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Published: 16 Nov 2004
|Jordan: Opening of 9th Southern African International Film and Television Market (SITHENGI) (16/11/2004)|
Source: Ministry of Arts and Culture
Title: P Jordan: Opening of 9th Southern African International Film and Television Market (SITHENGI)
KEY NOTE ADDRESS BY THE MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE, DR PALLO JORDAN, AT THE OCCASION OF OPENING OF THE 9TH SOUTHERN AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM AND TELEVISION MARKET (SITHENGI 2004), Artscape Theatre, Cape Town, 16 November 2004
Programme director, distinguished guests, filmmakers, all protocol observed, ladies and gentlemen.
It is once again, that time of the year when the world of film converges in Cape Town, for both the World Cinema Festival and the Sithengi Film and Television Market, to celebrate the progress of the South African film.
This event has indeed become a major event on the national calendar and has grown in leaps and bounds as a forum where the world transacts with South Africa and the region.
May I on behalf of our nation, the Department of Arts and Culture and the Government of the Republic of South Africa, take this opportunity to give heartfelt thanks to the Board, the management and staff of Sithengi, the City of Cape Town, the Province of the Western Cape, the National film and Video Foundation, the SABC, and all those who have made and continue to make this very special event a success.
I also take this opportunity to welcome all our international guests, some of whom we have already entered into film co-production and co-operation agreements with and some we are still in the process of forging strong relations. I extend a special warm welcome to representatives of the governments of Germany, Italy, Nigeria, Brazil, Canada and the United Kingdom.
In 1996, DACST (Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology) published the Film Development Strategy which resulted in the formation of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), a statutory institution that derives its authority from The National Film and Video foundation Act No 73 of 1997 and whose main objectives as defined in the Act in that act as:
a) To develop, promote the film and video industry
b) To provide and to encourage the provision of, opportunities for persons, especially from disadvantaged communities to get involved in the film and video industry
c) To encourage the development and distribution of local film and video products
d) To support the nurturing and development of and access to the film and video industry, and
e) In respect of the film and video industry, to address historical imbalances in infrastructure and distribution of skills and resources.
As government, we have over the past years galvanised consensus about the direction for South Africa to address the cross-cutting strategic issues in the film sector. Evidence of our commitment to the further development of this sector is beginning to show through various initiatives at the national, provincial and municipal spheres of our country.
The collaboration between the Department of Arts and Culture, the Department of Communication and the Department of Trade and Industry, the National Film and Video Foundation and the South African Revenue Services to formulate the South African Content Industries Strategy must be commended for two reasons. Firstly, this has resulted in a strategy that the National Cabinet approved in December 2003. Secondly, that the effort was a great lesson on intergovernmental collaboration.
The Department of Trade and Industry should be congratulated for the recently launched Film and Television Incentive Scheme to promote productions in South Africa. The SABC should be congratulated for the initiatives on the content hub and for striving to meet local content quotas.
The Industrial Development Corporation should be congratulated for capitalising various productions. There is no doubt that their efforts shall have a positive rub off effect on the commercial financial sector. The Provincial Governments should be congratulated for the initiatives that will create in time regional film and video competencies.
Last year at this festival, the Premier of the Western Cape, Mr Ebrahim Rasool, announced the Provincial initiative to establish the Film City. Earlier this year the Gauteng Province called for the Gauteng Film Indaba to set sight on the future development and growth of the film sector. The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government commissioned the feasibility study on establishing the KZN Film Commission. I understand that plans are underway to set up such a Commission.
To integrate the national film initiatives into one body of information, the NFVF has set up the Sectoral Aggregate Measures and Data Bank. We shall launch this programme in due course. Let me take this opportunity again to thank Statistic South Africa, the Human Sciences Research Council and all those who contributed in making this project a success. Most of all I want to congratulate all those organisations and individuals who have responded to our industry survey.
Although we were satisfied with the findings of the industry survey, we are concerned at the low response rate. Only 92 of a possible group of over 1000 companies and individuals responded to our survey. It is critical that we obtain reliable and up to date information from the sector if we are to achieve our objectives. We cannot approach government for more funding for the sector if we cannot provide accurate figures on the state of our film industry. Policy development requires valid data that can produce performance indictors and other indices on the health of the sector, and where support is required. This is critical if as a sector, we want to speak to government with one voice. Already the Department of Arts and Culture and the NFVF have made great strides in working with industry organisations to obtain research data from their membership base. We hope that this collaboration will improve as we publish the results of such efforts.
On the continental and international fronts, the Department of Arts and Culture is making steady progress in putting South Africa on the global map of the film industry. The Department collaborates with NFVF to integrate film into the New Economic Partnership and Development (NEPAD), cultural programmes. We hope that as the NEPAD initiatives emerge, the film business between the African countries will grow. I hope that the Cape Town World Cinema Festival and FESPACO will be important catalysts and premier forums to address the African opportunities and challenges.
We are this year excited to host the Secretary-General of FEPACI, Mr Jacque Behanzin to discuss the request by FEPACI for South Africa,