South African Indies Gain Ground At The American Film Market
The Association for Transformation in Film and Television (ATFT) brought a group of 12 filmmakers to the American Film Market (AFM) this year. One of the leaders of the association, South African filmmaker Mayenzeke Baza, made it clear that the association’s focus is to nurture filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented groups (Blacks, Women, filmmakers with disabilities) and provide opportunities for them to ascend to the forefront of the film industry.
The group’s visit is the first step in the South African Government’s fulfillment of its promise to explore opportunities in the American film industry.
Sponsored by South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, the group attended AFM under the banner of “South African Indies”, had numerous meetings with production companies, sales agents and distributors (one filmmaker walked away with a deal), and met with the South African Consul General at his L.A. residence.
In the video that follows, Isaac Mogajane (Blitz Patrollie), Tshego Molete (His Majesty’s Building) and Mayenzeke Baza (I Am A Man, Blood Tokoloshe) spoke to me on behalf of the group to explain its mission, its goals and what it hoped to accomplish at AFM.
Among others, I asked the trio about the realities of the South African film industry, the definition of “South African cinema”, and the reason Afrikaans (White South African) cinema is booming while Black South African cinema seemingly lags behind.