On Monday 23 July, The Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) Film Commission was launched at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. The launch was timed to coincide with the presence of much of the local film industry in the city for the Durban International Film Festival.
The province's startling variety of locations makes it an attractive destination for filmmakers and the area has produced some of South Africa's most famous filmmakers. Chief among them is Anant Singh - the CEO of Videovision Entertainment and the producer of more than 65 quality films.
KZN MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Mike Mabuyakhulu, addressed the dignitaries. He said that they have been working on creating a film commission for KZN since 2005. He pointed out that the industry is projected to be worth 99.7 billion USD by 2016 – the same year SA will celebrate the industry’s centenary. He also revealed that the region wants a share of that revenue.
The MEC said: “We are looking for local and foreign investment, but we also want to tell our own stories seen through the eyes of our own people and must use this opportunity to provide hope. We need to evolve as a nation and move on from our past – it’s a major task to provide accessibility to all – we cannot be elitist.”
Film director Madoda Ncayiyana added that the film commission will help raise the profile of filmmaking in the region and speed up the process of filmmaking in KZN.
A bust of Simon ‘Mabhunu’ Sabela, a black actor and director who overcame the restrictions of Apartheid to create a large body of work, was unveiled at the ceremony.