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Groundbreaking Conference Brokered By The KwaZulu
-Natal Film Commission Between the Nigerian & South
African Industries Signals Positive Implementation
For Mutual Collaboration Between The Two Leading
Filmmaking Industries On the Continent Of Africa

Top L-R: Jackie Motsepe - KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission; Mahmood Ali-Balogun - Leading Nigerian Producer and Head of the Delegation to Durban; Chioma Ude - Founder, African International Film Festival; Bottom L-R Pedro Pimenta- Project Director, Durban International Film Festival and Terrence Khumalo - National Film and Video Foundation
In March 2015 at the Elangeni Hotel, in Durban, The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission hosted the groundbreaking confab between the Nigerian Delegation of Award winning Film Directors, Script writers, technical directors, investors and Award winning Actors and actresses on a 5 day fact Finding Mission to meet their counterparts in the KwaZulu-Natal province. Covering 3 days of conferencing and 2 days of familiarization tours, the event's aim was to explore mutually beneficial relationship in the area of film. The Nigerian delegation, comprised of individuals at the forefront of film industry, aka "Nollywood," including Kunle Afolayan, who won 9 awards during the Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards including Best Movie and Best Director for the psychological thriller October 1; Mahmood Ali-Balogun, director of award winning blockbuster Tango with Me in 2011; and Joseph Benjamin, known as "Joe," who has numerous awards including Best New Actor in 2011 and African Actor of the Year in 2012. On arrival at the King Shaka Airport, the Nigerian delegation was welcomed by a captivating traditional Zulu dance.

At the conference, the Nigerian Delegation mingled with local South African actresses and actors, filmmakers, investors, and key South African players in the film industry and other relevant companies. During three intense days of conferencing, groundbreaking discussion panels shared ideas, and forged possible future strategic and profitable business partnerships.

Amongst the many areas discussed was the issue of funding both domestically in KwaZulu-Natal and in Nigeria, followed by a discussion on the film panel on KwaZulu-Natal as a location for the filming. The group looked into and discussed the challenges of making the success stories and making films in KwaZulu-Natal, production and co-production between South Africa and Nigeria, distribution and other topics including attending the annual Durban International Film Festival. Case studies were presented including a case study on the film Hard to Get, its distribution on the South African film circuit, by 1 Take Media, a partnership between Nigerian and South African filmmakers.

The Resolutions from the South Africa-Nigeria Fact Finding Mission:
included the co-production of content, co-distribution of content and co-financing of content. The agreed platforms of engagement going forward were the Durban International Film Festival and the African International Film Festival. In addition, a year plan was agreed upon whereby a number key strategies would be implemented: The development and production of content, to be activated during the Durban International Film Festival in July 2015; a reciprocal activation during the African International Film Festival in November 2015; The programme to be reviewed in March 2016 which would include a plan of action for 2016 based on the finding of 2015.

The topics on the agenda for 2016 include the release of the films through the distribution platforms available in the two countries as well as the screening of the films at the two African film festivals.

A core team of leading players in South Africa and Nigeria: Jackie Motsepe - KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission; Terrence Khumalo - National Film and Video Foundation; Mahmood Ali-Balogun - Leading Nigerian Producer and Head of the Delegation to Durban; Chioma Ude - Founder, African International Film Festival; and Pedro Pimenta- Project Director, Durban International Film Festival, was formed to take the process forward and ensure that the resolutions of the conference are implemented.

The Nigerian delegation was treated to an informative familiarization on what the beautiful province of KwaZulu-Natal has to offer. After a visit to Shakaland* some of the delegations were quoted as saying: "It is amazing how the province has manage to preserve the history and culture of the Zulu Nation up to this day."

About the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission
The KwaZulu-Natal Films Commission is a provincial state entity, under the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal South Africa established in 2010 under the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission Act, 2010 (Act No 3 of 2010). Its mandate is to facilitate effective support throughout the value chain to the local and international film industry through creating opportunities and also to grow the KwaZulu-Natal film Industry.

*King Shaka was the most influential leader of the Zulu empire, who as the Zulu king and conqueror ruled his kingdom over a period of twelve years. Shakaland is a living museum of the life and times of this monarch and you can re-live the excitement and romance of the days of Shaka, King of the Zulus, in this authentic re-creation of the Great Kraal overlooking the Phobane Lake.
 
 

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