Remarks by the Minister Paul Mashatile on the occasion of DISCOP AFRICA 2013 cocktail function
Practitioners in the film and television industry
Our partners in DISCOP AFRICA 2013
Representatives of business
Representatives of government
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I take this opportunity to welcome all those taking part in this the 8th edition of DISCOP AFRICA.
As the Department of Arts and Culture we are proud to be a partner in this important Continental initiative that brings together leading players in the business of television and film content development.
DISCOP AFRICA 2013, takes place at a time when our Continent is increasingly being viewed as the Continent of hope, the Continent of the future and a new growth frontier.
This is also the time when Africa is beginning to take a lead in film and television content production.
Now more than ever before the world is ready to hear and see the many stories that Africa has to tell through the medium of film and television.
We have no doubt, therefore, that emerging out of this gathering will be effective partnerships and programmes aimed at accelerating the growth of film and TV production across the African Continent.
We view this gathering as part of on-going work to ensure that Africa takes her own destiny into her own hands; by telling her own stories from her own perspective and in her own terms, through film and television.
This gathering must help us strengthen cooperation between African film professionals, African governments and institutions as well as policy and decision-makers.
We must also use this gathering once again, to seek the best way forward for our Continent’s film and TV sector as well as our cultural and creative industries in general.
This we must do in order to take full advantage of the cultural and creative industries’ ability to contribute to social cohesion, nation building, national pride and identity as well as economic development, job creation and the building of sustainable livelihoods.
The South African government recognizes the important role played by the film and television sector in nation building, promoting social cohesion, reconciliation and supporting economic growth and job creation.
A recent study by the National Film and Video Foundation indicates that the average annual growth of the film industry in South Africa was at 14%.
The industry contributed about 300 million US dollars to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and created more than 25 000 full time jobs.
The industry ranks at number 50 out of 99 major industries in our country and has delivered a multiplier effect of 2.89 to the national economy.
It is against this background and in order to strengthen the support we are providing to this sector that we have begun processes to transform the NFVF into a fully-fledged South African Film Commission. We will also be establishing a National Film Fund.
Equally, we believe in the potential of the African film and television sector to unite our peoples, to preserve our cultures, contribute to the development of national economies and support the human development effort in general.
We therefore look forward to working with our brothers and sisters from the Continent to grow and develop our own film industry as well as that of the Continent.
Early this year we hosted a successful Congress of the Federation of Pan Africa Filmmakers (FEPACI).
The Congress pronounced on the need for African film makers to continue strengthening relations and to explore markets and audiences amongst ourselves within the continent.
As South Africa we have fully embraced this pronouncement and will be implementing it vigorously.
In addition we will focus on strengthening relations with film makers within BRICS countries.
Furthermore, the Cultural Seasons that my department is implementing and planning to implement with countries such as France, the United Kingdom, China, Angola and Nigeria will take our cultural and creative products, including film and television products, to the world.
I take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to the success of DISCOP AFRICA 2013.
We hope that your hard work will result in the further strengthening of African film and television content production.