NFVF Film Indaba sparks debate

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The 4th Film Indaba held in South Africa by the National Film and Video
Foundation (NFVF) took place on 14 and 15 November 2013 at Emperors Palace
Conference Centre in Boksburg, Johannesburg and sparked lively debate among
delegates.

Focusing on a way forward for all stakeholders in the local film industry, the
Indaba concentrated on four key features of development and sustainability,
namely Transformation and Human Capital Development; Infrastructure
Development; Funding and Institutional Models; and Markets for South African
Content.

South African Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile addressed delegates
and delivered a message of hope: “This Indaba offers us the opportunity to
pause and reflect on the progress and challenges in further developing our local
film industry. We are emboldened by the reality that the cultural and creative
industries, including film, are occupying centre stage in ongoing efforts to ensure
social cohesion and nation-building as well as the economic empowerment of
the people of our country.’

He added that the arts and culture industry opens powerful spaces for debate
about where society finds itself and where it is going. According to Mashatile,
South Africa’s cultural legacy, and the creativity of its people, means that the
country can offer unique stories and voices to the world.

“Film is one of the mediums through which we can tell our unique and compelling
stories on a global platform. On many occasions we are seeing that the world is
hungry to hear the South African story. A story of a people who have overcome
adversity, and who are now heading toward a shared and prosperous future.
We are encouraged that many of our local artists and films continue to receive
international acclaim,’ he said.

Mashitile mentioned feature films Elelwani, which won awards for Best
Production Design and Best Actress (Florence Masebe) at the 2013 African Movie
Academy Awards; South African co-production Layla Fourie that received a
Special Jury Mention at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival and South
African producer Anant Singh’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which has
attracted worldwide attention.

In the meantime, South African feature animated film Khumba, about a half-
striped zebra in search of his identity, is galloping to international box-office
success.

Mashatile commented on firm ties that were established at DISCOP AFRICA
during which filmmakers met to strengthen collaboration and seek new markets
for African film programmes within the continent and the Diaspora.

“We hope this Indaba will come up with strategies that will help us address and
overcome specific challenges in the industry and to further enhance this, we
have begun a process to transform the NFVF into a fully-fledged South African
Film Commission,’ Mashatile concluded.

Zama Mkosi, CEO of the NFVF, confirmed that more than 300 delegates attended
the Indaba, which also benefited from the participation of representatives from
the Department of Trade and Industry, the South African Screen Federation, the
Department of Culture and the National Association for Broadcasters among
others.

Mkosi added that the NFVF was excited about the establishment of the South
African Film Commission and that its development was a priority. However, a
specific timeline had not been established yet.

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