Keynote address by Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the media briefing about “Hear Me Move” a dance film supported by the DAC
The CEO of the NFVF, Ms Zama Mkosi
CEO of Proudly South African, Advocate Lesley Sedibe
The CEO of Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Mr Basil Ford
Actors and production team of Hear Me Move
Artists and Producers present here
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
We are gathered here to celebrate the spirit and determination of young South Africans who are telling their own stories and writing their own history. What we have is a soul stirring movie that is yet another milestone in the growth and development of the South African film industry.
As the Department of Arts and Culture we are proud to have played our part in the production of the film Hear Me Move. We believe it is a film that is destined to draw attention to the potential and power of South African talent. In fact, it will make waves in the global arena.
It is always important for the artists and producers to remember that film has the ability to evoke the mood and tone of society in a particular ere.
It must always reveal something of the dreams, desires, social and political issues that confront society. Film is a mirror of societal feeling in a particular phase of our transition.
Was it not that great African patriot and internationalist Patrice Lumumba who said “Africa will write its own history, and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a history of glory and dignity.”
This production continues in that spirit as articulated by that great son of the soil.
The production of Hear Me Move is a turning point in getting the young of South Africa to tell their own stories and write our history.
As we approach the end of the year-long celebrations of our Twenty Years of Freedom and Democracy, it is fundamental that young people are seen to be taking their rightful place in society. It was our first democratic President, Nelson Mandela who said: we can judge a society by how it treats its young children.
Through work such as these, this generation seeks to discover its mission and sets out to fulfill it. We see young people who are reflecting the soul of their nation.
Hear Me Move is a dance film featuring a team of young South African producers, dancers and actors. The cast comprises an array of relatively young people who are celebrated artists in their own right. We have Thembi Seete, Nyaniso Dzedze, Lorcia Cooper and Boity Thulo, among others, who are highly recognized names. They epitomize the triumphant spirit of our young people.
Importantly, the movie employs the vibrancy and rhythm of dance to articulate the soul of the nation. It expresses our urban youth culture. Also, the music, the fashion and the dance is 100% South African.
This production will be our cultural ambassadors who will give South African artistic genres exposure to world audiences.
We believe the success of this movie will put South Africa on a global map and also increase the contribution of the South African film industry to the Growth Domestic Product (GDP).
As the DAC, we are serious about the business of the arts. In fact, Hear Me Move, as with other productions, is part of our broad strategy to advance the economic potential of the arts and culture sector. In line with the objectives of the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy, we are making efforts to develop the South African films to be globally competitive.
In fact, part of our mandate is to empower the young to be able to pursue viable careers in the arts industry. We are determined to find ways for the young to find creative outlets and innovative ways to release that which stirs in their souls. This will move South Africa forward.
The Production will contribute to the treasure trove of South African cinema and is a catalyst in the telling of our own stories and writing our own history. Importantly, it does this through the use of street slang and various indigenous languages. This element alone imbues the flavour of popular culture and contributes towards the promotion and preservation of our languages.
The production of this film is testimony to the passionate commitment of the young to take their rightful place in society. It is encouraging to see the South African Story being told by young people.
The film is a story of South Africans working together. It has received support from a number of institutions, including the Department of Trade and Industry, the Industrial Development Corporation, Gauteng Film Commission, as well the NFVF. Proudly South African has committed to contributing towards engendering wider audiences for the film. The nexus between the various institutions of government, private sector, civil society and a dedicated arts fraternity is what would propel the arts and culture sector into the highest scales of accomplishment.
The movie has already been premiered at prestigious international film festivals such as Toronto in Canada, Cannes in France, as well as in the United Kingdom. I am confident that South African viewers will similarly lend their unequivocal support for the film.
Above all, this occasion is also held as a farewell to the production team, which will be leaving for the United States of America later today. In the US they will be participating at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, where they will participate in various discussion panels.
The official premiere on South African soil will be on 18 February, at the Ster Kenikor in New Town, Johannesburg. The film will be officially released on circuit countrywide on 27 February.
I encourage every South African to support our young who are telling our own stories and writing our own history. For a very long time, South African popular culture did not reflect our identity, experiences, our history and heritage.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let us take this opportunity to congratulate our young production team of Hear Me Move.
We are confident that they will make us proud as they fly the South African flag high in the United States. I am confident that they will represent us with pride and laudable excellence.