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eThekwini Municipality Press

eThekwini Municpality is the local government body responsible for governing and managing Durban and serves an area of 2300 square kilometers. The eThekwini Metro Area (EMA) is an amalgamation of racial and cultural diversity, with African, Indian and European influences creating a vibrant cosmopolitan society.

Young filmmakers awarded “Scout’ certificates by deputy mayor

Eight young filmmakers received certificates from the eThekwini Municipality
Deputy Mayor Cllr Nomvuzo Shabalala, for their participation in the inaugural
Durban Film Office Scout programme.

The filmmakers, (five women and three men) who participated in the Durban Film
Office’s (DFO) location scouting and management programme, which forms part of
the DFO’s skills development initiative to support and grow the city’s film economy,
were Acquilla Malinga, Lindo Ndlovu, Siphamandla Ngcobo, Sindi Mngadi, Thabisile
Sincadu, Msizi Mlaba and Nick Gumede.

“The programme aims to increase the number of locations scouts in Durban by
providing support dedicated to local development and by doing so, effect
transformation in location management in the Durban industry,’ says Cllr Shabalala.
“As we work towards developing Durban as a film city, with a lively and robust
industry that can contribute to the growth of the economy, it is vital that we
continue to up-skill and train young people who can provide the requisite skills
needed to support this sector.”

“Location scouting and management plays an important role in the film and
commercial production value chain,’ says Toni Monty, head of the DFO. “One of the
most critical members of a modern day film-making crew, is the location scout.
This is an individual who goes out in the field and looks for places and locations that
best resemble or suit the aesthetic needs of the scriptwriters, producers and

“Location scouts are vital in the pre-production stages of a film, as they are
responsible for acquiring the right kind of information about the sites and locations
that are necessary to shoot a film or television commercial, and therefore also play
a key role in attracting productions to a region.’

’Scout’ provides an opportunity for these young people to be trained by professional
locations manager, Neville Botha, from Unit Co-Op. The trainees were selected
after a public call out workshop was held at the Botanical Gardens and were
enrolled in a one week theory class and two weeks of practical classes. The training
comprised practical and theoretic classes on location management, as well as
formal and accredited National Occupational Safety Association (NOSA)training in
Basic Fire Awareness, Introduction to Occupational Safety and Health, and Safety,
Health and Environment Representative Training.

Some of the trainees have already begun working as location scouts.

“Uzalo’ receives R5 million from eThekwini municipality

Uzalo, a telenovela which began broadcasting on SABC1 in February
2015, has received R5 million from the city of Durban’s eThekwini municipality. This
is in response to the R11.5 million which show producers requested to keep the
series running. Uzalo is filmed in the KwaMashu region of KwaZulu

Pepsi Pokane and President Jacob Zuma’s daughter Gugu Zuma-Ncube are the
series co-directors. According to a report on Tonight TV & Radio, Pokane said that
supplying the funding would provide Durban with an opportunity to prove that the
city “can produce and deliver a daily drama series on an ongoing, sustainable
basis.’ He added that Uzalo employed 132 people and offered a
number of student internships, but that the production would have to make certain
staff cuts if funding could not be provided.

Although DA councillor Nicole Graham was pleased with the directors’ presentation
she added, “We are, however, concerned with the amount requested. We are
concerned as to whether it is the city’s role to pump money into this

Source: Tonight TV & Radio

Awards celebrate eThekwini film industry

Artists and filmmakers from KwaZulu-Natal stepped onto the red carpet on Saturday 24 November for the first ever eThekwini Local Filmmakers Association (EFA) awards in Durban. The EFA, formed last year, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving and developing the local film Industry by uniting all Durban filmmakers, developing an audience for local films and creating an economically viable film industry in the city.

The award for Best Film was given to Andile Buwa for The Puzzle, and Buwa also scooped the award for Best Director of Photography.

Newcomer Philani Sethebe won the Best Actor award for the film Nothing for Mahala ,Gazi, and Rueben Smith won the award for Best Supporting Actor for Finding Joy. Best Actress was scooped by Bongiwe Hlophe for Khathazile and Best Supporting Actress went to Mabongi Sibisi for Indoda Ayikhali.

In the category for Best Director, Philani Sithebe scooped the prize for Knife Edge and Best Editor went to Mthokozisi Lembhethe for Paving Forward. Sithebe was also awarded for Best Screenwriter (Knife Edge) and the best promising screenwriter was awarded to Samkelo Dingi (The Farewell).

Umlazi born producer Bongani Khambule (Umlazi Gangsters) received a R10,000 voucher for equipment rentals from DT Broadcast Studios, while industry newcomer Vincent Mhlangu received a R60,000 Bursary to Study a three year Motion Picture Production course from AFDA Film Academy.

eThekwini Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala, speaking at the event, applauded EFA for their outstanding accomplishment in hosting the EFA Awards.”EFA was born out of struggle and hardship. Up and coming filmmakers did not have the platform to raise their own issues.’

She added: “They had to borrow the equipment to shoot movies. When the Mayor’s office was approached we discussed with the DFO how we could help them. We reached agreement that representing artists in KwaZulu-Natal they should speak with one voice. Building from this foundation firmly using once voice, this resulted in the formation of EFA.’

Shabalala further thanked Toni Monty from the Durban Film Office for her and the team’s dedication in realising the passion and work for aspirant film makers. The Deputy Mayor said she was pleased that the EFA had started their operations slowly and small. She was equally pleased with their hosting of the EFA awards on Saturday.

EFA Chairperson Andile Buwa said: “It is really fulfilling to be part of the making of history with the filmmakers on the frontline of their own empowerment. For a very long time we relied on the organizers of festivals and development agencies to do it for us, and this experience has taught us that if you ever wanted to get something done it may not happen unless you make it happen yourself,’ he said.

“It is for the first time ever that the filmmakers have created a platform for themselves that recognizes their own work. Ethekwini Local Film Awards is set to be an annual event which will set trends for filmmakers in other regions for them to learn from what the Durban filmmakers have achieved,’ Buwa said.

He added: “Of course we humbly acknowledge the important role played by the eThekwini municipality, particularly the honorable Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala and Durban Film Office to ensure that Durban filmmakers find their voice. It is through their tireless efforts that this association was born and if it was not for them, we would not be where we are today.’

Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office encouraged and applauded EFA for their tireless efforts. “It has been only a year since the association started and already the good work is bearing fruit.’

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