On 18 August the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) presented the proposed South African Film Criteria to film bodies and independent filmmakers in Cape Town. Sessions were subsequently conducted in Port Elizabeth and Durban, with Johannesburg to follow on 25 August.
At the Cape Town event NFVF council member Laurence Mitchell referred to the sessions as crucial, saying they will ensure that the film industry continues to thrive and contribute to the growth of the South African economy. He noted that a lot of research had been conducted into the proposed criteria.
During her presentation the NFVF’s Mawande Seti said the definition of a South African film is an imperative concept within the film industry from policy and industry perspectives. She further stated that “the criteria will be vital as South Africa continues to grow as a co-production partner of choice”.
Delegates engaged with the NFVF panel as to what constitutes a South African film – ownership, location, the nationality of the director or the origin of the story? Other issues of concern raised included Pan African cooperation, job creation, regional funding and percentages of language.
Industry presentations were conducted by Glenn Gillis, highlighting the role of animation in the South African economy. The IPO’s Selona Reddy remarked: “We need a sustainable industry that achieves the transformation goals.” She stressed the issues of economic growth, job creation and skills development.
The session was facilitated by Cape Film Commission’s CEO Denis Lillie.
In closing Terrence Khumalo of the NFVF informed the delegates that issues discussed will be taken into consideration and an updated version will be published at a later stage.