Sithengi to set re-launch this autumn


Sithengi CEO Judy Nwokedi announced that plans have been put in motion to see that the film and television market will be held at a date yet to be determined between June and November 2009.

According to Nwokedi, the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) put their weight behind the resuscitation of Sithengi, which represented one of the most important markets for the African film industry. First established in 1996, Sithengi held its last session in 2006. The return of Sithengi was welcomed as “in the absence of Sithengi, non-African players on continent then facilitated and enabled the presence of African creatives, producers, and directors”, comments Nwokedi. This in essence took the power away from African professionals in the industry, adds Nwokedi.

Presently provinces have been engaged in the process to determine where the event will be hosted. The board is to make the final decision at the end of March according to Nwokedi. An official request has also been received from Nigeria to host the event in Lagos. Nwokedi added that Sithengi officials are open to the idea of hosting the event around the continent.

Sithengi’s renewed focus includes strengthening the business and market components of the event. “We want to bring buyers and suppliers together and have them walk away with a deal”, says Nwokedi. There will be a further focus on taking advantage of the economic and cultural aspects of the partnership between the IBSA countries - India, Brazil and South Africa - in line with the South-South co-operation established between those nations. Furthermore, a Sithengi film will be commissioned with major partners.

Sithengi is set to resume its role as one of Africa’s premier markets for the African film industry but it has become a more crowded market with DISCOP putting on its second market event in Nairobi this September (16-18 September at the Nairobi Hilton) after initial successful event in Dakar earlier this year.