The alarming news that the Film Resource Unit (FRU) faced closure due to a financial crisis, elicited much support from producers, industry bodies and the press.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday 20 June by Desmond Tsakani Mthembu and Dorothy Brislin of FRU on behalf of the FRU Board of Directors, there may be some hope on the horizon for the beleaguered organisation. FRU has engaged in a strategic plan to revitalise the organisation and is also involved in discussion with the Dr Pallo Jordan, Minister of the Department of Arts and Culture, regarding the financial status and the way forward to ensure FRU’s longevity.
Here we quote directly from the FRU statement issued on behalf of the Board of Directors:
“Film Resource Unit has been at the forefront of representing African film makers across the continent through distribution of film and video for the last seventeen years. Its reputation as a pioneering audience development organization remains unsurpassed. To this day it continues to engage in successful audience development projects and has expanded its mandate to training in distribution.
Over its twenty-one years of existence it has developed a rich archive of film and video resources. Two weeks ago FRU made an announcement about its financial status of commercial insolvency and, following legal advice, made the decision to go into voluntary liquidation.
“Following this announcement letters of concern have expressed alarm about the state of the industry in losing a vital and important distribution channel and heritage institution. FRU would like to thank producers and the industry in general for their support in invigorating the urgency of a premier distribution company potentially shutting its doors.
With the news of liquidation creating a climate of uncertainty in the industry there has been a rush on sales of FRU titles since buyers have recognized that it may be a long time before these titles will be easily available and accessible again.
“With letters of support from producers and the press, FRU has been able to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to revitalize the organization and create a model that would make audience development and distribution more economically viable.
To this effect we are pleased to inform the industry that the Film Resource Unit is currently in discussion with the Department of Arts and Culture and directly to the Minister Dr. Pallo Jordan regarding its financial status and the way forward to ensure its longevity. FRU looks forward to keeping the industry and the press informed about the outcome. ”