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Bicycle Thief cast cries foul

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THE cast for the movie The Bicycle Thief is crying foul over the alleged non-payment of appearance fees and allowances.

MILTON SITHOLE
OWN CORRESPONDENT

The movie, which premiered in August and depicts the incredible story of a young boy from Filabusi who uses his dance skills and passion to fight poverty, is the brainchild of Culture Productions Zimbabwe.

But what appears to have put a blemish to the otherwise good production is news that the producers have failed to pay the cast members.

Sources close to the matter told Southern Eye Lifestyle that the producers had not yet paid the majority of the members, claiming only a few were paid “behind the back of others”, a situation which has generated discontent within the ranks of the crew.

“We signed contracts without legal representatives not understanding the implications, of which some got paid and some were not due to divisions,” said a cast member on condition of anonymity.

In a telephone interview with Southern Eye Lifestyle, Lawrence Mwale, a member of the cast said he was disappointed by the producers of the movie.

“I am disappointed,” he said.

“They promised us things they could not fulfil, I received part of my money for the role I played in the movie and I never got the appearance fees.”

The America-based writer, producer and director of the movie, Sanele Sibanda, could not be reached for comment.

However, the Culture Productions Zimbabwe finance director Clever Nkala refuted the allegations.

“Everyone got paid for their roles in the production,” he said.

“I, however, promised to give the cast appearance fees at the launch of the film in August if we got funding from Culture Fund and the ticket sales. Unfortunately, we did not manage to make profit.

“The film is set to earn better fortunes in the United States compared to Zimbabwe where it ran a loss of $17 000.”

The film is still in post-production.

A music composer in England has joined the post-production team to score the movie.

Various editors are working on fine-tuning the project.

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