14 May 2013
The South African film industry contributes R3.5-billion annually to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), while providing employment for more than 25 000 people, according to a new impact study on the industry.
Releasing study in Pretoria on Friday, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said the government would use the study to strengthen the work being done to provide increased and sustained support for the industry.
The minister said the government was in the process of converting the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) into a full-fledged National Film Commission and establishing a National Film Fund.
He said the impact study would help the government to create a sustainable funding model for the industry, build partnerships with the private sector, facilitate skills development, and expand access to new markets for South African film makers.
“It will also strengthen our ability to advocate for more favourable incentives for the sector so as to attract investment,” Mashatile said.
South African films and actors continue to receive acclaim across the globe.
Florence Masebe recently won the award for best actress in a lead role for the film Elelwani during the 2013 African Movie Academy Awards. The film also won the best production design award, while a number of other South African productions were nominated and received awards at the event.
Earlier this year, the film Layla Fourie received a jury special mention award at the Berlinale International Film Festival, while local comedy Fanie Fourie’s Lobola won the audience choice award for best comedy at the 19th Sedona International Film Festival in Arizona, US in March.
In the same month, South African film Otelo Burning added to a long list of accolades, picking up a hat-trick of awards – for best film, best dramatic feature and best surf film – at Australia’s Byron Bay International Film Festival
The film gained international recognition and a slew of awards following its release in 2012, including official selection at London’s BFI Film Festival, France’s Lille Film Festival, India’s Chennai Film Festival and the Seattle Film Festival, as well as a nomination for the Golden Needle Award at the Seattle Film Festival. It also won best cinematography and best child actor at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards.
Mashatile said these successes showed that the world wanted to hear the South African story – a story of the triumph of the human spirit.
“I wish to assure all those involved in the local film sector that your good work has not gone unnoticed. You have the full support of this government.”
“We are emboldened by the fact that the study vindicates the view we have always held, that the local film industry, as part of the broader creative industries, is a major driver of economic growth, job creation and the building of sustainable livelihoods.”
SAnews.gov.za, with additional reporting by SAinfo