Minister Nathi Mthethwa calls for a meeting with stakeholders in the film industry

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29 Sep 2015

Minister Nathi Mthethwa has noted the decision of exhibitors to reduce the number of screens and performing sites at which the local romantic comedy filmTell Me Sweet Something directed by Akin Omotoso is being shown.

The film Tell Me Sweet Something narrates the story of a female bookshop owner and aspiring writer who falls in love with a male model who wants to be acknowledged for his mind and not his body.

“The film has done well in its first three weeks and reached R1 million in its first five days of release. Yet in the third week the screens were reduced from 47 to 27.”

“Exhibitors need to come to the party and play their part in sustaining the promotion of South African films to South African audiences. It is not enough to simply hold the profit motive aloft while the South African story is not allowed to sustain its presence and capture the imagination of our audiences,” said Minister Mthethwa.

“We need to sustain local content in the market. Exhibitors have a role to play in forming part of a value chain that increases local content. Exhibiting and distribution are key to attaining this national mandate.”

“Therefore I am calling a meeting of film stakeholders where we can thrash out issues of distribution, representation, marketing support and other pressing issues affecting filmmakers. All stakeholders must contribute to the strengthening of the industry. This is crucial as part of the transformation agenda of the industry and at a time when we are seized with the review of the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage.”

“The National Development Plan acknowledges the importance of the contribution of cultural and creative industries to economic growth. In the film industry when films do well, these enable the producers to become sustainable and economic viable and create more jobs in the sector.

“Together we need to devise innovative distribution strategies and interventions that will take films to the people and also create an enabling environment where film entrepreneurs can flourish as they tell the South African story,” says Minister Mthethwa.

Media enquiries: Lisa Combrinck at 082 821 4886 or lisac@dac.gov.za