Mashatile loads SA film industry

Remarks by the minister of arts and culture, Paul Mashatile, at the release of the economic impact study for the film industry (10 May 2013)

 Programme Director

Members of the Board of the National Film and Video Foundation

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Film and Video Foundation, Ms Zama Mkosi, Practitioners in the film sector

Government officials

Members of the media

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Today marks an important day in the development of the local film industry.

We are presenting a comprehensive study on the economic impact of the South African film industry. The last time government did such a study was in 2000.

The study includes value chain analysis, size of the industry, economic multiplier effects including the number of direct and indirect jobs created.

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.

We are encouraged to note that the industry contributes R 3.5 billion annually to our Gross Domestic Product, and that it provides employment to more than 25 000 people.

We will use the study to strengthen the work we are doing to provide increased and sustained support for the industry.

Currently we are in the process of converting the NFVF into a fully fledged National Film Commission and establishing a National Film Fund.

We believe that these initiatives will contribute significantly to the growth, development and sustainability of the local film industry.

The study we are realizing today will assist us in our work to generate additional investment  into the sector, expand enterprise and business opportunities, create a sustainable

funding model, strengthen competitiveness, facilitate skills development, build the necessary support infrastructure as well as expand access to existing and new markets for our film makers. This study lays the basis for our interventions to ensure that the film sector contributes directly to the goals of our Mzansi Golden Economy strategy.

The study will also assist us as we seek to build partnerships with the private sector.

It will also strengthen our ability to advocate for more favorable incentives for the sector so as to attract investment.

Using the findings of the study we will be in a better position to identify the best institutional structures and mechanisms to support the growth of the sector.

Programme Director, we release this important study at a time when our local films and actors continue to receive acclaim across the globe.

I refer here to artists such as Florence Masebe who recently won the Best Actress in a lead role Award for the film Elelwani at this year’s African Movie Academy (AMA) Awards.

The film also won the Best Production Design Award. A number of other South African productions were nominated and received awards at the same event.

Earlier in the year we celebrated the achievement by the film Layla Fourie, which received the Jury Special Mention Award at the Berlinale International Film Festival A number of other local film productions continue to make us proud on the world stage.

To us this indicates that our film industry can compete successfully with the best in the world.

It also indicates that the world wants to hear the South African story; a story of the triumph of the human spirit.

I wish 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!

I take this opportunity to congratulate the National Film and Video Foundation for making it possible for this study to be released.

We hope it will be a useful planning tool not only for government but also for our partners in the sector.

Let us work together to ensure that our film industry grows from strength to strength.

Thank you.

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