Prison for pirate film sellers, says film-maker

Regulation & Policy

Filmmaker and actor Rapulana Seiphemo believes people caught selling pirate copies of films should be given long prison sentences. Seiphemo said the local film industry suffers huge losses through pirating of products by local filmmakers and actors.

“At the moment we are very lenient and people caught with pirated material are either given a slap on the wrist or get away scot free. This issue should be treated as criminality and people should given long prison sentences. There should be more enforcement against these people because they are killing the industry. “It is like a person stealing your car and going to sell it to someone else,” he said.

Seiphemo is one of more than 200 local and international filmmakers and actors who have gathered for the annual four-day Durban Film Festival which opened in the east coast city at the weekend.

The event is the largest in the country and has been running for the last 32 years. It showcases 180 films, documentaries and short films from 54 countries.

Seiphemo said the festival is a brilliant idea because filmmakers from around the globe get to share ideas and challenges.

“One of the biggest challenges facing us in South Africa is getting funding for projects. This (festival) gives us opportunity to talk about things.”

Festival director, Peter Rorvik, said vibe at the festival has been excellent and public demand has been awesome.