RB’s wife to bring Titanic Star to Zambia

By Kennedy Limwanya in Los Angeles
TITANIC star Billy Zane has expressed eagerness to travel to Zambia with a number of other Hollywood stars to shoot a tourism promotional movie.
This follows a meeting held between Zane and Zambian First Lady Thandiwe Banda who is in the USA on a programme that includes engagements with government, business and civic leaders, and university and health authorities.
Zane, who stars as Cal Hockley in the popular movie Titanic, was approached to help promote Zambian tourism and the national tree-planting programme.
In a meeting held at Beverly Hilton Hotel and attended by Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Catherine Namugala and Association of Zambians in California president Mwelwa Mulenga, the First Lady said there was need to market Zambia to the world as it was an ideal destination for tourism and investment.
“Our country has never been at war. We have many political parties who may differ politically but still agree to preserve Zambia’s peace. So we need to promote Zambia through a movie,” Mrs. Banda said.
She said Zane, who has just released a new movie, Deep End of ABC, would also be the perfect champion of Zambia’s eco-friendly tree-planting programme because of his affinity to environmental issues.
Zane is interested in making a movie depicting Scottish explorer David Livingstone who is recorded as the first European to see and publicise the Victoria Falls.
“I will be more than willing to come. I could be available up to March. I can also bring in more actors. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it has to be a good project,” Zane said.
He explained that it would be important to find initial support from Zambian companies willing to get involved in the project which would be the first of its kind by a globally renowned film star.
“If it is funded a tourism project, this would be very good for Zambia. We could even produce a promo for CNN. It would be a wonderful cultural exchange with Zambia. This will be very exciting, especially that your country has such a rich history of peace,” Zain said.
In Titanic, Zane plays Hockley, the insufferable, snobbish and vindictive fiancé of Kate Winslow character.
And Ms. Namugala said Zambia had what it takes for a viable film industry and that the Government had shown its political will by giving a tax waiver on the importation of equipment intended to promote the industry.
“Zambia is, in actual fact, not only a tourist destination but also an experience. So we are very interested in a movie to promote our tourism. We are trying to attract interest in the film industry. So we would be most grateful if you organized a group of celebrities to come to Zambia and help us in this direction,” Mrs. Namugala said.

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