Female Filmmakers convene

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An important recommendation that
came out of the indaba was to find ways
to level the playing field.

Eve Rantseli of Women of the Sun
(WoS) highlighted research that shows
that the local industry employs more than
20 000 people of which women don’t play
a critical role. In the past six years only six
out of 20 South African films were made
by women
Said NFVF chair Mmbatho
Ramagoshi: “The statistics of the status
quo, although nothing new to the NFVF,
are still shocking and make us more
determined to develop programmes and
tools of empowerment for women.

“However, we were pleasantly surprised
to hear testimonials from women
filmmakers who have been successful, like
Xoliswa Sithole and Sara Blecher among
others. They consciously use women in
their crews and the team dynamic is
second to none,’ continued Ramagoshi.
Other challenges for women include
access to information and recognition as
key creatives and other male-dominated
links in the value chain such as directors
of photography (DOPs) and editors.

Thandi Brewer of the South African
Screen Federation (SASFED) touched on
issues of mentorship, the need to revisit
apprenticeships and create bursaries for
women. She thanked the NFVF for the
short film competition and slate funding
programme which are targeted to
empower women.
Ramagoshi pointed out these NFVF
programmes are biased toward
marginalised groups who meet the criteria
and at least one slate deal is dedicated to women. This is not to say that the other
deals are for men only.

“The NFVF council will also relook its
bursary programme and make bias
provisions to attract young female
applicants. Our new TV concept fund
will have an element of bias towards
women and support film festival
initiatives. We will also ensure that the
NFVF’s national awareness campaign,
that gets underway over the next 18
months, includes a drive to engage female
youth,’ she concluded.

SCREENAFRICA Print Magazine – October 2011 (view here)

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