SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission was launched on 23 July at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban by the KZN MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Michael Mabuyakhulu. The event was attended by media and representatives from the film industry, as well as delegates from the 33rd Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and Durban FilmMart.
Among the core functions of the new Commission is to develop and grow infrastructure and facilities for film, television and multi-media industries in the province; to facilitate policy, legislation and regulations necessary for the promotion of the industry; to attract foreign and local investment and funding into the industry; and to co-ordinate and provide advice, support and access to funding/incentives for filmmakers.
The Mayor of the Ethekwini Municipality, Cllr James Nxumalo noted that the launch was timed to coincide with DIFF and Durban FilmMart, which is already positioning Durban as the place where the African film industry meets the world. “The KZN Film Commission means we can take this position in the film industry further. We are optimistic about the future,’ noted Nxumalo.
The board and CEO of the Commission is expected to be appointed before the end of September, and they will decide on the details of how the Commission will function.
Filmmaker Madoda Ncayiyana (Izulu Lami) spoke on behalf of the KwaZulu-Natal film industry, describing some of the difficulties in getting a film made outside of Johannesburg and Cape Town. “We are happy to have a Film Commission, hopefully some of these problems will now ease off and it will put us on the world map,’ said Ncayiyana.
MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu unveiled the KZN Film Commission logo, as well as a bust of South Africa’s first black director, Simon “Mabhunu’ Sabela, who was originally from KwaZulu-Natal.
“My theme for today is that the best one is always left for last – KwaZulu-Natal is the best that was left for last. We believe the KZN Film Commission will revolutionise the film industry – not only in KZN, but in the country,’ said Mabuyakhulu.
He emphasised that the province boasts good weather for filmmaking all year round, as well as spectacular, varied locations.
“The pay-off line of the new logo reads: “Our Kingdom is Your Stage’. It is your stage to make a film, to invest, to recruit and to train people,’ added Mabuyakhulu. “If you want to have the best product, you’ll find it here in KwaZulu-Natal.’
For more information on the KZN Film Commission launch, read the August issue of Screen Africa print magazine.
Report by Linda Loubser