Filmmakers hobnob with parliamentarians

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Parliamentarians are getting an insight into the creative capabilities of the country's flourishing filmmakers with a festival that is taking place in the house.

The festival is the initiative of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) in partnership with the Parliamentary Millennium Project (PMP).

It opened on Sunday and will run until tomorrow.

"One of the main objectives of this festival is to highlight the cross-cultural and diverse nature of content that is being explored by the South African film industry.

"The aim is also to showcase high-quality productions, celebrate South African film and garner support for the growth of the film sector," says chief executive of NFVF, Eddie Mbalo.

Jihan Tehran's documentary, Cuba: An African Odyssey, is scheduled to open the festival. The documentary chronicles the historical, ideological and military role Cuba played in the freedom struggles of many African countries and exposes the deep roots of Afro-Cuban solidarity.

A Pair of Boots and a Bicycle by Vincent Moloi is also part of the package that will also be screened at the festival. The documentary tells a poignant story that reveals the heroic and brave actions of soldiers who have never received recognition for their contribution in World War II.

It journeys from the dusty streets of Soweto, into the famous battle of El Alamein to the streets of Tobruk in Libya in search of answers.

The film recently received enormous acclaim from both the media and the public at the 9th Encounters Documentary Festival.

Other directors and film producers who are showcasing their work at the festival include Paul Raleigh for Tsotsi, Dumi Gumbi for Animazing Shorts, Francois Verster for The Mothers' House, Frans Cronje and Kirsten Barwise for Faith Like Potatoes.

"We have always enjoyed a very strong relationship with the NFVF and greatly appreciate the support given to us as filmmakers.

"From the production of Animazing Shorts, the foundation believed that the project was destined for success, and we can now attest that their investment is starting to bear fruit.

"The partnership between the parliament and the NFVF is an encouragement to all filmmakers as it will help this burgeoning industry," says Dumi Gumbi, the director of Animazing Shorts.

For the first time ever, an anthology of South African animated films will be screened at the festival.

This will be packaged as five- minute shows that will be screened before the main films or as stand-alone screenings.