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Tšasa premiere postponed

Lerato Matheka

MASERU — A local film on Aids and HIV prevention, Tšasa, has been battling financial hiccups that have forced its producers to postpone its premiere.

The film was initially set to premiere before World Aids Day on December 1.

Tšasa is an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare which is also funding the production.

Producers of the film told Xpress People they started shooting in September but will not be able to deliver anytime before the initial launch date.

The project, including a radio version of the drama, is expected to gobble up M1.3 million.

However, the government has been delaying releasing funds for the project, the producers said.

“Our client, the government, had hoped to launch the film in November in time for the World Aids Day celebration but due to hiccups, the film will only be ready for launching mid-December if things run smoothly from now,” Ramahoana Matlosa, one of the executive producers, said.

“If editing of the film started two weeks back the film would have been ready by the first week of December.”

Silas Monyatsi, the other executive producer of Tšasa, added: “The film depended highly on South African equipment which was hired so the payment for the services delayed due to the new government payment process hence the delay in launching the film.”

The film saw over 600 people taking part in the auditions but only a cast of 130 including extras was chosen.

Monyatsi said they will resume working on the production next week.

“We are looking to have pick-up shoots the weekend of November 20 to allow touch-ups,” he said.

“Editing will also consume another month so the film will be ready in December.”

The producers will also work on a radio version for Tšasa which will come in 26 episodes.

“We would like to use the same cast but performance and voice power are different so there will be auditions called for the radio version to tap on more talent in the Mountain Kingdom,” Monyatsi said.

Matlosa said the film had brought business opportunities to different people in the shooting locations.

“The film benefited about 200 people in total including the cast, transportation, catering and accommodation,” he said.

“We managed to let people see that the film industry could be turned into a career path because everyone who took part was paid.”

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