Speech by Minister Paul Mashatile at the launch of the French Movie Festival

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04 Feb 2011

Programme Director

The Leadership of the French Institute in South Africa

Members of the diplomatic corps

Sponsors of this event

Honoured guests

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Thank you for inviting us to the launch of the French Film Festival here in Johannesburg.

This is the first time that this Festival comes to our shores.

We therefore hope that the people of South Africa, through out the length and breadth of our country, will warmly embrace this festival.

We take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have made the festival possible and wish them well in their endeavors.
To us this festival is important because it offers South Africans an opportunity to experience the finest in French contemporary cinema.

It gives our people a rare opportunity to discover and enjoy the very latest French films.

As signatories to the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, South Africa will continue to support initiatives such as the French Film Festival in South Africa, one of whose purpose is to promote diversity in the fields of arts and culture.   

This festival is also part of ongoing efforts to strengthen ties between the South African and French film industries.

It offers film makers and producers from both our countries an opportunity to exchange ideas, learn from each other and hopefully identify opportunities for collaboration.

In this regard we are encouraged that the selection of films to be featured in this festival was done by a talented young South African film maker, Oliver Hermanus.

This in our view augurs well for future collaborations between French and South African film makers.

We note with appreciation that this festival comes after the Department of Arts and Culture in South Africa and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, signed a film co-production treaty in May last year.
We will continue to use this treaty and initiatives such as the French Film Festival in South Africa to create more opportunities for film makers from both our countries to work together.

We have no doubt that; partnerships between our film makers will go a long way in contributing to the development of our film industries.

Proramme Director, French cinema has always been amoung the leaders in pushing the art of filmmaking forward in new and diverse ways.

Over many years the French people have managed to build a very special relationship with cinema, which explains why this industry is important to them and why they keep producing so many films.

We look forward to learn from the experiences of the French people as we embark on the important process of positioning the film industry as one of the major contributors to our national economy.
Indeed as the Department of Arts and Culture, we are determined to ensure that film as part of the creative industries contributes significantly to the national effort to grow our economy and create decent work opportunities.

Once more congratulations to the organizers of this festival. We wish you success in your endeavours.

May this be the yet another step in our journey to strengthen people to people contact between the people of South Africa and France.

Thank you.