An emerging film-maker who is at the Toronto International Film Festival says South Africa’s film industry has untapped potential. Twenty delegates are representing the country at the prestigious festival as part of an initiative by the department of trade and industry.
The film and television industry contributes an estimated R3.5 billion to the country’s economy and is seen as a priority sector by the department.
Film-maker Ikanyeng Motlhamme says international bigwigs have lauded the country’s booming industry.
“We spoke to the programme’s manager, she said that we’re a country that has a level of artistic excellence, so it’s something that we’ve to hold on to as a country and there’s always dynamics in stories that we’ve.”
Now in its 40th year, the 10-day festival has become a key launching pad for Hollywood’s award season, with films like 12 Years a Slave, The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire all gaining critical momentum at the event before going on to win the Academy Award for best picture.
The festival started with the world premiere of Demolition, starring Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts.
The festival, which runs from 10 to 20 September, will go on to screen nearly 300 feature films from more than 70 countries.
Notable themes this year include the political and legal battles fought for gay rights, the subject of two movies in the festival’s high-profile gala program.