actor in films like The Lawyer, Chidongo, Suwi, Mwansa the Great, Dear Nana, Will you Marry me, Justice at Stake and associate executive producer of the Dreams musical reality show, Owas has signed a production deal with NUHOPE promotions of South Africa in collaboration with Sony.
With the latter, Owas has embarked on producing a number of films that will tell local stories for the local and international market.
He is now set to launch what he has come to call Uncle OWAS films. Oram Marketing limited and Old age productions Proprietor, director and actor Owas says most of movies that have just been heard will soon come to market.