Creating more local films means creating jobs
28 February 2019
“How long is it going to take for another Tsotsi to receive an astounding local and international recognition?”
Actor and director Pepi Khambule has called on the government and private sector to work together and invest more in local talent so that South Africa’s film industry can soar to greater heights.
“For as long as funding remains a challenge for local producers, the quality of our films will also remain a problem and local actors and actresses will continue to go seek greener pastures abroad,” he said.
Khambule has featured in TV shows such as Backstage, A Place Called Home, Society, Mtunzini.com and Oscar-nominated film Yesterday.
He also called on producers to understand the serious need to build an inclusive South African film industry.
Khambule said a partnership between government and the private sector will mean that more local films will be produced and that way more jobs created while creating sustainable hope for film students.
“On the other hand, the likes of Mzansi Magic are assisting greatly in the promotion of the local film industry, by helping many young aspiring filmmakers share their work on the silver screen, but what about the big screen (sic)? Our big screen?
“How long is it going to take for another Tsotsi to receive an astounding local and international recognition?” Khambule pointed out.
He added that the investment should not only look at the production and creation of films, it should also consider grassroot levels such as the creation of more advanced arts and science schools that look at the effects of technology on film, screenwriting curriculum, drama, movie-marketing, filmmaking, production, etc.
“By engaging such initiatives, local and international investors will also benefit, while they lend a helping hand in our local industry by providing a bigger platform for our filmmakers,” he said.
Khambule also said producers should stop focusing on making films about apartheid and post-apartheid years.
“If it is not those two topics, then it must be a film about how South Africa and the rest of the African continent is struggling or either being ruled by a dictator.
“We need to move away from such topics and show the world that we have more stories to tell that depict our lives in a post-democratic nation.”
He applauded Kagiso Lediga, who he said has become a big role-player in telling a different narrative in local film.
“Films like Catching Feelings, which was shown on Netflix, and the newly released Matwetwe reveal a different Africa.
“As the world is changing, Africa is also becoming a frontier for technological innovation and this can be depicted in film by African filmmakers,” he said.
“With proper funding, investment and a change in content, the sky will be the limit for our local film industry.”