South Africa: Minister Calls Meeting With Film Industry

Pretoria — Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called for a meeting with film stakeholders to discuss challenges faced by filmmakers.

This comes after exhibitors decided to reduce the number of screens and performing sites at which the local romantic comedy film Tell Me Sweet Something, directed by Akin Omotoso, is being shown.

The film narrates the story of a female bookshop owner and aspiring writer who falls in love with a male model who wants to be acknowledged for his mind and not his body.

Minister Mthethwa said the film did well in its first three weeks and reached R1million in its first five days of release.

In its third week, the screens of the movie were reduced from 47 to 27.

“I am calling a meeting of film stakeholders where we can thrash out issues of distribution, representation, marketing support and other pressing issues affecting filmmakers. All stakeholders must contribute to the strengthening of the industry,” he said.

Minister Mthethwa said local content needs to be sustained in the market.

“Together we need to devise innovative distribution strategies and interventions that will take films to the people and also create an enabling environment where film entrepreneurs can flourish as they tell the South African story,” Minister Mthethwa said.

He said exhibitors need to play their part in sustaining the promotion of the country’s films to South African audiences.

“It is not enough to simply hold the profit motive aloft while the South African story is not allowed to sustain its presence and capture the imagination of our audiences,” he said.

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