Local film sector gets major boost

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture MEC, Onicca Moloi, says M-Net showed interest to air documentaries and films that tell the story of Limpopo.

LIMPOPO – Department of Sport, Arts and Culture MEC, Onicca Moloi, has succeeded in getting local films air time on South African tv channels.

Moloi engaged with various film foundations, television channel heads, and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) recently to discuss strategies to improve the film sector in Limpopo.

She urged the NFVF to invest more money towards the development of the film sector in Limpopo as it is a statutory body of the national Department of Arts and Culture which is mandated by parliament to spearhead the development of the South African film and video industry.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture MEC, Onicca Moloi, met with the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) to discuss strategies to improve the film sector in Limpopo.

The NFVF was in Limpopo to do a national study about the film industry and the Foundation Researcher, Tsietsi Themane, said this was part of a study across all provinces to identify the challenges film makers face.

He said the visit was mostly about understanding the film landscape in Limpopo and urged film makers to familiarise themselves with funding requirements on NFVF’s website to see if they qualify.

When asked if the foundation was willing to invest more in the Limpopo film sector, Themane said: “We only fund projects that meet our requirements that is why film makers should always make sure that the end product is on point.

“I am afraid we don’t just fund anyone and we cannot say we are going to invest more money in Limpopo”.

According to the MEC, the department will take the lead in ensuring that local talent is nurtured and recognised. The meeting with NFVF was yet another effort by local government to ensure local artists and film makers are taken care off.

“The Limpopo Arts and Culture Council met with me for the first time and as the MEC I challenged the council to have a database which is categorised accordingly to make it easy for the department to support a relevant group of artists at the right time,” said Moloi.

She added that she also tasked the council to come up with a strategy to professionalise the arts and culture sector in the province.

According to Moloi, she met with the CEO of M-Net in December to ensure that local documentaries and films can be prioritised. She said she told the audience during the meeting with NFVF that the television station (M-Net) showed interest in documentaries and films that tell the story of Limpopo.

She also reminded the film makers about the SABC’s commitment to show locally produced films and documentaries, a promise the public broadcaster first made in November 2016, during a workshop jointly organised by the department and the SABC.

The Limpopo Arts and Culture Council Secretary, Lethabo Ramokgopa, said they are still collecting data which will help them have one on one sessions with local artists to listen to their grievances and challenges for things to run smoothly.

She further said local artists should make sure they are on the council’s database to be given preference when there are opportunities in the province.



Endy Senyatsi

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