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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

South Africa works to improve filmmakers’ access to funding

DURBAN, South Africa (Xinhua) -- The South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Sunday they will spend about 7.5 million U.S. dollars by March 2018 to support emerging black filmmakers in the country.

At the Emerging Black Filmmakers Workshop during the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), Director of Film Production at the DTI, Nelly Molokoane said the South Africa Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive started in 2014 and has so far benefited 40 filmmakers.

“We are planning to host intense workshops in various provinces to assist filmmakers in accessing this support,” said Molokoane.

Some producers have been struggling to access funding and the workshop was an information session. The Emerging Black Filmmakers Workshop was targeted at emerging film producers who want to access the incentives scheme and inform them on how to do it.

The workshop was hosted to assist those that needed training on the incentive scheme and guidelines, said Molokoane.

Rehad Desai, Director of the Marikana documentary, Miners Shot Down and a beneficiary of the incentive, said the funding will enable South African producers to compete on the continent and in the world in terms of quality production.

“We are seeing far more films being produced since the launch of the scheme and this means funding of projects happens in a lot short space of time and one can go into production quicker. This also means our production companies are becoming sustainable but the incentive can be made more accessible as some of the costs are regarded as non-qualifying and this affects the production qualification,” he added.

DIFF is an annual event which is the oldest and largest film festivals in Southern Africa. The film festival started on July 13 and will end on July 23, 2017.

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S. Africa hosts international film festival to lure producers

CAPE TOWN (Xinhua) -- The 38th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) kicked off on Thursday with the aim of luring more film producers to South Africa.

The DIFF, which will last till July 23, is an annual film festival held in the coustal city of Durban and one of the oldest and largest film festivals in southern Africa.

In a congratulatory message, South African Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said his department was participating in the DIFF which “is one of the best platforms a country can promote and showcase the country’s creative skills.”

The SA Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was fundingd workshops, dialogues and screening of productions in support of the festival.

Davies said the platform will be used to market the department’s South African Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive and target producers who qualify.

The incentive includes a rebate of up to 50 percent for the first 6 million rand (about 450,000 U.S. dollars) of the Qualifying South African Production Expenditure (QSAPE) and 25 percent thereafter. No cap is applicable for this rebate.

“The incentive objective is still to create an environment that take advantage of the country’s diverse and unique locations as well as low production costs and favorable exchange rates, which makes it significantly more cost-effective to produce a movie in South Africa than in Europe, the United States or Australia,” said Davies.

The film industry has enormous potential in bringing the necessary currency into the economy and can act as an important vehicle through which technology is transferred and South African skills base is upgraded, the minister said.

The SA government spent 468 million rand with projected investment of 3.4 billion rand in the 2015/2016 financial year supporting the sector.

Productions to be screened during the festival include: The Wound, Hard To Get, Double Echo, Hope, The Killing Floor, The Whale Caller, Winnie, Vaya, The Most Beautiful Day, Catching Feelings, Mhlola and Asinamali.

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