Nathi Mthethwa launches first film hub in Eastern Cape
Minister of sport, arts and culture Nathi Mthethwa launched the first film hub in Buffalo City in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday.
According to the department, the aim of the hub is to bring together all areas of film production under one roof, from pre-production to post production, thus providing a high-end studios equipped with multiple stages.
The film hub is a result of a study conducted by NFVF five years ago which was aimed at stimulating the economic activity, driving transformation, creating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, while addressing the lack of film infrastructure.
Mthethwa explained in his speech that the film hub was aimed at proving an avenue for aspiring filmmakers to have access to production and post-production facilities.
He said: “As the department, we want to see more skilled artists and original South African stories coming from all arrears of this culturally rich country.”
Mthethwa further said Eastern Cape was a victim of historical injustice deliberately perpetuated to exclude the majority and thus kill the talent. He saw the launch of this film hub as one step in advancing our objective of correcting the injustices of the past.
“Film is one of the few unique artistic tools of expression that plays an important role in cultural exchange, co-existence, tolerance and is easily accessible and reaches a wider audience.”
He added: “Its audio-visual nature creates an immediate impact that shapes opinions and inspires generations of people for centuries to come. It is this medium that bestows upon us the freedom to dream.”
Mthethwa emphasised that the launch of the hub took place at the the backdrop of a story of a South African film and television industry built by people that have overcome conquest and conflict, characterised by resistance and resilience against all odds.
“It is a story of re-defining and charting a new course wrapped in our unity in diversity that resembles the multifaceted nature of our diversity as people. It is a story of tolerance and appreciation of our difference and uniqueness.”
“My department invested additional amount for this project over and above the NFVF’s normal allocation. This is indicative of our commitment to create access to creative spaces for young aspirant practitioners to thrive without having to leave their communities.”
He added that the historical realities underpinning the development of this sector places an emphasis on the creatives themselves and those who control the means of production to ensure that this industry plays a significant role.
“Not only will this hub provide affordable, subsidised equipment for film production and post production, it will also, hopefully, attract the big production companies to come and shoot in this province, stimulating the local economy.”
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