South African filmmaking talent showcased at the prominent
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
From (l-r) SA Consul General Tselane Mokuena; Femi (lead actor in Akin Omotoso’s ‘Man on Ground’; Janne Duncan - Lawyer, McLeod Dixon and Akin Omotoso - Producer (Man on the Ground)
South Africa continued to build on its vibrant filmmaking reputation as it screened four exceptional movies at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2011. This is the second largest international film festival in the world (after Cannes) where only 300 movies are chosen from countless entries. Opening to notable acclaim were South African movies - Winnie, Lucky, Beauty and Man on Ground. Winnie was selected as a Gala Premiere and screened at the Roy Thompson Hall.
With the support of the High Commissioner’s Office in Ottawa and the Consul General’s office in Toronto, several events were held to promote and raise awareness about South Africa’s commitment to fostering further development of film production.
A formal reception was held to celebrate the screening of South African movies and to offer an opportunity for the representatives from the DTI, National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the Gauteng Film Commission and the filmmakers to network with members of the Canadian film industry.
Representatives from the DTI and the NFVF made a presentation on the various rebate incentives available to filmmakers and to promote foreign co-productions, at a seminar for Canadian producers and filmmakers. They gave numerous examples of the advantages of filming in South Africa including diverse landscape, location, creative crews and ‘state of the art’ technologies.
The presentations were followed by a roundtable discussion on the experiences of filmmaking in South Africa, by several directors and producers including Akin Omotoso (Man on Ground), Oliver Hermanus and Didier Costet (Skoonheid) and Lance Samuels (Lucky).
Shortly after TIFF, Skoonheid was selected by the South African Academy Selection Committee as an official entry into the Best Foreign film category and if selected by the Oscars Academy Award Selection Committee, it would be South Africa’s third film to participate in the category (Yesterday and Tsotsi). Skoonheid is first co-production film under the South Africa/ France co-production treaty.
South Africa’s reputation for creative, quality filmmaking is evident in the flurry of movies that have been screened at the TIFF as well as other prominent film festivals. Consul General, Ms. Mokuena said, “film has emerged as a leader, not only in investment potential but, also in terms of true grassroots skills, development of cutting-edge technologies, screen writing, production and animation”. With key collaborative efforts such as the Film Co-Production Agreement between South Africa and Canada, many more successful films will likely be produced.
South African Consulate General- Toronto