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Brics nations to support growth of film industry
​Department of Arts Acting Deputy Director-General Charles Mabaso.
FILMMAKERS from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have been challenged to establish an Audio-Visual and Film Co-Production and Distribution Treaty and Fund and identify content and projects that will be launched at the 2019 BRICS Film Festival in Brazil.

During panel discussions at the third Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa Film Festival Forum which are part of the 9th edition of the Durban Film Mart (DFM) taking place from 20 to 23 July at Elangeni Hotel, filmmakers welcomed the agreement which aims to grow the film market across the five partnering nations.

The BRICS Film Festival took place ahead of the 10th BRICS Summit which was held in Johannesburg from 25 to 27 July under the chairmanship of South Africa. Department of Arts Acting Deputy Director-General Charles Mabaso highlighted that there must be an agency that will be responsible for supporting film/television production, distribution and exhibition in BRICS countries first, but also for participation in other film festivals and film markets elsewhere outside of BRICS countries.

“The films will be created through a specifically designed co-production arrangement where the films creation will be specifically geared towards appealing to audiences of the BRICS countries first, then other countries globally,” he said.

When the agency is established, it must support research dealing with audience development in BRICS countries so that the film created are seen by as many people as possible so that the market grows for the films and the revenues generated can go back into the fund for more production of films.

The film festival was held for the first time in 2016 in New Delhi in India. At the second meeting for BRICS Ministers of Culture in China, member states signed an Action Plan on Cultural Cooperation. The group pledged to step up efforts to strengthen cultural ties in the five-year action plan for the implementation of the agreement between governments so the BRICS states of cooperation in the field of culture.

A 2017 – 2021 plan for the BRICS Film Collaboration Project states that through joint production of movies, the partnership aims to increase the frequency and intensity of arts and cultural exchanges between member states, expand the film markets of the member nations and propel mutual prosperity and development of the BRICS film industries and film markets. The plan also calls for the co-production of a BRICS film each year, encourages and supports multilateral and bilateral joint movie production between the BRICS nations.

Mabaso said the third meeting for BRICS Ministers of Culture will take place in September in Johannesburg to discuss filmmaker’s opportunities and challenges, the consolidation of implementation plans, review milestones, content that could travel between the five member states and the creation of legacy projects towards 2021 and beyond.

On 22 July, Department of Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa officially opened the BRICS Film Festival at the Play House Company in eThekwini. Hosted through the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, the film festival is aimed at celebrating world-class film productions from the BRICS countries, with the objective of inspiring more collaboration from these nations.

The opening night of the festival honoured Nelson Mandela through screening of five, five minute short films produced by the respective countries under the facilitation of a South African production company. The theme for the short films was, “Mandela”. The film from each country reflects the uniqueness of the country, as well as how each member country relates to Nelson Mandela and the impact he had through leadership, politics, humanity, culture, and unity.
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