SA filmmakers participate in AFM

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A delegation of South African filmmakers has arrived in the United States where they will participate in the American Film Market (AFM), which gets underway today.

Led and funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), the delegation will participate in the film market taking place in Los Angeles as part of efforts to open up markets for South African film and television productions.

“[The Outward Film and Television Investment Mission] is also aimed at securing partnerships for co-productions, and positioning the South African film industry as a filmmaking destination,” said the dti on Wednesday.

The AFM is one of the biggest film markets in the world that is targeted by sales agents and distributors from all over the world to acquire films. It is recognised as one of the most important international film industry gatherings.

In addition to attending numerous conferences, workshops, screenings, networking sessions, presentations and exhibitions, the filmmakers will also be visiting various prominent American studios and production houses including NBC, Sony and Disney.

Kearatwa Sedidi, director at Dipopaai Studios, says he is in Los Angeles to find a distributor for his company’s animated series project, Survival Island.

“We would be glad if we were to return home with a letter of intent from an American distributor as it will enable us to raise funding for the actual production of the project,” said Sedidi.

Director Thabang Moleya says he is excited about attending the AFM as he is looking forward to exploring co-production opportunities with the US companies.

“We are optimistic that the projects that we have come to market here, which comprise two feature films and two drama series, will attract interest from American companies in particular to invest in them,” he said.

The delegation is led by Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe.

“As a department, we would like to see the film and television production industry increasing its contribution in creating job opportunities and growing the economy of the country. To this end, we are on a continuous and strategic mission to market South Africa internationally as a preferred and attractive filmmaking destination as well as a viable co-production partner.

“We also engage in efforts to find new markets for the distribution of South African feature films, documentaries and television productions and to urge big international studios to shoot their films on location in South Africa,” said Magwanishe.

Los Angeles, which is home to Hollywood, is the bustling hub of the American movie industry. 

The AFM provides a great networking platform for South Africa to showcase film and television production capabilities and facilities.

“This will help drive inward investment from international studios. Our participation will also afford us an opportunity to foster closer ties with partner countries that we have co-production treaties with and garner increased involvement from large film markets such as the United States of America,” said Magwanishe.

The AFM will conclude on 7 November. -