FILMMAKER Shem Zemura has cited a breach of his intellectual property on the criteria used by the Zimbabwe Annual Film and Television Awards (ZAFTAs) in nominating his production titled “The Squad Games”.
The awards ceremony will be held on December 2 at Wisdom City Church auditorium in Harare.
In a message posted by Zemura, the filmmaker said:
“You don’t go behind a producer’s back to get episodes of his show.
“You claim that you got our content from 3Ktv and NRTV . . . without the producers of the show knowing?
“I was constantly in comms with ZAFTA, and even expressed my concern during the submission period, about the safety of our content given that this is a first edition and I don’t know the systems that you have in place to ensure that the content doesn’t leak, my content is not on YouTube.
“And you failed to assure me . . . We later agreed that I was going to upload episodes of the show on Google Drive, and send you secure screener links, which I failed to do because I have been busy with building my hotel.”
Zemura added: “Now to my surprise, I’m seeing nominations. There is a nomination for writers, I have asked my writing team if anyone submitted copies of the script as per the requirements by ZAFTAs, and they assured me that they are aware they are contractually bound not to share the scripts without approval from Rain Media. So, where did you get copies of the scripts of my show?
“Tangled was written by 6 writers, and 2 writing supervisors . . . so who is nominated for this ZAFTAs? Tangled was directed by 7 directors from Season 1 to Season 4 . . . so which season is being considered for the ZAFTA?
“We don’t know.
“Which episodes did you randomly pick from the channels?
“We don’t know. Which episodes did you consider for cinematography?
“Which DOP, because we have had 3 . . . which episodes did you consider for editing?”
Zemura expressed appreciation for what ZAFTAs is trying to do for the film industry.
“I really appreciate what you are trying to do for the industry, and ZAFTA is a needed platform.
“But don’t try to authenticate it by violating people’s property, “ said Zemura.
ZAFTAs media liaison officer, Richard Tentone, said the Squad Games, which was nominated under Outstanding Reality Competition Television Show, was longer in the competition.
“Zimbabwe Annual Film and Television Awards (ZAFTAs) hereby inform the public that Squad Games, which was initially nominated under the Outstanding Reality Competition Television Show category, has been withdrawn from the competition.
“This decision was made by the producers of the Squad Games, who cited intellectual property rights as the reason behind their withdrawal.
“The ZAFTAs is committed to upholding the highest standards of fairness, transparency and respect for intellectual property rights in the entertainment industry,” he said.